Mass tourism is damaging the Park Güell. Thousands of people enter here daily without any form of control. The increased volume of visits is due to the Tourist Bus service, the principal means of transport by which tourists are transferred to this part of the city. Visitors continually disembark from the bus, and then move like a procession up the street that grants access to the park and they freely enter the grounds.
Then, the majority of them wander aimlessly about; some impatiently wait their turn to climb upon the lizard that greets them or take a photo in the main square’s viewing point. The most impudent even improvise football matches between the magnificent columns, using them as goalposts.
At the end of the tour, they buy the typical souvenir in one of the neighbourhood’s specialist shops with which to remember Gaudi’s work and then they return to the Tourist Bus stop.
What a sad sight for one of the largest architectural works in Southern Europe, declared a World Heritage site by Unesco in 1994.