Wow, we found another astonishing building of Gaudí – off the beaten path in Barcelona´s neighbourhood of Sant Gervasi. Between 1900-1909 the famous Catalan architect was commissioned to build this manor house Bellesgueard meaning “Beautiful View”. He was inspired by the medieval castle, Casa Figueras, from the early 15th century that belonged to Martin, King of Aragon (Count of Barcelona).
The architectural style of the building is called Catalan Modernism – an art and literature movement connected to the search for a Catalan national identity.
Modernism has many typical style elements. Among them one can find mosaics. Especially Gaudí used a technique that is called trencadís (Catalan for “broken”). He purchased tiles of inferior quality from factories, broke them and put the shards artistically together creating a mosaic.
Another important aspects in modernism is the connection to Catalan history and culture. On the top of the building you will see that the roof has the shape of a dragon. This is a reference to famous St. George who is the patron saint of Catalonia and the most important cultural figure of the region. According to the legend George (Jordi in Catalan) slew a dragon and rescued a virgin from being eaten by the creature. Gaudí chose a similar approach when designing Casa Batlló.
If you are more interested in the importance of history and culture in architecture read the following article (5 minutes read): Catalan legends in architecture.
Next to mosaics, tiles in general were used a lot when building in the period of Modernism (approx. 1880-1915).
The building is located in a quiet neighbourhood of Barcelona away from the main tourist routes. This makes it especially interesting as you have small private groups while having a tour on the premises.
What to do in Barcelona
Would you like to discover more of Gaudí? Check out the private tour of The Barcelona Feeling: Gaudí & Barcelona Legends
During a two hours walking tour in the center of Barcelona you will learn about the art movement of Catalan Modernism. This includes some major works of Gaudí but also contemporary architects.
The Barcelona Feeling also offers a combination of the walking tour with a hands-on workshop: Feel Like Gaudí – Tour & Workshop. During a one hour session you will create your own souvenir in the mosaic technique called trencadís, a technique that Gaudí perfectionated and can be found on all of his work.