One of Gaudí´s master pieces is certainly Casa Batlló – a residential building at the magnificent boulevard, Passeig de Gràcia, in the Eixample district of Barcelona.
Bought in 1900 by industrialist, Josep Batlló, Gaudí was contracted to refurbish the building in 1904. Batlló wanted a building that reflected his wealth and social status at that time. Gaudí convinced him to refurbish the building instead of demolishing it and constructing a new one.
Gaudí chose a maritime theme throughout the whole building. The façade resembles the waves of an ocean, he used blue colours inside the central stairwell and also the main stairs leading up make reference to a tortoise. Most likely the architect was inspired by novelist Jules Vernes who became a popular writer around that time with his book “20,000 leagues under the sea”.
The roof of Casa Batlló resembles the back of a dragon. This in reference to the important Catalan legend of Sant Jordi who slayed a dragon and rescued a virgin from being eaten by that creature. His sword can be seen on top of the roof with the cross – plunged deeply into the dragon´s back. Sant Jordi is now the patron saint of all Catalonia.
The façade of the building resembles skulls and bones. That is why the building is also called the House of Bones. Most likely Gaudí made another reference to Sant Jordi legend: the bones of the killed virgins that were eaten by the dragon during his lifetime.
Magnificent details can be seen all over the house.
Gaudí created a cozy fire site in a mushroom shape. On the right sight a couple could sit while on the opposite the chaperone would make sure that the couple´s date remained decent.
The main living room is facing towards the grand boulevard of Passeig de Gràcia. Its magnificent windows have sun shades and also a ventilation system to accommodate for the perfect temperature during summer.
The central stairwell is completely decorated with tiles in blue colours fading from dark to light the more down you will go. As the sun light falls into the stairwell from out the glass roof it gives a natural flow to the colour combination. The details of the window frames are just stunning.
This reflection in the windows covering the lift shaft shows the special atmosphere you will encounter when climbing up the stairs.
These internal stairs were used by servants of the various households.
This spiral stairwell is leading to the roof top terrace of Casa Batlló where the famous Magic Nights take place during late spring, summer and early autumn: Live music ranging from Jazz, to singer-songwriter music, to Flamenco and modern dance during the sun set with amazing views is absolutely recommendable to anyone!
The hallway of the building when entering is decorated with ceramic tiles with little shell imprints. Ceramics and tiles are a typical elements that were used by Gaudí and the while modernism movement. Next to that you would also find a lot of glass work.
Visiting Barcelona shortly and looking for an activity what to do? Check out the Gaudí experiences of The Barcelona Feeling:
Gaudí in a nutshell, 3 hours private tour (guided walk):
Feel like Gaudí: Tour and Workshop: