El Parque del Laberinto de Horta, generally known as the Labyrinth Park is a complex of historic gardens surrounding a former palace belonging to a Catalan noble family, the Desvalls.
The gardens, located near the old palace which houses a library closed to the public, are the oldest preserved gardens of the city and include a neoclassical garden of the eighteenth century and nineteenth-century Romantic garden, clearly differentiated. Scattered throughout the park there are different sculptures related to Greek mythology and lots of fountains and ponds. In addition, there is a neoclassical garden maze that gives the park its name. It is formed of 750 square meters of cypress trees trimmed to the proper height. In the centre of the maze there is a small square with the statue of Eros. Just over the maze there is a small pond which attracts a lot of visitors throwing coins inside it and making wishes. On the upper terrace which is accessed through a central staircase there are two temples with columns in Italian style and figures of two Greek goddesses, Ariane and Danae. Another stairs emerge from this level leading to the third level where a bust of Dionysus welcomes visitors to the neoclassical pavilion. Next to it is a large pond where the water spouts from a sculpture of the nymph Egeria. The rest of the garden is romantic and is composed of parterres and squares, with a waterfall at one end. It is believed that in the garden there are two main themes- 'death' in the romantic part of the garden which seems to be more gloomy and 'love' in the neoclassical part with its amorous symbols.
Works in the gardens were begun in 1791 promoted by Joan Antoni Desvalls i d'Ardenne, Marquis de Llupia and the owner of the land. The neoclassical design of the garden was created by the Marquis himself, in collaboration with the Italian architect Domenico Bagutti. However, the descendants of the Marquis decided to reform and expand the gardens so the task was entrusted to the architect and master builder Elias Rogent.
The gardens, at first private, were given to the City of Barcelona in 1967 and after several reforms were open to the public in 1971. Almost the whole area can be entered except for the palace of unique beauty due to the fusion of Neo-Gothic and Neo-Arab styles, which can only be observed from the outside.
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