Parc del Guinardó
Garriga i Roca, 1*13
Water plays a central role in this park, where woodland rusticity lives side by side with the elegance of a trimmed-shrub garden.
It has three very distinct areas: an urban part, which serves as an antechamber to this vast green space, a historical part and a top part, which is made up of lush woodland vegetation. Its landscaped terraces and pine trees make it one of the most refreshing and peaceful green spaces in the city.
Given the park’s steep rise and considerable height, it is a popular place for doing a bit of sport and running. It is well worth the visit, because there are miradors at the top offering magnificent views of Barcelona.
Barcelona enjoys this park because land was set aside at the start of the 20th century. Originally it was a private estate facing the sea, which became municipal property in 1910. The first part built was the historical part, designed by Jean Claude Nicolas Forestier in collaboration with Nicolau M. Rubió i Tudurí. Parc del Guinardó was the two landscape artists’ first joint endeavour, a testing ground for experimentation that later led to an indigenous, southern-European garden model, known as the jardi meridional, as well as parks and gardens such as the Jardins de Laribal, the Jardins de la Tamarita and Turó Park.
The name Guinardó is linked to an old country house close to the park: Mas Guinardó, currently the centre for the district’s associations, the Casal d’Entitats.
The urban part of the park is dominated by large Aleppo pines and tipu trees which overflow with yellow flowers in the summer. Judas trees, white mulberries, elms and olive trees are among the other species that decorate this area.
The historical area is full of large, well-trimmed hedges on either side of the paths. There are abundant shrubs such as Japanese mock orange, butcher’s broom, sweet bay and oleander. There are also numerous carob trees, cypresses, cedars and holm oaks, mainly big ones.
Sierra Madre lobelia, a perennial rarely found in Barcelona with highly ornamental red flowers, can be spotted by the small channels through which the water flows, while the little squares which line the hill are home to pagoda trees, rose bushes, coojongs and Seville orange trees. Right at the top there is a dense, very natural, free-growing wood of Aleppo pine trees and the occasional cedar, along with a very Mediterranean understorey.
Art and Architecture
A square between Av Mare de Déu de Montserrat and the park entrance houses the most popular sculpture in the Guinardó neighbourhood: the Nen de la Rutlla (Boy with Hoop), after which the square is named. It is a bronze sculpture made by Joaquim Ros i Bofarull in 1961.
If you go further into the park’s historical area, you will find hidden away the Font del Cuento (1739), one of the neighbourhood’s most popular fountains in its day. It owes its name to the slow flow of the water and the fact that, while waiting to collect their water, people would start chatting away and telling each other stories (cuentos).
Landscaping and Design
Parc del Guinardó has three distinct areas: urban, historical and, right at the top, woodland.
The urban park is the result of the remodelling carried out in 1977, linking it to Plaça del Nen de la Rutlla, the square where the main park entrance is and means it is close to the road. It consists of terraces set at various levels and separated by slopes with grass, trees and shrubs.
The historical park is made up by a luxuriant garden that lines the hill and follows the fast-flowing stream between the terraces, which are linked by paths and steps. In the middle of the climb there are stone walls cut with small channels down which water runs from a small reservoir, creating waterfalls and filling little pools. These small waterfalls located throughout the park evoke the sound of a stream.
The woodland park is very steep and consists of a big grove that surrounds the highest part of the historical area and extends downhill.