Set on the slopes of the scenic Carmen Hill in Catalonia, Park Guell is a gorgeous spread of gardens and architectural creations. Park Guell was designed by the renowned Catalonian architect, Antoni Gaudi, who created a series of animal structures throughout the park. One of his most famous creations is the Park Guell Lizard, fondly known as El Drac, meaning ‘the dragon.’
One of the most popular highlights inside Park Guell is its colorful guardian, El Drac. While his name makes him sound like a scary Spanish mobster, El Drac, this mosaic creature is a park favorite. Almost everyone who visits do not miss out on taking a picture or selfie with the iconic Park Guell Lizard. During peak hours, you might even end up waiting a while to get your picture with El Drac.
The Lizard was made in collaboration with Joseph Maria Jujo, using broken shards of mosaic tiles, a style known as trencadís, which Gaudí helped to pioneer. The mosaic tiles gives the salamander its colorful scales. You’ll notice different colors, shapes, and sizes of the shards, laid asymmetrically - a style you’ll notice throughout the park.
The stairway is hard to miss. Rising from the entrance esplanade, are two enormous white staircases with a magnificent scaly balustrade and numerous little nooks of shrubbery, flower beds, and trickling dragon fountains around it. The stairway is surrounded by two walls with merlons that form terraces. Under this, there are two grottos. The one to the right was used as a waiting shelter.
On the first landing, you will find some creatures like goblins. Halfway through, on the second landing, you will find the emblem of Catalonia. Further, up, you will find the Park Guell dragon or salamander that has grown into a defining icon of Park Güell history, as well as a symbol of Barcelona. On the last flight of steps, sheltered by the hypostyle room, is an Odeon, a Greek-theatre-shaped bench.
Gaudi’s love for nature translated into the creation of a beautiful range of animal structures at Park Guell. Using colorful mosaics, he has managed to give the animals a life-like appearance.
Snake: Owing to his Catalan roots, Gaudi created a decorative entrance at Park Guell with a colorful snake surrounded by the Catalan flag. Many believe that the snake represents Nejustan, the snake on the staff of Moses.
Lion: A line of lion heads is built outside the balcony, acting as a drainage system for the balcony itself.
Octopus: There is a huge Octopus at the center of the Hypostyle Room on its ceiling. It is meant to represent the water system that spreads through the inside of the roof.
A. The Lizard at Park Guell, popularly known as "el drac" (the dragon),is located on the stairway at the entrance.
A. The Park Guell Lizard is also known as “El Drac”, which means, The Dragon, and as the Salamader.
A. You can find a lion, snake and even an octopus created by Antoni Gaudi at Park Guell.
A. Barcelona is a city that is home to over 400 dragons, as the animal alludes to the legend of Saint George, who is the patron saint of Catalonia. Of all these dragons, the dragon at Park Güell is the most photographed and world-renowned, most likely because of the unique trencadis style.