Gaudí began this idiosyncratic park in Gràcia as a real-estate venture for his friend and patron, Catalan industrialist Count Eusebi Güell. Although it never came to fruition, Gaudí did complete several public areas, which today look like a surrealist Disneyland, complete with a mosaic-encrusted pagoda and lizard fountain spitting water. (Adults smile and move on, but kids find the fountain fascinating.) The original plans called for a model community of 60 dwellings. Gaudí did construct a grand central plaza with a market below it, and lined the plaza with a long, undulating bench decorated with ceramic fragments. The oddly Doric columns of the would-be market are hollow, part of Gaudí’s drainage system. Despite all this effort, only two houses were ever completed. One of them (designed by Ramón Berenguer, not Gaudí) serves as the Casa-Museu Gaudí ★. The architect lived here from 1906 to 1925, the period during which he worked on La Pedrera and La Sagrada Familia. The museum contains Gaudí models, furniture, drawings, and other memorabilia.
- Frommer's Staff