I know, my puns are getting worse, but still, this is a place you NEED to check out next time you’re lucky enough to be spending some time in Barcelona. Located northern in the district of Horta, away from all that hustle and bustle of central Barcelona , lies one of the city’s little gems. Beautiful, peaceful, relaxing and cheap. I cannot recommend the Parc del Laberint highly enough, it is a fantastic place to spend a few hours.
Parc del Laberint, Barcelona
Built around 1791, the Parc del Laberint is said to be Barcelona‘s oldest park, well two parks actually – there is one original neoclassical style park, and one newer romantic style park.
Located in the former estate of the Desvalls family, works began in 1791 when marquis (a title referring to a duke or nobleman) Antoni Desvalls, owner of the land created the design of a love themed neoclassical garden in collaboration with Italian architect Domenico Bagutti. The Romantic garden was added in the 19th Century, and in 1994 a full redevelopment of the site was undertaken so that today you and I can both wander around this most beautiful of gardens.
A visit to the parks grounds starts outside Desvalls family Palace, however you are not actually allowed inside. Its a look but don’t touch kind of thing. That said, it is glorious to look at, and you can easily understand how the Desvalls estate came to be a central venue for any number of high class social and cultural events. Basically a place for the Catalan elite.
The Laberint (Labyrinth)
So to the Laberint within the Parc del Laberint, the magnificent maze, or Labyrinth – Labyrinth sounds way cool right? You’ll find the winding corridors of green in the the neoclassical garden, towered over by two separate pavilions, and adorned with all sort of statues, sculptures and fountains based upon Greek mythology.
Made of cypress hedges, the Labyrinth stretches some 750 meteres in length, and its walls a roughly 2 metres tall.
I won’t admit to being too told to run through the maze, and truth be told I was especially keen having long been a fan of Greek mythology and having also just finished the Maze Runner book series. Lucky for me, there were no reapers or minotors within this Labyrinth. What I did find was a ruddy good time, and a statue at the centre of the maze depicting either Eros or Cupid – I’m unsure which, and there doesnt seem to be a definitive answer from looking online. Most likely its Eros though, owing to Eros being a Greek God, and most of the other statues and sculptures in the park being based around Greek mythology too.
Standing almost directly above the labyrinth are two large pavilions with statues of the Danaë (mother of Perseus) and Ariadne (mistress of the Labyrinth) and beside the stairs leading up to the garden’s highest point stands a statue of Dionysus, the God of wine. My girlfriends most favourite of all the gods, hence her beating me up the stairs.
At the very top of the giant stair case we made it to a third and final pavilion, this one, dedicated to the nine Muses. Behind that pavilion building we were able to follow a stone pathway around a large, reflective pond structure, to just one more sculpture located right at the very rear of the pond and containing a fountain of its own. This sculpture is of the nymph Egeria.
I’m not sure there could be any argument against the Parc del Laberint also passing for some kind of museum at this point.
Moving on to the Romantic garden, we only spent a few short minutes here owing to our need to run and catch a flight home, but within that time we were able to enjoy a few small canals, bridges, waterfalls, and a spot of wildlife. I believe that, much like the pond in the neoclassical garden, the canals within the romantic garden act as a clever source of irrigation.
Where? How much? When?
- Nearest metro station: Mundet (L3)
- Admission: €2.17 per person
- Open Days: Monday – Sunday
- Open Times: 10Am – variable (depending upon season)
- Wheelchair accessible
- Guided tours available
Wednesdays and Sundays are what you should aim for in your can, as admission is free! – perfect if you’re visiting Barcelona on a budget.
This post is bought to you by www.apartmentbarcelona.com, a provider of both long and short-term apartment rentals in and around Barcelona, including the Horta-Guinardó area, as well as the city centre and beach.