Casa Batlló, which is often called the House of Bones, is one of the most daring works of Antonio Gaudi, one of the best architects not only in Spain, but also in the whole world. Entering the list of cult sights of Barcelona, he reveals the full creative potential of his creator and allows you to get acquainted with the main traditions of early modernism.
General information and a brief history
Casa Batlló in Barcelona is an unusual architectural monument located in the central part of the city. The history of this place began in 1877 with the construction of an ordinary apartment building, designed by the famous Spanish architect Emilio Sala Cortes for textile tycoon Josep Ballo y Casanovas. At that time, Paseo de Gracia, on which, in fact, this building is located, gradually became the main highway, along which almost all the creams of Barcelona society dreamed of settling. One of them was Ballot, who gave the house not only his name, but also turned it into one of the most famous attractions in Spain. Having lived in this mansion for almost 30 years, Josep decided that the already luxurious building needed a major overhaul, which should be completed by none other than Antonio Gaudi, student and follower of Emilio Cortes. And so that he would not have the slightest chance to refuse work, the owner of the house gave the talented master absolute freedom.
According to the original design, the building was to be demolished, but Gaudi would not have been the greatest architect of his time if he had not challenged not only Josep Batllo, but also himself. He decided to change plans and, instead of building a new facility, complete a reconstruction of the old one. The work lasted 2 years, after which a completely different structure appeared at the court of the inhabitants of Barcelona – with a facade renewed beyond recognition, an expanded courtyard and altered internal premises, the interior of which could compete with the most famous works of art. In addition to this, Gaudi added several new elements – the basement, mezzanine, attic and asothea on the roof. The architect also took care of the safety of his clients. So, in the event of a possible fire, he designed several double exits and a whole system of stairs.
In 1995, the Bernat family, who took possession of the building in the mid-60s, opened the doors of Casa Batlli’s house to the general public. Since then, it regularly hosts not only excursions, but also various social events. Casa Battlo is currently Barcelona’s Art Monument, National Monument and UNESCO World Heritage Site in the “Creations of Antonio Gaudi” section.
People say that the appearance of the museum almost literally reflects the legend of St. George, who plunges a huge dragon with his sword. Indeed, looking at the photo of Batlló’s house, one can easily notice that its roof resembles Gaudi’s beloved mythological character, the chimney pipes are the handle of a blade crowned with the George Cross, and the small original galleries are the bones of numerous victims who have been in the clutches of a terrible monster.
The columns of the mezzanine are decorated with bones and skulls. True, one can only guess their shape with a close and very careful examination of the surface. The effect is enhanced by a mosaic “scale” made of broken ceramic tiles and used for wall decoration. Depending on the weather and light filling, it shimmers with all the colors of the rainbow – from golden to dark green.
The courtyard of the House was decorated in the same manner. The only difference is that Gaudi used different shades of blue, white and blue to decorate it. Thanks to the skillful distribution of these tiles, the master was able to create a special play of light and shadow, the intensity of which decreases with each subsequent floor.
Another characteristic feature of Casa Battlo is the complete absence of straight lines. They were replaced by curved, wavy and arched curls present in almost all decorative elements of the facade. One of the most striking examples of this technique is the arched windows of the first floor, starting almost at the floor and lined with an elegant mosaic pattern. They say that they have a wonderful panorama of the streets of Barcelona.
Small balconies reminiscent of the upper part of the skull with eye sockets instead of shutters cause no less excitement. Well, the final element of the House of Bones, designed by Antonio Gaudi, is an unusual roof, which, in addition to its direct purpose, also has an important aesthetic function. The main elements of this design are furnace chimneys made in the form of mushrooms, and the so-called asothea, a small open room used as a viewing platform.
Smooth forms and intricate design make this building beautiful at any time of the day, but it looks especially impressive in the late evening, when the sky is illuminated by the setting sun, and numerous lights are lit on the streets of Barcelona.
Creations by Antonio Gaudi are known throughout the world for their incredibly accurate details and original plots. Casa Batlló in Barcelona is no exception. The best masters of that time worked on its interiors. Stained glass was made by glassblower Jusep Pelegri, the forged elements were the Badia brothers, and the tiles were made by P. Puzhol and S. Ribot.
Inside the Batlló house, as well as outside, you can see the “dragon scales”, “bones” and a large number of fake windows. Particular attention should be paid to the ceilings – they look like crumpled fabric. On the floor lined with patterns of colorful tiles. Many tourists are impressed by the sun chandelier. The building has the following premises:
- Personal office of the former owner of a textile factory, located in the mezzanine. This is a small but very beautiful room from which you can get into the patio. Interestingly, thanks to the use of warm colors in the decoration of the walls, this part of the house is always as if filled with sunlight.
- Salon. In this room, the hosts received guests and had dinner parties. The interior is notable for the fact that there are huge stained-glass windows that overlook Paseo de Gracia. It is also worth paying attention to the ceiling – it looks like corrugated paper.
- Attic. This is the brightest and most minimalist room in the house. There used to be a laundry room, but now there is one table.
- Asothea is an open space on the roof of Casa Batlló. There is no direct destination for this part of the building, but the owners liked to relax here in the evenings. Pay attention to the design of the chimneys – they resemble mushrooms.
The photos taken inside the Casa Batlló are impressive. For example, the furniture, part of which is still in the building today, was personally designed and manufactured by Antonio Gaudi. These are double wooden chairs, elegant French tables and lamps with stained glass painting.
Casa Batlló Antonio Gaudi, located at: Passeig de Gracia, 43, 08007 Barcelona, Spain, is open daily from 09:00 to 21:00 (the last entrance to the museum takes place one hour before its closure).
The cost of an ordinary adult ticket depends on the program of visit:
- Visit to Casa Batlló – 25 €;
- “Magic nights” (night tour + concert) – 39 €;
- “Be the first” – 39 €;
- Theatrical visit – 37 €.
Children under 7 years of age, Club Super 3 club members and the person accompanying a blind visitor are entitled to free admission. Students, minors from 7 to 18 years old and older people over 65 years old are entitled to a certain discount. For more information, visit the official website -www.casabatllo.es/en/
Prices on the page are for October 2019.
There are many facts connected with Casa Batlló in Spain. Here are just a few of them:
- Few people know, but Casa Battlo and the Chupa Chups brand are owned by the same person. Enrique Bernat acquired the company for the production of famous lollipops in the 90s. 20 tbsp.
- Antonio Gaudi was not only engaged in the reconstruction of the House of Bones, but he created most of the furniture present in it. Traces of his work can be found on chairs, cabinets, door handles and other elements of the interior.
- In the competition for the best buildings in Barcelona, one of the main city attractions lost to Condal. The owner of the museum explained his defeat by the fact that there were no ardent fans of modernism among the jury.
- Casa Batlló is an integral part of the so-called Quarter of Discord, a unique architectural complex that emerged as a result of high competition between the then meters of architecture.
- Roof tiles, tiles for mosaic panels, wrought iron products and other decorative elements present in the design of the complex were created by the best masters of Spain.
- As one of the main symbols of Barcelona, Casa Battlo is completely not funded by the state. Probably, this is not the reason why the low cost of entrance tickets is connected.
- Art historians claim that work on this project was a turning point in the work of Gaudi – after it, the famous architect finally abandoned any canons and began to rely on his own vision and intuition. And he became the only creation of the legendary architect, made in the style of pure modernism.
When going to the House of Bones, do not forget to read a number of useful recommendations:
- Want to explore one of Gaudi’s main creations in relative solitude? Come early in the morning, during the daytime siesta (around 15:00) or closer to the evening – there are much less visitors at this time than, for example, at the height of the day.
- There are many places in Casa Battlo where you can make beautiful and rather unusual shots, but the observation deck on the roof and a small balcony on the top floor equipped with a professional camera are considered the best. True, for these photos of Casa Batlló in Barcelona you will have to pay a certain amount.
- In order not to waste time in vain, buy a ticket with fast pass – with it you will be missed out of turn. An alternative to him will be a ticket for a theatrical visit. By the way, you can buy them only online.
- You can safely take personal things into the storage room, but if something is lost, contact the lost property office – all the things forgotten by visitors are stored for a month.
- The museum can be reached in 4 ways – by metro (lines L2, L3 and L4 to the station “Passeig de Gràcia”), tourist bus “Barcelona Tourist Bus”, regional train Renfe and city buses No. 22, 7, 24, V15 and H10 .
- When walking around the museum, be sure to look into the souvenir shop – you can buy books, jewelry, postcards and other items related to Barcelona and Gaudi’s work there. The prices there, to tell the truth, bite, but this does not bother the many visitors to the House.
- To get acquainted with one of the main attractions of Barcelona, it is better to take a smart audio guide that switches the audio tracks depending on which part of the building you are in (available in Russian).
- Casa Batlló is open not only for ordinary tourists, but also for visitors with disabilities. There is a special elevator, brochures written in Braille, and printed materials for people with hearing loss.
Useful information for tourists about Casa Batlló:
Posted by: Olga Sheyko