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El Carmel - Gracia Neighbourhood
The park was originally planned by Gaudi as a new development for more than 60 luxury single-family residences in an aristocratic city-garden, with the intention to exploit the fresh air (well away from smoky factories) and the beautiful views, and did count with the support of Count Eusebi de Güell. The idea was taken from the English garden city movement. The site was a rocky hill with little vegetation and few trees, called Muntanya Pelada (Bare Mountain). The basic structures for the infrastructure of the future city, the exterior wall, the entrance pavilions, the main stairway, the roadways around the park to service the intended houses, viaducts and bridges, the market area and the big central square, were built in between 1900 and 1914. The idea was to integrate all the elements with the nature.
The plan already included a large country house called Larrard House where the Count Güell moved in 1906 to add prestige to the development. Only two new houses were built, neither designed by Gaudi. One was intended to be a show house, but on being completed in 1904 was put up for sale, and as no buyers came forward Gaudi, at Güell's suggestion, bought it with his savings and moved in with his family in 1906 and lived there till 1925, one year before his death, when he moved to the church he was building “La Sagrada Familia”.
The First World War was coming and the project finally failed. It became a municipality property and a park since 1923.