Passeig de Gràcia is one of the most famous streets of Barcelona close to the centre, Placa de Cataluna. This neighbourhood resembles a live gallery that many stylish buildings are standing next to each other. The famous buildings on Passeig de Gracia are Casa Lleó Morera, Casa Mulleras, Casa Bonet, Casa Amatller, Casa Mila and Casa Batlló. The last two have the most remarkable appearance, and they are designed by worldwide famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí.
Gaudí is a master who served more than 50 years to his country and produced many beautiful artworks during his lifetime. Each of the artworks became symbols of Barcelona and entered to UNESCO world heritage list. Gaudi’s art style played a leading role when the art style was shifting toward modernism at the beginning of 20th century.
My recent visit to Barcelona was mid-November for the third time which gave me a chance to explore other aspects of this impressive city. I had time to visit Casa Battló which gave me an opportunity to see more artworks of Gaudí. In my previous Barcelona trip, I have been to the inside of La Sagrada Familia, and there was such a great atmosphere with breathtaking interior decoration. I had the same experience when visited Casa Battló; he is a modernist but a unique way of his interior form. Click here for my blog article about La Sagrada Familia.
As a master architect who served more than 50 years, Gaudí produced many tremendous artworks during his lifetime, and they became symbols of Barcelona and Catalonia region. These masterpieces look so enchanting with their vivid colours that each year thousands of visitors travel to Barcelona see these diverse patterns. Gaudí’s artworks are examples of the great shift of the art movement toward modernism which took place at the beginning of 20th century.
Recently, I visited Barcelona in mid-November for the third time, which gave me the opportunity to see more artworks of Gaudí. In my previous Barcelona trip, I have been into La Sagrada Familia, and there was such a great atmosphere with breathtaking interior decoration. This time I visited Casa Battló and I had a similar experience when visited. Gaudi is a modern artist but in a unique style.
History of Casa Batlló
Casa Batlló is the building number 43 on Passeig de Gracia which was constructed in 1875 and 1877. The initial version of the building was planned by Emili Sala Cortes, a scholar architect from Escuela Provincial de Barcelona. He was an educator of Antoni Gaudí from the university.
In the late 19th century, Passeig de Gràcia was a recently being developed and attracted the attention of wealthy families. Many new buildings constructed during this era. Joseph Batlló, a wealthy businessman in the textile industry, purchased building 43 soon after its construction.
Batlló was a businessman with a keen interest in art. He wanted to settle into the building that he purchased. However, he was not fond of the appearance at all compared its neighbours as Casa Amatller. In those times, wealthy people liked to show off their power by decorating their properties. Mr Battlo decided to demolish the building and rebuild a new one from scratch. However, as the architect, Gaudí had different plans for the building.
The interior plan of the Casa Batlló follows as the entrance, the flat of Batlló family with a patio, four floors of apartments, an attic floor, and a terrace on the top. The on the first floor is the home of Batlló family having a private patio for the family members. The top two floors of the building are shared space of the apartment residents. The attic floor is devoted to laundry and other possible house works.
Gaudí decided to restore the building and give it a new skin. He could have made this decision not to act disrespectfully over his master’s work. Thus, he changed the front facade, added two floors, redesigned Batlló flat, enlarged the patios and redesigned the area where the elevator and stair are. Overall, it took two years to complete the restoration work, both interior and exterior.
Gaudí followed the naturalism style for all the elements which he designed for the building. He was inspired by underwater elements for his interior design, and this is especially noticeable around the stairs. He redesigned the furniture inside building such as chairs, vitrines, doors, windows.
Every single element inside the building is another masterpiece and has a through calculation behind it. The front facade is told to resemble the appearance of skeletons of a prehistoric animal. In the interior, the style resembles underwater elements. Overall, a great work has emerged, every single decoration resides harmonically with each other. It creates such a visually pleasing environment that takes you into some dream world.
Interior Design of Casa Batlló
In the first floor where Batlló family lived, I was very impressed by the stained glass of on the doors in the room with the fireplace. The colourful crystals attracted my attention that that they look in different color from different sides.
The living room is very adorable, especially with the ceiling decorations. The colourful mosaic glasses decorated on the windows reflect the light as if there is an ever-changing colourful window inside. The walls are in different colour depends on the time of the day. It must have been fun for Batlló family to enjoy afternoon tea with the sunset.
It was a great pleasure for me to climb up to the apartment and enjoy the interior design of the stairways. I spent more than 15 minutes just for viewing around. A deep blue theme is dominated by this design which takes you to another dimension, in an enchanting dream of a magical underwater world. The fences were made of colorless stained glass; it creates the water effect as you look behind the glasses. This multi-sensory experience was thrillingly good; it is beyond perfect for human craftsmanship.
When I reached upstairs, the first place to visit is the attic floor, the section where the laundry rooms are. The interior design is more straightforward than the places below. However, the ceiling is special. After you proceed towards the corridor, and there are stairs which leads to the terrace.
On the terrace, there is also interesting mosaic pattern walls; many coloured stained glasses all together provide a fascinating visual artwork. I am pleased that I decided to visit Batlo House, there was one of the most exciting and visually pleasing interior design that I have seen so far.
Casa Batlló’s address is Passeig de Gràcia, 43, which is 7 minutes by foot from Plaça de Catalunya. The museum is open 365 days in a year from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm. The admission price for adults above 18 is 23,5 €. Click here to view the price list.
I found the museum tickets more expensive than usual however the audio guide is also included in the price which I think is a reasonable compensation for the expensive entry fee. The places which are open for visiting are the house of the Batlló family, patio on the backside, stairways, elevator, ceiling floor and the terrace.
The audio guide is an augmented reality supported application, which was one of the first experiences for me. I especially enjoyed the augmented reality video animations. Thanks to the augmented reality, now I have an idea about how Batlló flat was furnished then. The guide also provided information about the history and architectural details. Overall, Casa Batlló is a breathtaking place to visit, there is a must for you especially if you like modern art.