Casa Batllo

Casa Batlló

Each and every Gaudi masterpiece is so unique and vivid that your imagination burst with nature inspired associations such as animals and plants, which were the source of Gaudi’s ideas and vision. Walking from Plaça de Catalunya to Passeig de Gracia your attention will be drawn to another dragon which is the architect’s emblematic one – whole Casa Batlló building reminds of a colossal serpent slayed by Saint George, patron of Catalonia. The unusual roof tower is the victor’s sword, while multicolor tile facade it the serpent’s skin and windows and balconies decorated by "bones" stand for its victims. That’s why the second name of the house is Casa del Ossos, i. e. House of Bones.

An unremarkable building apartment was built here in the 1870s. In the early 20th century it was purchased by a wealthy textile tycoon Josep Batllo i Casanovas who was willing to renovate it. No wonder, taken into account that in close proximity there are modernist Casa Lleo Morera and Casa Amatller, which constitute a part of the so-called Illa de la Discordia ("Block of Discord") – such an unusual name originated from its eclectic architectural palette. Batllo offered the project to Antoni Gaudi who decided to demolish the building but to completely reconstruct it, a plan which was implemented between 1904 and 1906.

He left intact the side walls and the basic lay-out and designed some new facades (the external and the one overlooking the inner side of the quarter) made from chipped stone taken from the hill of Montjuic. Gaudi also redesigned the ground floor, the upper floor, added a basement, attic, stepped roof. He also thoroughly planned the interior details, as well as furniture design for several rooms which notable for having almost no right angles which creates an effect of infinity of lines. Gaudi used that technique later during the construction of Casa Mila, located nearby in Passeig de Gracia.

Another interesting innovative technique was implemented in the skylight – not only the tiles here change their color from white blue to azure gradually as you go upstairs, but the windows are also getting smaller in the same direction which provides for greater lighting and ventilation. Glass, ceramics, glazed pottery, tiles, stained glass windows for this amazing house were made by the best craftsmen of the time, including Josep Maria Jujol, a prominent architect and Gaudi’s companion. At the evening the illumination only adds to the magic effect of the house that virtually comes to life and you start to feel that the dragon is taking his breath for the final attack. But in that fight the good wins, then comes the morning and Casa Batllo continues to amaze the endless crowds on the sidewalks in which people gaze at this marvelous architectural masterpiece willing to get inside and unravel its secrets.

Address: Passeig de Gràcia, 43
Opening hours: daily 9 am – 9 pm (entry till 8 pm)
How to reach: metro Catalunya, Passeig de Gràcia, Diagonal
Coordinates: 41.391612, 2.16497