What to visit / Barcelona, district by district / Ciutat Vella / Parc de la Ciutadella / The lady with the umbrella

The lady with the umbrella

The lady with the umbrella is a symbol of the Parc de la Ciutadella and Barcelona Zoo. For many, it also represents a childhood memory of the most beautiful Barcelona lady of them all. Few people can fail to be captivated when they look at this enigmatic, anonymous figure in her period costume who delicately puts out her hand?.

She looks as if she might start talking to us at any moment, and invite us to take her hand and stroll with her through the park gardens. Or perhaps she's just putting out her hand to check if it's still raining. What is certain is that the lady with the umbrella has become a symbol of the park and Barcelona itself.

Standing on the top of an ornamental fountain designed by Josep Fontseré, the marble sculpture was created by Roig Soler to decorate the grounds of the 1888 Universal Exhibition held in the Parc de la Ciutadella. It depicts a lady dressed in the fashions of 1888. She is holding a cloth umbrella which seems to be dripping with water, and tilts her head slightly forward while extending her hand. There can be no doubt that she represents the typical bourgeois lady of the time from one of the families who held social and economic power during the second half of the 19th century. The lady, with her attentive gaze, stands atop the fountain plinth, and watches young and old alike from her vantage point: the entrance to the Zoo. Time has stood still for her.

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