History of the Ciutadella Park
The Parc de la Ciutadella (The Citadel Park) is the main park of Barcelona, which also includes the Catalan Parliament, the zoo and the museums of zoology and geology. The park is situated in the eastern side of the city, El Born quarter, a few minutes walk from the Gothic quarter (Barri Gotic).
In the past, it was a fortress built by Philip V to protect the city during the War of the Spanish Succession. Since the citadel was not manned usually it has become a prison, and also a symbol of oppression in Barcelona. It symbolized the suppression of the city and the Catalan nation until the city’s resurgence in the 19th century (for additional information – History of Barcelona).
As soon as the Catalans regained autonomy in the 19th century, the fortress turned from a symbol of oppression to a symbol of renewed national revival. The citadel building was converted into the Catalan parliament, the prison structure was changed into a beautiful fountain, and the fortress gardens were replaced by a huge park that includes museums and a zoo. There is no entry fee to the park.
What do you see in the Ciutadella Park?
The park offers a large, impressive fountain (Ciutadella Park Cascade) that combines white marble, bushes and gold ornaments. On the marvelous design in charge no other than Gaudi. This fountain is a very special one, and would be very interesting even for those who have seen fountains before.
In the park, you can find special sculptures, a lake where boats can be rented for a family cruise and many water birds around the lake.
The zoo is located in the western part of the Park. Among the attractions, you could find tropical birds, giraffes, ant bears, hippos and felines.