This 75 acre park in the centre of Barcelona was created for the purpose of nature, recreation and culture, and is a good place to spend an afternoon, with plenty to see and do.
The landscaped gardens are home to the Barcelona city zoo, the Catalonia Parliament and the museums of zoology, natural history and modern art. There is also a boating lake and large ornamental fountain. It occupies the site of an old military fortress, a star-shaped ciutadella, built by Philip V in 1716 to protect the city.
He ordered its construction in 1714 during the war of the Spanish Succession after Barcelona fell to him following a lengthy siege. The largest fortress in Europe, it replaced a large swathe of residential buildings in the Ribera district, which were demolished for this purpose. It was partly dismantled under the Junta de Vigilancia in 1841, restored in 1843 and eventually turned over to the city by Catalan general Joan Prim in 1868.
The area’s conversion to a city park began in 1872. It was later designated as a site of the 1888 Universal Exhibition, and several new buildings were constructed, including the Castell dels Tres Dragons, which now houses the Museu de Zoologia. The citadel itself was destroyed in 1888, with just the Governor’s palace, chapel and arsenal – now home to the Catalan Parliament.
When in Barcelona make sure to save some time and come to the Parc de la Ciutadella. Take lots of photos and soak in the wonderful Spanish culture. This is definite must-see tourist destination.