Just a few years back, Parc de l’Laberint d’Horta was hardly ever mentioned in travel guides and only the most curious tourists would enter through the park’s wrought-iron gates. The oldest park in the city, featuring luxuriant gardens and hedge maze (hence the name), Parc de l’Laberint remained a hidden gem of the Horta-Guinardó district until 2006, when it was popularized after the movie Perfume: The Story of a Murderer aired in theatres. One of the picture’s dramatic scenes was shot in the park’s maze – and now, discovered by thousands of international travelers, and also rediscovered by the local community, the park does not seem to have a lack of visitors anymore.
The original design was created in 1792 by the state’s owner Joan Desvalls, the Marquis of Llupià and Alfarràs, and Italian architect Domenico Bagutti. The result of their collaboration was a neoclassical garden, with cypress trees forming the maze, sculptures depicting characters of Greek mythology, and a large pond on the upper terrace. Over the years the members of the Desvalls dynasty sought to expand the park – in the 19th century Catalan architect Elies Rogent, commissioned to execute the job, had designed a romantic garden; and the park now starred plump flower beds, belvederes, a small waterfall and countless trees. With decorations so lush, Parc de l’Laberint had instantly caught the admiration of Barcelona’s elite, and became a popular venue for cultural and entertainment events. It remained in the ownership of the Desvalls until the 1967 – when it was given to the city as a gift, and opened to the public a few years later.
Marquis himself and his descendants lived in the Neo-Gothic mansion next to the entrance of the park. Close nearby, Torre Soberana is another highlight of the visit – constructed as early as in the 14th century, the tower ever since was redesigned and now presents a fine example of Neo-Arabesque style.
Metro: Mundet (line 3)
Bus lines: 27, 60, 73 and 76