Casa Batlló, the masterpiece by Antoni Gaudí, invites you to visit a monument that is much more than a building; it is an artistic legend. Hidden behind the exceptional modernist facade, which mirrors a calm sea, a whole world of surprises and refined architectural details is waiting. Casa Batlló, the definitive must-see benchmark of modernism, invites you to take a look inside.
This architectural work by Antoni Gaudí will seduce you with its radical design and with the great array of visual solutions used. In every nook and cranny you will discover something surprising, details which could not fail to enthral all those who love the fantastical. Visits take in the legendary Noble Floor (the former residence of the Batlló family), the Loft (the former store rooms and laundry rooms), the Roof Terrace with its mythical Chimneys (where you will see the famous backbone of the dragon slain by Sant Jordi, or Saint George), and the fabulous building well (once the communal stairwell). The tour finishes with the splendid entrance hall and the main staircase.
Your visit to Casa Batlló includes an audio guide which, thanks to all the metaphors and representations of nature, and especially the sea, will inspire you and stimulate your senses and emotions.
An explosion of colours and shapes; exercises in decorative art showcasing the splendour of the age; an outpouring of modernity; enigmatic forms; the interpretation of a dream; Mediterranean ingenuity; an exclusive whim; a display of innovation and new concepts; a place for reflecting on the capacity of art and design. This is Casa Batlló: a dream-like visit in search of emotions, of spirituality in art, in the constant discovery of essences, of the true perfume - elegance - which only those works of true genius exude.
Casa Batlló has been open to the public since 2002, which coincided with the commemorative celebration of the International Year of Gaudí. In the years leading up to this, major restoration work was carried out, enabling the house to be on display today in the full splendour of the age in which it was built by Antoni Gaudí. Casa Batlló was awarded the Europa Nostra prize for the best conservation of architectural heritage in 2004.
Although this building is famous for its spectacular and unmistakable facade, it was not previously possible to visit the inside. Since its opening to the public in 2002, its subsequent international recognition and its inclusion in UNESCO'S list of World Heritage Sites in 2005, Casa Batlló has enjoyed widespread fame and has awakened a growing interest around the world.
Built between 1904 and 1906 - now more than a century ago - at the request of the textile industrialist Josep Batlló, at the height of the artistic maturity of the brilliant architect, it is a true masterpiece which seduces visitors by its exceptional design, its refined succession of artistic details, and its creative use of materials and colour. Casa Batlló is a tour de force of shape, colour and light: shape through Gaudí's modernist language; colour through the great daring of the completely new application of chromatic colour scales in architecture, and light through the outward-projecting windows, balconies, and the light which enters through wells and internal windows, a light which was a precursor of modernity.
The architecture and design of Casa Batlló represent not only the technical and structural side to Gaudí's work, but also the ornamental and modern aspect. Present-day architecture borrows from Gaudí's techniques, such as the hyperbolic paraboloids of the Cathedral of Brasilia designed by Oscar Niemeyer, or the window projecting outwards in the Whitney museum in New York by Marcel Breuer, to absorb light and allow it to enter. Casa Batlló features ventilation concepts, an arrangement of ironwork and large wrought-iron skylights which represent a modern style which was hitherto unknown.
As a whole, Casa Batlló is intensely evocative of the sea, of what is really meant by Mediterranean, of naturalism, theatricality, carnival and magic. Gaudí's creative freedom and the individuality of the early years of the 20th century, when applied to this masterpiece, forge a strong connection to the values which prevail in the Barcelona of today.
Professor Bassegoda, who served as Curator of the Cátedra de Gaudí for many years, explained in one of his publications that Casa Batlló, designed by Antoni Gaudí, is a bright and cheerful project, which represents the artistic expression of an elated architect, working without any of the symbolic and moralistic complications of other religious projects, and removed from the prevailing academicism of the schools of architecture of the period. He goes on to write, "This is an architectural smile, an outpouring of the composite pleasure of a man who was in full command of his own very personal style."
Elsewhere, Bassegoda adds, "According to Leonardo da Vinci, Nature is full of latent causes which have never been liberated. The enchanting architecture of Casa Batlló is the liberation of one of those natural mysteries through the endeavour and grace of Gaudí's imagination and creative power." And what a stroke of luck for humanity that is!
This building is currently one of the most widely visited tourist attractions in Barcelona, and one of the best loved by visitors. People are seduced and beguiled by the details which are revealed one after another, and which surprise and amaze visitors time and time again.
Casa Batlló is located in the heart of the city and is easily accessible by public transport and by the tourist buses.
The Cultural Visit is a magical journey aided by the audio guide, and takes approximately one hour. It passes through the Noble Floor, which is the former home of the Batlló family, the inner courtyard of the building, the stairwell, the loft and the roof terrace.