By Fernando Garcés.
Janus was one of the most popular divinities of ancient Rome. It was present in all doors, roads, bridges and crossings. He was represented with two faces, one to see the past and the other the future. He was worshiped during the festivities that brought some change: marriages, agricultural cycles, declarations of war, etc. Its most characteristic attribute were keys. The first month of the year, January, is a derivation of its name.
Bellesguard is much more related to Janus than it seems at first glance. During Roman times, a fortification, as a toll, controlled from here the access to the Via Augusta that led to Barcino.
On the other hand, the word guarda comes from the Germanic wardja (sentinel or watchman), which means “to follow with sight”, “watch”, “pay attention”. As its name indicates Bellesguard is, at the same time, a place with “beautiful sight” but also a “good shelter”, due to its strategic position. As soon as the visitor climbs onto the terrace of the current building constructed by Gaudí, it is understood the name of the post, spectacular views allow us to dominate the entire landscape of the plain of Barcelona, just as the ancient God Janus would have done.