The Ciutadella Park


The Ciutadella Park is located near the port, in the Ribera district. It started out as a fortress in 1714 when Philip V became the first Bourbon king and his man the Duke of Berwick ordered its construction.  In 1869 it was decided to turn it into a park and the fortress was demolished. The park was going to be used for the Universal Exhibition of 1888. The architects of the park were Josep Fontsere and Elies Rogent. The gardens were the work of the French landscape architect Jean-Claude Nicolas Forestier. The park has the former Arsenal, which is now the Catalan Parliament building. There is a spectacular and monumental waterfall, called the Cascada, that was designed by Fontsere with the help of a student called Gaudi. The cascading waterfall has sculptures of horses and winged dragons. The backdrop of the fountain is a triumphal arch that is topped with a sculpture of a manned chariot of four horses. All of these are in the Baroque style. 

There is a large lake, a big outdoor stone sculpture of a mammoth, and many sculptures by 19th and 20th century Catalan sculptors. One of these sculptures is of a woman in distress and is called Desconsol, created by Josep Llimona. This sculpture stands in a pool in front of the Catalan Parliament. The Barcelona Zoo is in the park too. A building that was built for the 1888 Exhibition is the Castle of the Three Dragons, now the Zoological Museum, a work of Lluis Domenech i Montaner. Another building is the Geology Museum, in a Neo-classic building. Just outside the park is the Arch of Triumph, which was the entrance to the 1888 Exhibition. This is done in red brick and looks like a Mudejar construction by architect Josep Vilaseca. The top has a beautiful frieze done by Josep Limona and has winged angels.