"The dragon" by Gaudi, before 2007 vandalism! (Explore)
Park Güell (Catalan: Parc Güell [ˈparɡ ˈɡweʎ]) is a garden complex with architectural elements situated on the hill of El Carmel in the Gràcia district of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It was designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and built in the years 1900 to 1914. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Works of Antoni Gaudí.
"The dragon" of the fountain has become emblematic of Gaudi and even the city itself. The large mosaic creature can be found sliding down and separating the grand steps at the entrance to Parc Guell, Gaudi´s playful park just above the Gracia area of the city.
The dragon seems to be guarding the park and is representative of the magical characteristics of Gaudi’s work. He loved nature and geometry, creating many designs influenced by nature, such as trees, lizards, bones, and dragons. Nature he once said was “the great book, always open, that we should force ourselves to read.”
The colour and trencadis used on the dragon is also typical of Gaudi. Trencadis is a decorative form, consisting of smashing up ceramics and putting them back together in a pattern. The water trickling out of its mouth is part of an amazing system collecting 2,600 gallons of water that is stored and collected from the rainy months.