Discover Casa Milà, Casa de les Punxes and Casa Batlló
Barcelona is without a doubt the capital of Modernisme, or Catalan Art Nouveau. Architects Josep Puig i Cadafalch and Antoni Gaudí, the two leading lights in this movement, bequeathed a number of architectural gems to the city. So if you’re planning a trip to Barcelona, make some time to visit these three breathtaking Modernista houses.
The story of three unique Catalan houses
Casa Milà or La Pedrera. If you walk up Passeig de Gràcia, your jaw is bound to drop when you reach Carrer Provença. On the corner is Casa Milà, an architectural wonder built by Gaudí between 1906 and 1912. This unique, majestic building is also known as La Pedrera, because of its resemblance to an open-air quarry. Its rooftop, a beautiful garden with 30 chimneys crafted like statues, is one of our favourite places. It also boasts stunning views over the Sagrada Família. Designed as an apartment block for the Milà family, it is now one of the most popular buildings in the whole of Spain.
A Unesco World Heritage Site since 1984, the interior is decorated with ornamental features inspired by designs from nature. We recommend starting your visit on the lower floors to see models, interactive videos and a faithful reconstruction of one of the original apartments and decor. Save the rooftop for last, enjoy the unique views and take some photos home with you.
Casa de les Punxes. Avinguda Diagonal is home to several surprising buildings, including the Casa de les Punxes, at numbers 416–420. Built in the style of a Central European castle, you’ll suddenly feel you’re in Bavaria without ever leaving Barcelona! Modernista architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch designed it in 1905 inspired by Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria. Construction was headed by Bartomeu Terradas, a friend of Josep Puig i Cadafalch, and one of four children born into an illustrious family that made its fortune in the textile industry. As the only son, Bartomeu inherited the family business but was also entrusted with building a house for each of his three sisters. So, he built three completely different and independent houses in the same block.
As you get close, take a good look at the façades, with features dedicated to each sister to identify each house. The house for Ángela Terradas Brutau features angels and her initials; the house for Rosa Terradas Brutau features roses and her initials; and the house for Josefa Terradas Brutau features Saint Joseph’s staff flowers and her initials. You can also find a decorative panel dedicated to Saint George, the patron saint of Catalonia. The real challenge is to find the image of architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch hidden somewhere on the façade…
Casa Batlló. When you get to number 43 on Passeig Gràcia, look up! Right at the very top of Casa Batlló you’ll see a sleeping dragon with brightly coloured glass-tile scales. Take a good look at the balconies, which recall Venetian carnival masks. What is the story behind this house? Industrialist Josep Batlló i Casanovas commissioned Antoni Gaudí to remodel the building he had just acquired on Passeig de Gràcia. He worked on it between 1904 and 1906 and it soon became known as Casa Batlló.
A Unesco World Heritage Site since 2005, its interior dives down to the ocean depths and represents many forms found in nature. The wavy façade is said to be inspired by Montserrat mountain or the waves on the sea. Casa Batlló also features colourful ornamental trencadís mosaics in many parts of the 32-metre-high, 8-storey house. Over the years its ground-floor premises were home to names such as Lumière photographers, the film producer Pathé Frères and the Syra art gallery.
Noelia – Marketing Team