A colorful Batllo House (Casa Batlló), is one of many masterpieces of Gaudi created in Barcelona. This house is a renovated building of the 19th century. It is unique not only outside, but inside also.
Three houses were built by most recognized modernist architects between 1898 and 1906 in the same quarter of Passeig de Gràcia (Paceo de Gracia): Batllo House (Casa Batllo) by Gaudi, Amatller House (Casa Amatller) by Puig i Cadafalch, and Lleo House (Casa Lléo) by Domènech i Montaner.
All three buildings were designed in different interpretations of the Modern style. This fact led to a competition among the architects. This competition is a basis of the term «a district of discord «, which means the apple of discord, referring us to the Greek mythology, when Aphrodite, Athena, and Hera, three goddesses, were conducting a dispute that led to the Trojan War finally.
Talking about Batllo House (Casa Batllo), originally a house had been built on this place, which was bought then by a wealthy industrialist Josep Batllo in 1900. He asked Gaudí to demolish the old house and to build a new one. However, Gaudí persuaded Batllo (Battló) not to ruin the building but to reconstruct it. Gaudí was reworking the facade and the roof between 1904 and 1906. He also added an extra upper floor and completely renovated courtyard.
The facade of the Batlló House is made of sandstone and covered with colorful mosaics. It seems that there are not straight lines at all in the building, because the architect avoids them when it is possible. It is very typical for Gaudí.
There are irregular oval windows on the second floor. Balconies have the shape of a backbone on the first floor, and look like skulls on the upper floors. These features gave the building a nickname, «A House of Bones». Enlarged windows on the 1st floor gave it one more nickname, “House of Yawns”.
The roof looks like a colorful reptile skin. There is an opinion that the roof is a dragon, a small tower with a cross on the top symbolizes the sword of Saint George, which was stuck in the dragon. Skulls and bones on the facade represent all victims of the dragon.
The interior looks as exciting as the interior does. Again, Gaudí tries to avoid straight lines on all surfaces. As in his next work, the Mila House (Casa Milà) he devotes much attention to details in the design of wooden doors, stained glass, colorful tiles and a fireplace.
Address : Passeig de Gracia 43 , Barcelona, How to get there: Metro line L3. Stop: the Passeig de Gracia. Open: every day 9:00 — 21:00. In the days of special visits to the museum closes at 14:00 Price: 20.35 Euro, children up to 7 years — free of charge. Audioguide in included in the ticket price. There are ten languages available: Spanish, Catalan, English, French, Italian, Chinese, German, Japanese, Russian and Portuguese. www.casabatllo.es