Parc de la Ciutadella

Passeig de Picasso, Passeig de Pujades, Carrer de Wellington, Passeig Circumval-lacid
Barcelona, Spain

Contributed by Project for Public Spaces

A shady 75-acre park near the old city, laid out in 1873 with flowerbeds, fountains, a lake and waterfalls.

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Why It Works

On Sundays this park is a kind of international "happening" of enormous proportions; overall, itís one of the most intensively used parks weíve ever seen. This makes it a great place to observe public life, as it draws a variety of people from all ages and cultures, who use it in equally varied ways. Ciutadella is a living demonstration of user-friendly design, showcasing all the components needed for a good park. Comparing it with Parc del Diagonal (Hall of Shame) only further confirms how bad the latter is.

History & Background

The park was created from the remnants of a large eighteenth century military fortress built by Philip V. In order to build the barracks, most of the district of Ribera was demolished and the population had to be relocated to a new site near the port. In 1869, the land was seded to the city for conversion to a public park and the resulting area was landscaped by Josep Fonsere.

The park became the site of the 1888 worlds fair and a number of buildings were added, only to be later damaged or destroyed in the Spanish civil war.

The park today is flanked by historical buildings, the Catalan Parliament and museums including the Museum of Modern Art and a Zoo, widely considered to be the best in Spain.

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