The Vil·la Amèlia Gardens make up an almost perfect square. A traditionally conceived space in the French style, they are the product of a fusion between the original species of some old, private gardens and the later plantings when it was redesigned for public use. The presence of imposing trees from a wide range of species highlights the quality of these gardens, which preserve hundred-year-old specimens, including palms, planes, and pines, as well as a large variety of shrubs and parterres.
The Vil·la Amèlia Gardens date back to the sumptuous gardens built by Ignasi Girona for an estate of his in Sarrià. They were named after his wife, Amèlia de Vilanova. The Girona family used the Quinta Amèlia country estate as their summer residence for many years.
The City Council allocated the land to a public park in 1930 and it was finally expropriated in 1969, on condition part of it would be developed, hence the demolition of the Gironas’ old residence. A section of land went to the Vil·la Cecília Gardens, located on the other side of C/ Santa Amèlia, which opened when the two green spaces were created.
The Vil·la Amèlia Gardens boast a wealthy range of plant species – nearly 50 – and specimens rarely found in Barcelona, such as the ones on the avenue flanked by pagoda trees Styphnolobium japonicum (Sophora japonica)
There are also lime trees (Tilia europaea and tomentosa), cedars (Cedrus libani, atlantica and deodara) and cypresses (Cupressus glabra, macrocarpa and sempervirens). These are accoompanied by Jacarandas (Jacaranda mimosifolia), tipus (Tipuana tipu) and Judas trees (Cercis siliquastrum), and shrubs such as crape myrtle
Lagerstroemia indica, all with spectacular blossoms.
Particularly notable there are the magnolias (Magnolia grandiflora), holm oaks (Quercus ilex), Judas trees (Cercis siliquastrum), large specimens of stone and Aleppo pines (Pinus pinea and Pinus hapelenssis) and, in the case of palms, the Mediterranean dwarf palm (Chamaerops humilis) and highly developed specimens of Trachycarpus fortunei.
But the indisputable kings of the vegetation are a plane tree (Platanus hispanica) and a peppercorn tree (Schinus molle) close to 90 years old, a eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) planted at the end of the 20th century, a Kentucky coffee tree
Gymnocladus dioicus almost a century old and a group of fifteen Canary Island date palms (Phoenix canariensis) planted at the end of the 19th century. All are listed in the Barcelona Trees of Local Interest Catalogue.
Landscaping and Design
An example is the cypress arbour, located above a small mound of stones that had once been a cascade. It is very close to the C/ Santa Amèlia entrance. Ahead of you these magnificent gardens spread out with large parterres, each with different plants.
The pond and the pine-tree hill are two of the gardens outstanding features. The pond is circular and located inside a large parterre with small, curiously sculpted myrtle hedges that form designs on the grass. Its water is dominated by aquatic plants, watched over by the figure of a protective nymph.
The hill, slightly hidden from the bare ground and which can be reached by some wooden stairs, acts as a counterpoint to this peaceful, open space. It is a different, somewhat rustic place.
Art and Architecture
A small and slender Dryad, the protective nymph of woods, rises up from a small island in the middle of the pond. This is a bronze figure of a nude teenager, considered to be one of Ricard Sala’s best sculptures. A stone throw’s away, in a spot somewhere between bright and shady, an ephebe plays the flute. This is L’encantador de serps (the Snake Charmer), a bronze sculpture by the Belgium sculptor Jules Anthone.
- Eduardo Conde, 22
- Sarrià-Sant Gervasi
- Post Code:
- Programa 'Activa't als parcs' als Jardins de la Vil·la Amèlia
- Ongoing event
- Setmana de la Ciència: Ruta 'Mapatge de líquens'
- Eduardo Conde, 22