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In the laps of Barcelona, the vibrant capital of Catalonia, rests a luxuriously delightful park. The Parc de la Ciutadella enjoys a prime position in the center of the city. The Cascada, a Baroque monument, features a triumphal arch surrounded by fountains and a stunning waterfall. The park also boasts of two museums, the Barcelona Zoo, lovely sculptures, and a building where the Catalan Parliament sits.

This grand 70 acre park is a sought after destination, beloved by both locals and visitors. In the fast-paced city of Barcelona, the Parc de la Ciutadella  provides a wholly relaxing retreat.

The origins of this park are rather dark as it’s a consequence of the Catalan defeat to the Spanish troops invading the city in 1714. In order to maintain control over the city, and to prevent the Catalans from rebelling as they had in the previous century, Spanish King Philip V built a citadel, at that time the largest fortress in Europe. A substantial part of the district it was constructed in (La Ribera) was destroyed to obtain the necessary space, leaving its inhabitants homeless. The fortress was characterized by having five corners, which gave the citadel defensive power, and by a rather wide surrounding margin, serving as location for the army’s cannons. It included enough buildings to house 8,000 people. Hundreds of Catalans were forced to work on the construction for three years, while the rest of the city was forced to provide financial backing for this and for warfare-related expenses as well, with a new tax named el cadastre.

More information:

Parc de la Ciutadella fact file

Other videos:

Relaxing at La Ciutadella
A view of the park in more detail

Video: © Jessica Bowler

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