Photo Scoop (no. 19): Gaudí’s Casa Batlló


Casa Batlló by Antoni Gaudí.

By Nancy Todd

It swoops and darts.  Shimmering broken ceramic tiles glisten in the sunlight.  It is wild and cavorting.  And, of course, another exceptional design by Barcelona’s most famous architect, Antoni Gaudí.  Rumors abound.  Some say the building is based on a marine theme.  Others, that it is a symbol of the legendary St. George and the Dragon myth popular in Catalonia.  Locals call it the “House of Bones.”

Roof on Casa Batllo.

The roof line is said to be a dragon’s back and is constructed of bulbous ceramic tiles.  Going up on the roof of the house is a must.

One of my trips to Casa Batlló was with my daughter, Melissa, and my son-in-law, David.  David, a contractor, was meserized by the construction techniques.  They made the trip from Portland, Oregon.   Gaudí did not build this house, but remodeled it 1904 – 1906.  He traveled with a team of craftspeople, was on site everyday, and made design decisions daily.

Melissa is standing in a long hallway created to resemble whale’s ribs.

 This door knocker design is often seen in Europe, a woman’s hand that you hold to rap on a ball underneath to let la senora know you are waiting for a glass of wine.

Art Nouveau buildings in Barcelona often have interior spaces.  Gaudí, not able to leave one surface unadorned, designed this blue facade which starts with dark blue tiles at the base that graduate to a lighter blue at the top.

Where?  23 Passeig de Gracia.  Lines are long so get there  early.  More expensive than other Gaudí buildings to visit.   Audio tour excellent.  For hours, which can change depending on holidays, etc., see Casa Batlló.

What are some of your favorite buildings in Barcelona?

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