The Casa Batlló is one of the most extraordinary constructions in Barcelona. Gaudí was given full artistic freedom and he designed the unconventional facade, unleashing the power of his creativity. Located in Passeig de Gracia Boulevard, in the district of Manzana de la Discordia, Casa Batlló was declared as the Unesco World Heritage in 2005.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the competition between wealthy families was fierce. It was for this very reason that every single family wanted a more opulent and interesting house, one to take the breath away. Casa Batlló certainly managed to fit the bill! Yet another of the wonderful Gaudi’s impressive piece of work, Casa Batlló is a hugely popular tourist hotspot in the heart of Barcelona’s Example district, and receives millions of visitors every single year. Prearranging you trip is a must do, if you want to avoid the huge queues which are often seen outside the attraction, especially during the peak summer months of June to September. The Casa Batllo itself has an almost fairytale look to the outside, capturing the attention of visitors since its’ construction in 1877.
Antoni Gaudi was always renowned for creating unique and interesting buildings, but the Casa Batlló takes him to another level. One of the most original designs you will ever see, this huge construction looks like something from a dream, decorated with glass and ceramics on the outer, a roof which undulates softly, and has an image of Saint George and the dragon. The house was originally built for the Batlló family, big hitters in the textile industry at the time. The original building was already there, but the family wanted Gaudi to take his own ideas and run free, giving him free rein to design a new house which would overlook every other house in the region, and make them the top family in Barcelona. Casa Batlló was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1964, as one of the prime examples of Gaudi’s work. Locally, the house is known as the ‘Casa Dels Ossos’, which translates to the ‘House of the Bones’. This is because of the unique outer design, which almost resembles certain parts of a skull, with holes for the eyes and nose along the main balconies. The first floor columns also look like a human tibia, and overall the building has a skeleton-esque look to it. Whether that was what Gaudi intended we will never know, but many locals state that when they look at the building face on, they can see various nods to the human skeleton. As the sun reflects on the main facade, the glass shines and the ceramics sparkling, really giving the house a totally other-worldly feel. The main columns which run to the foot of the house take us back to Gaudi’s main obsession - nature. The columns look almost like huge, thick tree trunks, and when the sun shines on the house, it really is quite the sight. The roof is said to resemble the back of a dragon, arching its back. The tiles also look like scales on the dragon’s back. All of this was designed to be symbolic and interpreted by the individual, which is what makes it so wonderfully interesting and mystical to look at. The main parts of the house to visit are the Entry Hall, Noble Floor, Patio, Attic, and the Terrace Roof. Each part is decorated with mosaics, pillars, and opulence to make your jaw drop.