• Sculpture of a woman in a park
  • Parc de la Ciutadella lake with a couple on a bench
  • Stone sculpture of two angels and a couple walking in the park

The beginnings

In Barcelona, the creation of public green areas started with the growth of the city after the demolishing of the city walls in 1854. However, the first green public area dates back to 1816: the General's Garden, created by Francisco de Castaños, Governor General of the Principality.

Although the tradition of gardening has always existed in cities in the form of private gardens, allotments and greenhouses, public green areas do not appear until after the industrial revolution.

The need for manual workers in the industrial areas brought large numbers of workers into the cities, causing a progressive lack of living space. This overcrowding was accompanied by an insufficient sanitary system, a total lack of hygiene and pollution produced by factories. The concept of a "public park", an area created and financed by the city government for the free use of the inhabitants, came about therefore, due to the need to oxygenate the city in order to make it healthier as well as to create areas for relaxation and leisure activities.

The beginnings

In Barcelona, the creation of public green areas started with the growth of the city after the demolishing of the city walls in 1854. However, the first green public area dates back to 1816: the General's Garden, created by Francisco de Castaños, Governor General of the Principality.

This garden was situated between the present day Avinguda Marquès de l'Argentera and Ciutadella, just in front of where the Estació França stands today. It had a surface area of 0.4 hectares, which was extended to 0.5 in 1840 to mark the first visit made to the city by Queen Isabel II. Unfortunately, this park was closed in 1862, a short time before the land occupied by the military barracks was procured by Barcelona with the aim of creating a large public park.

The 1888 Exhibition

In 1872, the Barcelona council approved the project presented by the master designer Josep Fontserè i Mestre to build the Parc de la Ciutadella.

The project was presented under the slogan "Gardens in a city are as lungs to the human body", alluding to the lack of green areas in the Barcelona of the time. Fontserè designed a park of 30 hectares which was used in 1888 as headquarters of the Universal Exhibition.

Since the construction of Parc de la Ciutadella, and from the beginning of the 20th century, the number and size of public green areas in Barcelona has not ceased to grow.

The beginnings

In Barcelona, the creation of public green areas started with the growth of the city after the demolishing of the city walls in 1854. However, the first green public area dates back to 1816: the General's Garden, created by Francisco de Castaños, Governor General of the Principality.

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