The Citadel Park (Ciutadella Park) is a favorite place of recreation for citizens. However, there are many tourists here. The famous Barcelona Zoo is located in the southern part of the Park. You can boating on the lake, there are many decorative trees and shrubs, and museums are located in different parts of the Park.
The name of the Citadel Park is derived from the fortress (Ciutadella), which was built by king Philip IV in the period 1716-1729. He remembered the Reapers` War of the mid-17th century, when the Catalans with the assistance of the French won independence for 10 years and decided to build a powerful fortress in the heart of the city. Its guns were aimed directly at the most populated areas of Barcelona. The artillery on the fortress of Montjuic was too far away.
For the construction of this fortress on the territory of 30 hectares, all buildings were demolished, while Philip IV introduced a special tax to finance the construction. The Catalans hated this fortress, just as the French hated the Bastille. After 150 years, when its military significance was lost, the Spanish authorities gave in to the demands of the Catalans and completely demolished the fortress.
Later, the Ciutadella Park appeared on this place. Several buildings have been preserved from the fortress. Among them is the Baroque building of the Parliament of Catalonia, which used to house the Arsenal. The Governor`s House has also been preserved. It now houses the Institute of the government of Catalonia. Next to them is a Military chapel.
Also for the World Exhibition Expo 1888, new buildings appeared here. At the entrance to the Park is the Castle of Three Dragons. Originally there was a restaurant, and now a Museum of Zoology. The Park is also located the oldest Museum of Geology in Barcelona, opened in 1882.
All visitors pay attention to the wonderful Cascada fountain. It was also built for the World EXPO. The creative group of architects was headed by Joseph Fontsere. It also included the young architect Antonio Gaudi, who was just beginning his career. The fountain is made in the form of a triumphal arch, with a sculpture of the goddess Aurora on the Quadriga. The sculpture is surrounded by many mythical animals.