A short walk from the Arc de Triomf is the Parc de la Ciutadella, which had stuck in my mind from my last Barcelona trip a few years back because of its gorgeous fountain…
Luckily we had chosen a stunning sunny day to visit, so we could see the park at its best. The area where the fountain is feels like a refreshing oasis right in the centre of the city.
There is more to the Parc de la Ciutadella than just the fountain; it contains a zoo, the Parliament of Catalonia, a lake and some museums. However, the fountain is my favourite, so I have included a lot of photos of that 😉
The fountain, which is called ‘La Cascada’ was designed by the architect Josep Fontsère and possibly helped out by the young Gaudí who made some additions of his own (although this hasn’t been proven).
After almost ten years of construction, it was put on display for the Barcelona Universal Exhibition in 1888.
It is a fabulous thing spanning two levels, and covered with various statues and sculptures. The sculpture collection in the centre is called ‘The Birth of Venus’.
Looking down, you can see griffin sculptures around the two-tiered pool, and can get a view of the rest of the rest park.
At the top of the fountain is this area with an ‘Aquarium’ door that doesn’t open – I’m not entirely sure what that’s about.
The aquarium door is flanked by two lizard medallion sculptures.
Turning around, you can see the back of ‘The Birth of Venus’ sculpture, and two golden bird sculptures; I like to think they are phoenixes but perhaps I’ve just been reading too much Harry Potter recently!
The golden sculpture on top of La Cascada is called ‘Quadriga de l’Aurora’ (‘Golden Chariot’) and is made of cast iron. Apparently it used to be coated with a fine layer of gold but I doubt this is the case anymore – it’s probably painted.
If you are in Barcelona, definitely visit the Parc de la Ciutadella for the fountain alone. The rest of the park is also wonderful, and perfect for a picnic on a warm day.