Casa Batlló, one of several Modernista buildings on the Illa de la Discórdia north of Barcelona’s old town, is a fairytale-like masterpiece. With its iridescent rooftop resembling a dragon’s scaly spine, a façade featuring funky shapes, vibrant colors, carnival mask-like balconies, and bone-like pillars, this unique historical home is a must-see attraction.

The original late-19th century building, constructed in a nondescript classical style by Emilio Sala Cortés, was purchased by textile magnate Josep Batlló i Casanovas to serve as his private residence. He commissioned renowned Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí to completely rebuild the structure and create something truly spectacular.

The resulting monument, listed along with six other works by Antoni Gaudí as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, features whimsical yet ergonomic elements that make it a standout example of Modernista architecture.

Touring Casa Batlló

Despite the steep admission price, a tour of Casa Batlló is highly recommended. The experience allows visitors to wander through the house, from the ground floor to the rooftop terrace, and marvel at its unique features. Some of the highlights include:

  1. A mushroom-shaped festejador (a secluded space for courting couples)
  2. Crystal chandeliers
  3. Cave-like rooms with nautilus-inspired ceilings
  4. Wooden ventilation systems
  5. Stairways with smooth, serpentine banisters
  6. Decorative wooden doors with unique ergonomic handles
  7. Panels of translucent glass that create an underwater effect
  8. Tile work in varying shades of blue for clever light distribution in the stairwell

Upper Levels and Lofts

As you ascend to the upper levels, you’ll discover the lofts with parabolic arches supporting the roof. These spaces once served as laundry rooms for the building’s residents. Take the opportunity to step out onto the balcony for a view of the surrounding neighborhood.

Rooftop Terrace

The tour culminates with a visit to the rooftop terrace, where you can get a close-up look at the scaly tiles and colorful trencadis mosaics. Don’t miss the skylight for the light well, which is another example of Gaudí’s ingenious design.

Back Terrace

Your tour also grants access to the back terrace, offering a view of the rear façade. While not as spectacular as the rest of the building, the colorful tile work and wavy balconies are still interesting to observe.

Getting There

Casa Batlló is located at Passeig de Gràcia, 43 in the Eixample district. It’s a pleasant 10-minute walk from Plaza de Catalunya, making it easily accessible for visitors exploring the city.

Ticket Information

Adult admission to Casa Batlló is €23.50, which includes an audio guide. Due to the popularity of this attraction, lines can be long. Consider purchasing your ticket in advance via the online ticketing service on the Casa Batlló website to save time and ensure your spot.

The Magic of Casa Batlló at Night

While Casa Batlló is stunning during the day, it becomes even more spectacular at night. The illuminated façade and rooftop create a mesmerizing display of colors and shapes, transforming the building into a true work of art. If possible, plan your visit to coincide with the evening hours to witness this enchanting sight.

The Illa de la Discòrdia

Casa Batlló is part of the Illa de la Discòrdia, or “Block of Discord,” a collection of Modernista buildings along Passeig de Gràcia. The block earned its name due to the striking contrast between the architectural styles of the buildings, each designed by a different renowned architect. Along With Casa Batlló, the Illa de la Discòrdia includes:

  1. Casa Lleó Morera by Lluís Domènech i Montaner
  2. Casa Amatller by Josep Puig i Cadafalch
  3. Casa Mulleras by Enric Sagnier
  4. Casa Bonet by Marcel·lí Coquillat

Take the time to admire the unique features of each building and appreciate the diversity of Modernista architecture on display.

Antoni Gaudí: A Visionary Architect

No discussion of Casa Batlló would be complete without mentioning its visionary architect, Antoni Gaudí. Born in Reus, Catalonia, in 1852, Gaudí became one of the most influential figures in the Modernista movement. His works, characterized by their organic forms, intricate details, and innovative use of materials, have left an indelible mark on Barcelona’s architectural landscape.

Some of Gaudí’s most famous works in Barcelona include:

  1. Sagrada Família: This iconic basilica, still under construction, is Gaudí’s magnum opus and a symbol of the city.
  2. Park Güell: A whimsical public park featuring Gaudí’s distinctive sculptural elements and colorful mosaics.
  3. Casa Milà (La Pedrera): Another Modernista masterpiece, known for its undulating stone façade and unique rooftop chimneys.
  4. Casa Vicens: Gaudí’s first major commission, showcasing his early style and Moorish influences.

As you explore Casa Batlló and other works by Gaudí, take a moment to appreciate the genius and creativity of this extraordinary architect.

Discovering Barcelona’s Modernista Heritage

Casa Batlló is just one example of the rich Modernista heritage that permeates Barcelona. As you wander the city’s streets, keep an eye out for other stunning examples of this architectural style, such as the Palau de la Música Catalana, the Hospital de Sant Pau, and the many Modernista buildings in the charming Gràcia neighborhood.

To delve deeper into the Modernista movement, consider visiting the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC), which houses an extensive collection of Modernista art and furniture, or the Museu del Modernisme de Barcelona, dedicated to the works of Modernista artists and craftsmen.

By enjoying Barcelona’s Modernista heritage, you’ll gain a greater appreciation for the city’s unique artistic spirit and the enduring legacy of visionary architects like Antoni Gaudí.

Exploring the Eixample District

Casa Batlló’s location in the Eixample district makes it the perfect starting point for exploring this fascinating area of Barcelona. Designed in the mid-19th century by urban planner Ildefons Cerdà, the Eixample is characterized by its grid-like layout, wide avenues, and octagonal city blocks.

Along With its Modernista architecture, the Eixample is home to numerous attractions, including:

  1. La Rambla de Catalunya: A tree-lined boulevard featuring upscale shops, restaurants, and cafes.
  2. Mercat de la Concepció: A historic market known for its stunning Modernista design and wide selection of fresh produce, meats, and cheeses.
  3. Fundació Antoni Tàpies: A museum dedicated to the works of Catalan artist Antoni Tàpies, housed in a striking Modernista building.
  4. Palau Robert: A beautiful palace that now serves as a cultural center, hosting exhibitions and events throughout the year.

As you explore the Eixample, take the time to appreciate the district’s unique blend of historic charm and modern vitality, and discover the many hidden gems that await around every corner.

Final Thoughts

Visiting Casa Batlló is an unforgettable experience that immerses you in the whimsical world of Antoni Gaudí and the Modernista movement. As you tour this architectural marvel, let yourself be transported by its fairytale-like beauty and innovative design.

By including Casa Batlló on your Barcelona itinerary, you’ll not only witness one of the city’s most iconic landmarks but also gain a deeper understanding of the artistic spirit that has shaped this captivating Catalan capital.

So, whether you’re a long-time admirer of Gaudí’s work or simply seeking to discover the magic of Barcelona’s Modernista heritage, a visit to Casa Batlló is an essential part of any trip to this enchanting city.

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