The city of Barcelona Council plans to charge an entry fee to access the historic area of the Güell Park built by Antonio Gaudí from autumn with an exception for residents in the Catalan capital, with a suggested cost above five euros, and which still has to be set, explained the councilor for the district of Gràcia Maite Fandos.
The Catalan capital is designing a system to sell tickets in advance, so if you come to visit without a ticket you may only get to see the park if there are spare tickets available. Also, fitting in with the style of tickets for other important monuments in the city such as the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia, you should choose one of the determined visiting hours, too.
The fact that local people can enter without paying must still be guaranteed legally as European legislation prevents discrimination between European citizens. And while the residents of adjoining neighborhoods presents no problems, the City is arguing for the right of way and public park. “We will not do anything that can’t be done,” assured the councilor, who has also justified that free entry is restricted to residents of the city, and do not apply to all Catalans, because it’s the locals who end up being the ones who contribute to the municipal coffers in taxes.
According to data from when the city first tried to bring about entrance fees, it was found that in the previous term of 2008-11, 86% of visitors were tourists and 14% living in Barcelona, with half of them residents of the neighborhoods of Penitents, Vallcarca, La Salut, Carmel and Teixonera.
The Barcelona City Council wants to spend what it gets from the entrance fees to maintain the park, the historic area, the forest and environment, since the wear and tear of the park “does not have to be sponsored by the city of Barcelona,” according Fandos, who is also deputy Mayor of Calidad de Vida or Quality of Life.
I don’t know what to make of this really as Antonio Gaudí originally donated the park to the city of Barcelona. The park was meant to be enjoyed by its people and its visitors.
I think that charging around 5 euros to visit a park, albeit a very beautiful park is verging on greed by the city of Barcelona.
I know that small districts like Gràcia where the park resides are under the kosh due to the economic crisis in Spain but this is just too much.
I wouldn’t expect Gaudí to be too pleased if he ever found out that his gift to the city of Barcelona was just another tourist attraction.