3 Off-The-Beaten-Path Gardens And Parks You Must Visit In Barcelona, Spain
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You may have visited Barcelona before and explored the wonderful architecture of Antoni Gaudi and all the other major sites. On your next visit, go a little off the beaten path to explore more of this vibrant city. As the city gradually opens up during the ongoing pandemic, this is the perfect place to fill the urge for travel. Here we include three, beautiful, out-of-the way gardens and parks which are a must-see on your next trip to Barcelona.
1. Jardins de Ca n'Altimira, Barcelona
The gardens of Josep Altimira allow visitors to bask in the 19th century grandeur of an eccentric Freeman millionaire’s private gardens. Altimira returned to Barcelona from Cuba in 1860 and created a marvelous place, which included a zoo, a hypostyle room, subterranean galleries and a pillared hall with esoteric symbolism.
Photo by Enfo/Wikimedia Commons
Many strange stories were heard about Altimira’s life in Barcelona, including one that said he had a trained orang-utan waiter to serve drinks at his parties. Whether this is true is unlikely. However Altimira was a stock market investor with businesses in Cuba, where he was dubbed the “Count of Monte Cristo” due to his fabulous wealth.
When he acquired the estate in Barcelona, he built a new house on the property, called the “Tower of the Golden Dome.” Back in 1880, the garden consisted of waterfalls, lakes, exotic vegetation and caves. However, the architecture here is what made the gardens amazing. He created a pillared hall, similar to one of Antoni Gaudi’s works in nearby Parque Guell. The columns in this underground building resembled those in ancient temples. What made this even more interesting was the portal that provided access to other caves around the house. Stories tell that at some places, the caves were flooded, so Altimira and his guests could boat through them.
Photo by Enfo/Wikimedia Commons
Regrettably, Altimira’s lavish lifestyle led to his ruin. When he died in 1900, he left all his property to the Missionary Sisters, a group of nuns that still occupy the house. However, the garden became the property of the city and anyone can visit between 10 am and 9 pm daily.
2. Labyrinth Park of Horta, Barcelona
For those who love to get lost in a maze, Barcelona’s Parc del Laberint d’Horta (Labyrinth Park of Horta) is a gorgeous hidden gem in the city. This oldest garden in Barcelona has delighted visitors for centuries.
Photo by amaianos/Flickr
The labyrinth and its surrounding gardens were created in 1791 as part of a wealthy estate owned by the Desvalls family. The maze and surrounding Italian-inspired terraces are today known as the Neoclassical section of the park. The balance of the park was created in the mid-1800s and is known as the Romantic section. However, it is the central labyrinth that really steals the show.
The maze consists of tall, manicured hedges with more than 2,000 feet of twists and turns to explore. Should you find your way to the centre, you will be treated to the sight of a statue of Eros, the Greek God of Love. The pavilions overlooking the maze feature their own statues of Greek gods, while there is a pretty pond at one end.
Photo by Oh-Barcelona.com/Flickr
The gardens were given to the city of Barcelona in the 1960s and are now a public park. However, as it is set a little off the regular tourist track, the Labyrinth of Horta remains relatively secret.
3. Parc de L'Espanya Industrial, Barcelona
The Parc de L’Espanya Industrial is one of the most unusual of its kind in Barcelona. It was designed in 1985 by architects Luis Peña Ganchegui and Francesc Rius. The park features a lot of greenery, as well as a small artificial boating lake. The lighthouses make a striking sight is recognition of former factory-built parks, and are located around the lake.
Photo by Canaan/Wikimedia Commons
In the northwest corner of the park, the iron St. George’s Dragon is a popular slide for children, while throughout the park various sculptures have been placed. The park is located a short walk from Barcelona Sants train station and is ideal for a short break in the fresh air.
Photo by jaime.silva/Flickr
Visit the green and leafy side of Barcelona on your next visit – here you will have no problems socially distancing yourself from the crowds..
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