This green and luxuriant park is a small marvel, tucked between the bends of Av Tibidabo at the foot of the Collserola range. An exceptionally peaceful space with a special charm, thanks to the shaded paths and singing birds.
The first thing that stands out when visitors enter this park is its rustic, natural feel, as it was designed to respect the pre-existing landscape. It is criss-crossed by gravelled paths, which negotiate the hilly terrain with sharp turns and the occasional flight of steps. All around there are wooden benches under the shade of very dense patches of trees with a lot of undergrowth.
The area now occupied by Parc de la Font del Racó is the result of Barcelona City Council acquiring ten plots of land during the first decade of the 20th century. One of these plots had a fountain, which the city’s residents used to go to for a spot of fun and relaxation during the summer.
When Nicolau M. Rubió i Tudurí designed the park, he did two things that were decisive for its layout: he preserved the vegetation and rustic feel and he turned the fountain into its nerve centre.
This park led the way for a belt of parks around Barcelona that were regarded as suburban at the time and which he designed to add green spaces to the future urban network of the expanding city.
Plants native to a Mediterranean forest blend in with more garden-variety species, which are very numerous. So, hackberry trees (Celtis australis) − some very high − are as abundant as pine trees (Pinus pinea and Pinus halepensis). There are also carob trees (Ceratonia siliqua) and holm oaks (Quercus suber and Quercus ilex), which share the space with acacias (Robinia pseudoacacia), peppercorn trees (Schinus molle), cypresses (Cupressus macrocarpa), Canary Island date palms (Phoenix canariensis) and olive trees (Olea europaea), among other not so abundant species such as eucalyptuses (Eucalyptus globulus) and ombu trees (Phytolacca dioica).
The park also has an oak (Quercus cerrioides) listed in the Barcelona Trees of Local Interest Catalogue. Over a hundred years old, it is a majestic, 18-metre-high specimen with large branches.
Landscaping and Design
The rugged terrain is what really stands out, as it literally hugs the mountain. Visitors have two options: walk up or down, depending on whether you feel like doing some sport or not. If you start from the top, by the square Plaça del Doctor Andreu, you will be treated to a magnificent view of Barcelona. Then, when you go through the entrance gate, you enter the part most like a wood, which changes after the fountain. Going down, you reach a flight of steps that get bigger and where the (up-to-now) wooden railings give way to a wider railing made with trencadís that leads to the fountain. A small square opposite offers benches, also made with trencadís pieces, on both sides of the fountain. It has a plaque in front, dedicated to Apel·les Mestres, and another trencadís bench below, facing another, wider square with wooden benches shaded by trees.
This is an exceptionally peaceful place to sit down in for a while and popular with the schools near the park. A stone-paved path to the left of this square runs to the park’s main entrance, from where those who decide to walk up start their visit.
Art and Architecture
This cool, woody site was the favourite haunt of the Catalan sculptor and artist Apel·les Mestres for painting and sketching in. A marble monument to the artist was unveiled in 1938 on a stone-clad pedestal opposite the small esplanade the fountain stands on, at a lower level of the terrain. A work by Francesc Socías i March, it bears the following inscription: “To Apel·les Mestres, a friend of children, flowers and birds”.
- Av Tibidabo, 72
- Sarrià-Sant Gervasi
- Sant Gervasi - la Bonanova
- Public center
de l'1 de novembre
al 31 de març
Tots els dies
de 10:00 h a 19:00 h
Hora de tancament
aproximada, en funció de
l'horari solar (tanquen
quan es fa fosc, al capvespre)
de l'1 d'abril
al 31 d'octubre
Tots els dies
de 10:00 h a 21:00 h
- Av Tibidabo, 72