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A visit to the Barcelona Park and the Cascade Fountain

By Paulina Sánchez |

Visit the Cascade Fountain at Parc de la Ciutadella, in Barcelona, and discover an extraordinary art work of famous artists like Gaudi, Vallmitjana and Nobas.

Barcelona is water, movement, life. Its wavy buildings and springing fountains are proof of this. If you want to see one of its most perfect spots of the city and Spain, go to Parc de la Ciutadella. There, locals and visitors practice sports, relax and enjoy a good time before the Monumental Cascade Fountain.

Origins of the Parc de la Ciutadella

Around the 18th century, Barcelona was conquered by King Phillip V. In order to keep an eye on the city, he built the biggest citadel in Europe at the time. It was shaped like a star. Symbolically, one could say that it represents the star that enlightened this place’s destiny. In the end, its original use as a military fortress was transformed when it became a magnificent park. Truthfully, it’s not just any park of Spain. The Parc de la Ciutadella was designed in the likeness of the Luxembourg Garden of Paris by Josep Fontserè i Mestre. You might know him from the construction of the famous Borne Market. The park spans over 17.42 hectares and Fontserè used them the best way possible. For this reason, in 1951 the park was declared a Historic-Artistic Monument of Catalan Heritage. Also, it was listed as Bien de Interés Cultural (BIC).

Universal Exhibit of Barcelona

DINKtravelers, as your world travel guide, invites you to visit this great tourist attraction located in the Ciutat Vella district of Barcelona. Above all, head to the lake sprinkled with islets located in one of its corners. This jewel of the Parc de la Ciutadella is the Cascada Monumental (Cascade Fountain). It was built as part of the celebrations for the Universal Exhibit of 1888. Its author was also Josep Fontserè. When he carried out the urbanization of the park, he did so under the slogan “gardens are to cities what the lungs are to the human body”. Nevertheless, he forgot to add that aesthetic enjoyment produces that same exhilarating effect in the soul. In order to prove this, you just need to see it materialized in the Cascade Fountain.

Design of the Cascade Fountain

In Barcelona, the brilliant colors of modernism and the dynamism of cosmopolitan life are abundant. However, the Cascade Fountain is sober and inspires contemplation. Above all, it promotes a moving experience that confronts the viewer with a scene full of classical mythology. Also, it promotes relaxation as it’s fused into an uncorrupted silence disturbed only by the sound of springing water. What’s more, its location across an ample terrace offers a perfect framing for a wide angle camera lens. In order to have a better view, take the picture from the former Musicians Kiosk, now known as the Kiosk of the Transexual Sonia. This new name was established in memory of Sonia Rescalvo Zafra. Actually, when you find yourself there, take a moment to remember that diversity is what makes this world so beautiful.

[Agregar foto de la Glorieta de los Músico o de la Transsexual Sonia]

Sculptures of the Cascade Fountain

Some of the most iconic 19th century sculptors participated in the park’s construction. Among them, we can mention Rossend Nobas, author of The Chariot of Aurora. This sculpture was forged in iron and it’s found atop the cascade.

On the other hand, Venanci Vallmitjana created The Birth of Venus. This is the main work of the cascade and it was elaborated in stone. Josep Gamot authored Amphitrite while Manel Fuxà created Neptune and Leda. Finally, Rafael Atché elaborated the Gryphons. Even Antoni Gaudí took part in this project. The young Gaudí was in charge of the hydraulic project and of the grotto located underneath the cascade.

Main Tourist Attractions in Parc de la Ciutadella

It is true that the Parc de la Ciutadella is huge. In fact, it’s like a huge open-air art gallery. One of the most representative sculptures you’ll find there is the Monument to General Prim by Frederic Marés. Also, don’t miss the Monument for the Centenary of the Exhibit by Antoni Clavé or the amusing Mammoth by Miquel Dalmau. Likewise, the Parc de la Ciutadella is home to the Barcelona Zoo and it houses hundreds of plant species that create a very rich landscape. But beyond all that, the Cascade Fountain, with its mythological representations and grand lateral stairways that embrace the scene, is in itself a destination and a landscape.

How to get to the Parc de la Ciutadella

When you visit the Cascade Fountain, allow anticipation to build beforehand. You can get to the park by taking the subway L4 yellow line to Ciutadella Vila Olimpica or Jaume I stations. Nevertheless, we recommend taking the L1 Red line to Arc de Triomf. There, you can enjoy the imposing view of the Triumphal Arch in Barcelona. Cross underneath it towards Passeig Lluís Companys. As you continue walking ahead,  you’ll see the Pere Vila school and the Palau de Justicia (Justice Hall). At the end of this pathway you’ll come across the main entrance of the Parc de la Ciutadella. Then, after crossing the gates you’ll find the Castell dels Tres Dragons at your right. It’s a modernist building created by Lluís Doménech. Take the second road to your left and brace yourself… you are a few steps away from the gods’ abode.

[Agregar forto de Castell dels Tres Dragons]