Stage 7: The Royal Palace of Pedralbes

The gardens of the Royal Palace at

Pedralbes* (Barcelona) 1925-1927 By Nicolau M. Rubió i Tudurí

Ver mapa más grande

Estimated time from Turó Park to Royal Palace of Pedralbes: 14 minutes with trambaix




Head Architect of the Barcelona Public Parks

Barcelona can offer a new monument to the curiosity of those who visit her: the Royal Palace at Pedralbes. Above all, the gardens which belong to it can be easily visited since the Corporation has obtained, as a concession from the Royal Household, the power to give invitations so that the public might visit them. In a sense, then, the Palace park will be o a semi-public nature, as are royal parks elsewhere, and at least in this sense, it is of interest to the readers of our journal. It is not the responsibility of the author of this e     article to criticize the gardens in question either favorably or unfavorably. He will limit himself, therefore, to describing them as far as is necessary in jo    order to clarify what the accompanying plan states in he   graphical terms. The gardens look on to the Avenue of Alfonso XIII, where the wide road opens out in the shape of vast lawns, they benefit from the gentle, pun air which appears to be a privilege of the slopes of the mountain of St. Peter the Martyr. During the fast planting of the greater part of the palace gardens, carried out in the months of April and May in 1925, it was curious to see how the people who were involved in the task, instead of fleeing from the place when lunchtime arrived, as is customary, they remained behind to enjoy the air and peace which;      then invaded the park. A major part of the qualities which these gardens may be considered to possess must be attributed to the charm of the environment in Pedralbes where a little “atmospheric miracle”, so to speak, seems to take place, exceptionally pleasant, even taking into consideration the generally pleasant climate in Barcelona. The area covered by the park is approximately in    seven and a half hectares, of which almost seven are not built on. It contains a large number of old trees which existed in the old Güell garden, on which the       new one was traced, which the reader can see in the map. The adaptation of a previous estate to a new garden project constitutes a delicate operation and one which requires long, detailed studies.
All the interesting trees must be respected and for a friend of plants there will be few that will not be considered worthy of interest. At the same time, in the garden of the Pedralbes Palace, it was essential to order the layout on geometrical lines, especially in the parts which might be considered ceremonial, destined to be seen by people going to the Palace on reception days or festive occasions.
These geometrical pieces are mainly constituted by the main axis in the garden, the Lime Tree Walk with a grassy area or central carpet, by the transverse axis, with lime trees also planted there, and by the walks and flowerbeds which are closely related to these axes.
But apart from the gardens on a large scale, laid out with a decorative geometry in mind, the Park of the Royal Palace at Pedralbes contains a series of retreats, of “scenes”, as the Marquis of Girardin and the lovers of the pictorial garden would refer to them in the eighteenth century. The old lesson of Louis XIV and of his successors to the French Crown, is too hard to be forgotten. Tired of contemplating the montonous geometry of their superb gardens, they would take refuge in tiny niches in the landscape like the “Petit Trianon”. The Tennis Pavilion, hidden among the trees, has a familiar air, with retreats similar to the French parks; in another spot, a great pine tree, planted in the middle of a lawn, provides the setting for a row of cypress tress and statues of the Italian garden style. Moreover, the gardens also have a pond with aquatic plants, a shaded place for plants, a garden of boxwood shaped into figures, a coomb shaded by large trees, etc.
A project concerned with planting collections of interesting plants from time to time in the Park of the Royal Palace at Pedralbes is under study, so that those who are fond of gardens can find an example in them. These plantings would be of great use to the city and would no doubt attract a large number of visitors.
(*) Pamphlet belonging to the Revista Nacional de Horticultura, Year V, nº 14, January 1927.


Pieces from the fountain-cascade which rests on the lawn ramps. The whole rises on what used to be wheat fields.
2.            The park boundaries fuse with the vegetation creating a sense of continuity.
3.            A shaded place for plants created by Antoni Gaudi when he took part in the alterations to the Palace, the old Giiell property (1884-1887).
4.            A carpet of ivy under the old avenue of lime trees.
5.            Apollo rises above the double wall of greenery in this niche which contains clear “noucentista” references.
6.            The allusions to Granada are latent in the setting-out of the flowerpots which surround the pond, in front of the Palace.
7.            “The main charms of these gardens come from a “je ne sais quoi” around them, from the air and the light, which the gardening work has been extremely fortunate in preserving.” (Rubió)