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Photo by Angelo Cavalli/ age fotostock
It’s one of the most recognizable facades on Passeig de Gràcia: a modernist fantasy of undulating stone, brightly colored mosaics, and stained glass—one that could only come from the mind of famed Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. Designed in 1904 as a home for local industrialist Josep Batlló, the building pays homage to the legendary tale of Saint George and the Dragon. The balconies are reminiscent of skulls, and exterior columns look like bones—recalling the dragon’s human victims—while the roof’s arched shape and scale-like tiles mimic the dragon itself. The interior is just as fantastical, all sinuous lines and curving forms. To avoid the crush, try going first thing on a weekday morning, or shell out a bit extra for a Fast Pass timed ticket online (28.5 euros, or about $37—5 euros more than regular admission).
By Jennifer Ceaser, AFAR Local Expert
Antoni Gaudi architecture is very unique. The Barcelona architect has several buildings which are listed as Unesco World Heritage sites, including the Casa Batllo. Part of the modernisme movement in the late 19th and early 20th century, Gaudi took inspiration from nature. This house takes its cues from bones. The emtry staircase looks like a spinal column, and this hallway was inspired by a ribcage. Definitely worth a visit and make sure to go all the way up to the rooftop for stunning views. http://www.casabatllo.es/en/history/casa-batllo/gaudi-work-art/
By Liz Galpin
The most magical house of Gaudí
It is not a very original recommendation but it's a must-see if you come to Barcelona. I suggested a friend to visit it while he was in Barcelona without adding any coment. After his visit, he asked me why I had not told him how great this was going to be. Everything is fabulous in this house from the ground level to the roof terrace. Everything is very well thought-out and very beautiful. Gaudí was definitly an avant-gardist.
Gaudi On A Shoestring
Barcelona isn't a cheap city to visit, but a stroll down the Passeig de Gracia is absolutely free. Take in a wide angle view of the facades of Casa Battlo and Casa Amattler from across the street, then cross over and gawk at the crazy colors and textures up close. Just a block away Casa Mila is just as spectacular. Hotels on the avenue are pricey, so find a centrally located family run hostal (I liked Hostal Goya) and save your money for some awesome seafood feasts. Try Tapas 24, just steps away.
Wonders of nature paired perfectly with Gaudi
A magnificent moment to step onto the rooftop of Casa Batllo and witness the beauty of Mother Nature so perfectly with Gaudi visions.
Antoni Gaudi was a man who couldn't draw a straight line - thankfully! His use of flowing organic lines and shapes is fun and unexpected! Roaming freely through every level of this house it is important to pay attention to all the small details which he undoubtedly put a lot of thought into. Designing doorknobs, drawer pulls and furniture with ergonomics in mind put his well ahead of his time! He was clearly not afraid of color and used a variety of materials in a rainbow of colors to make you feel like you're inside a kaleidoscope.
Sidewalk in the Manzana de la Discordia
The architecture in Barcelona boggles the mind. After just moments in the city you find yourself with a well-deserved neck cramp from looking up at all the amzing buildings. Give yourslef a break occassionally and look down and you will find beauty in the places like this sidewalk near Casa Batllo in the chic Gracia shopping area or at the base of the wonderous columns of the Sagrada Familia.
How I wish I lived in a house designed by Gaudí! The details are exquisite.
See the master of Modernisme's most iconic buildings
Antoni Gaudi’s creative architecture is scattered throughout Catalonia, but Barcelona has the best examples of his genius at work. Former residences of upper-class families, La Pedrera and Casa Batlló have their fair share of intricate wrought iron balconies, and striking mosaic work to catch the eye, but can’t compare with Gaudi’s imposing, and to date unfinished Catholic temple, Sagrada Familia. At minimum take a tour of one—we recommend making the time for all three. Casa Batlló Passeig de Gràcia, 43, 08007, Barcelona Sagrada Familia Carrer de Mallorca, 401, 08013, Barcelona La Pedrera (Casa Milà) Provença, 261-265 08008, Barcelona
By Chris Ciolli, AFAR Local Expert
Passeig de Gràcia, 43, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
+34 932 16 03 06
Sun - Sat 9am - 9pm