Barcelona has treasures that are hidden from street view: these are “Secret Gardens”, a private and peaceful world. From all these oases of peace stands out this historic garden, the Horta Labyrinth, the oldest in Barcelona. Created by the Marquis of Llupià in the 18th century, and pampered by his successors, it is an art craft for the joy in every sense.
In 1791, Joan Antoni Desvalls, Marquess of Llupià, designed together with the architect Domenico Bagutti a neoclassical garden. In the nineteenth century, the architect Elies Rogent expanded the park, adding a romantic garden. In 1967, the Desvalls family gave the land to the City of Barcelona. The garden was opened to the public in 1971 and it is currently one of the few garden museum of Spain. The garden as a form of artistic expression is exceptional because their extreme fragility.
The Horta Labyrinth
Right at the entrance of the Horta Labyrinth Park we can see the ancient palace of the Desvalls family, who has neo-Arab and neo-Gothic style.
As a curiosity it should be noted that there a scene from the movie “Perfume” was filmed. Besides the main labyrinth, there is another one for the children that has the name of Little Labyrinth.
The Horta Labyrinth is formed by two distinct types of gardens that correspond to two generations and ways of thinking opposite: the neoclassical or rationalist and the romantic.
The neoclassical garden symbolizes the way of life and the fundamental theme is love. It is the style of French garden in which nature is ordered and is subject to the architecture. It consists of three levels:
- On the lower level different paths lead to the labyrinth that gives its name to the whole park and is an allegory of youth and the blind pursuit of love. If the visitor gets to the center you will find the statue of Eros.
- At the intermediate level, which rises above the labyrinth, is the Mirador or Belvedere which is dominated by two small temples chaired by the statues of Danae and Ariadne representing the overcoming erotic love for the sublime love.
- On the upper terrace the main element is located, the neoclassical pavilion with an extraordinary view over the whole set symbolizing the upper stage of life, perfect maturity, crowned by a sculpture of Apollo god of the arts, science and beauty. Here we live a unique experience. We will hear the garden and will see his aesthetic through the baroque and romantic music. Here the first headquarters of the School of Fine Arts of Barcelona in the nineteenth century was inaugurated.
And the romantic garden that extends from the pond following the sinuous line of a navigable water channel and a small creek running through forest clearings and ruins with the leitmotif of time passing and death.