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All artists are widely known for being eccentric, and Antoni Gaudi is no exception. The renowned Catalonia artist managed to sprinkle his magic dust and turned the bland classical type of old casa Batllo into one of the most prominent attraction in Barcelona. casa Batllo will easily capture your attention as you walk along Passeig de Gracia street with its gaudy designs and striking colors. With its dragon scales and visceral skeletal structures, casa Batllo become the most popular, if not the most expensive attraction in Barcelona. It is afterall one of Antoni Gaudi's grand masterpiece and a fine example of Art Noveau-style building.
Peek Inside a Dragon's Den in casa Batllo
Who would have guessed that casa Batllo was actually a result from smart move made by Antoni Gaudi to save one ordinary classical-style building? The original casa Batllo was built by an architect named Emilio Sala Cortés in 1877, the house was later bought by Josep Batlló y Casanovas in 1903. Batlló was going to demolish the house and built an entirely new house before Antoni Gaudi decided to step down and offered to renovate the house. He poured all his creativity skill into designing the building, completely reforming the classical house into a whimsical dragon den. Josep Batlló was impressed with Gaudi's works that he decided to keep the house. Ever since then, casa Batllo was passed down from Batlló family to different companies and famillies, until it falls into Bernat family's hands. In 1995, the family decided to open the house for public turning the architectural gem into a public venue for many social events. UNESCO even took notice of the building and granted its title as one of UNESCO World Heritage Site, and until today casa Batllo attract over million visitors to come and gush over its architectural beauty.
casa Batllo's main highlights is obviously its dragon scales and skeletal facades. The dragon impression came from casa Batllo's stunning gradiating colorful roof components resembling an arched dragon's back. While on the ground and first floor are white-colored columns resemble visceral bones combined with splash of cheerful colors and floral elements. Enter inside the dragon's realm and bedazzled with colorful stained glass depicting life under the sea of Passeig de Gràcia while some parts are depicting blooming flowers. It produce stunning whimsical colors bias as the sunlight hit the colorful glass. Visitors can also see Antoni Gaudi's signature elements that include swirls and arches on the ceilings. From the decorated window and its visceral balcony is a breathtaking view of Paseo de Garcia in the distance.
Antoni Gaudi took advantage of artistic freedom given by Josep Batlló and painted casa Batllo in cheerful modern colors and intriguing facades. casa Batllo is highly appreciated not only among fellow architects and artists, even general public have their own interpretation of the inspiration Gaudi took when he designed the building. One interpretation, that's also approved by many artists are, casa Batllo was an inspiration of calming sea. The opinion was based on marine colors dominating the facades, the stained glass decorated the interior strenghten the impression even more. Gaudi might also inspired by one of Monet's aquatic oil paintings, titled 'The Water Lilies'. Looking at the arched roof's shape and its cross-shaped tower, one might think differently. Another interpretation stated that the legend of Saint George might be the main inspiration of Antoni Gaudi. Saint George was depicted as a mighty warrior who slayed a dragon to save the Catalonian princess, in result he also saved the Catalonians from the dragon's fury. The scaly roof was often depicted as the dragon's body while the cross-tower resembled the handle of the sword Saint George used to end the dragon's life. Antoni Gaudi never explained his work and probably that's for the best! That way the building will always invoke each person's imagination and they'll come with more different interesting interpretations.
The first thing that welcome the visitors in casa Batllo is the lavish Entrance Hall. The interiors are mesmerizing with the skylight resembling turtle shells. It as if you are being transported to an enchanting underwater castle. The walls are decorated with colorful tiles and a wooden staircase with carved banister added a bit touch of fairytale.
The central of casa Batllo is obviously the Noble Floor. The large hall is not only portraying full-length of modernism, but also the life of The Battlo family. The ornated oak doors are definitely worth your attention. A strong image of the sea is reflected from the stained glass panels and the wavy ceilings. The Noble Floor contain a neat study room used by Mr. Battlo centuries ago.
Antoni Gaudi truly emphasize the importance of adequate natural lighting and ventilation through casa Batllo's Patio of Lights. The patio enable enough lights and air to be equally distributed to all rooms in the house through the skylight. Using the same logic, the upper windows' design are much smaller while the lower slits are wider with wooden slits that can be opened and closed to control the ventilation flow.
How to Get Tickets?
The easiest and the most convenient way is by purchasing your ticket online to avoid long lines. All you need to do is to show email confirmation sent to your email address to the guards, and you're set to go! For people with disabilities, tickets can only be purchased in Casa Batllo's ticket office, presenting an official document that certifies the degree of disability.
How To Get Around?
Getting around casa Batllo is easy. Located in the heart of Barcelona city, you can go anywhere from casa Batllo by public transportations. There are certain attractions that can be reached on foot too.
Best Time to Visit
We highly advice you to visit casa Batllo during Summer to join Barcelona Summer Night Experience held there. Magic Nights at casa Batllo involving live music performances, a nice free welcome drink, and an access to Noble Floor. You can also enjoy spectacular night view of Barcelona from casa Batllo's modernist terrace.
9am to 0 9pm everyday of the year.
Will I Need a Guide?
No. The moment you entered casa Batllo, you will be provided with audio guide. Or you can research about its history and informations you need to know on its official website.
How To Get There?
casa Batllo is located in one of the famous streets in Barcelona, Passeig de Gracia. For the most convenient way, you can reach the building by taking Green Line L3 and take Calle Arago-Rambla Catalunya exit. You only need to walk for mere 30 seconds until you reach casa Batllo. Remember, always be sure to take the right exit otherwise your journey might gets longer.
Casa Batllo has a very huge concern to disabled visitors, therefore many guidances are set so that those with disabilities can also enjoy the masterpiece. Almost all objects are equipped with braille for people with visual disability, written text of audio programme for audio disability, as well as people with reduce mobility that are able to explore most of the site.