One of Barcelona Seesights you can´t miss!
Casa Batlló is located in the most important Avenue in Barcelona city back in 1860: Passeig de Gràcia. The original building was designed by Emilio Sala Cortés, one of Gaudi’s architecture teachers in 1877.
Fun fact: at the moment there was still no electricity in Barcelona. Why do we tell about this? Because the way Gaudi thought about it later on and helped to improve the design.
In 1903 the house was bought by Josep Batlló i Casanovas, an important owner of several factories of the textile industry in Barcelona and a prominent businessman.
The main idea, in the beginning, was to demolish the building to the ground, but since we are talking about Antoni Gaudi and we already know he was a genius he ditched this idea and made a full reform of the initial concept. Starting with the facade and finishing with the interior of the patio.
Casa Batlló was built in a block where other renowned architects had built other magnificent houses for people that were part of this new bourgeoisie rising up in Catalunya. And because of this fact, this part was known as “La Manzana de la Discordia” which means “The Apple of Discord”. Most of these projects were competing for the City Hall Urban Awards (I´ve just translated this and it seems like a music event back in the ´00s).
The whole fantasy that sorrounds Casa Batlló has a perfect explanation: Gaudi was inspired by the legend of Sant Jordi, a brave knight who saved a princess to be devoured by a dragon.
The rooftop has the shape of the back of a dragon with the tiles in a scales shape, in the front part of the building, there are some elements that recall to the legend as the bones of the victims in the balconies with a mask shape and the main window. It´s remarkable how something a bit bizarre can become a piece of modernist architecture and even art! Also, a balcony that represents the princess and Gaudi’s famous four arms cross representing Sant Jordi´s sword. The interior of the house has other parts of the dragon such as the tail and the rib cage. He was all over the fantasy.
Casa Batlló Nowadays:
Back in the ’50s, the house was no longer property of the Batlló family, it passed from different owners until the ’90s that was purchased by the Bernat family which are the current owners.
In 1995 was opened to the public for events and in 2002 was able to receive cultural visitors.
Since it is an important attraction, not only for tourists in Barcelona but architecturally, in 2005 it was declared Unesco Heritage and it receives more than 1 million visitors every year.
To me is one of the most beautiful sites in Barcelona.
Your curiosity can be satisfied with our tour, go go go go and check it out!
I hope you´ve enjoyed this article as much as I did sharing with you what I´ve learned and what I´ve seen!
See you in my next post!