Casa Battló

In 1875 a building was built that would go on to inspire millions.

A building that each week hundreds would flock to, to get the chance to see.
But it wasn’t until 1904 that the building became the magnificence that is recognised today.

Casa Battló was the work of Antoni Gaudi, a Spanish Catalan architect whom devoted his life to expressing his three passions; nature, architecture and religion.

Influenced by the various elements of nature, Casa Battló incorporates light, style and movement, with a design so curvaceous you can almost see the literal representation of waves flowing throughout the house.

S and I visited Casa Battló during our ride around Barcelona’s city tour, and from the moment I stood outside, my interest was piqued.

Gorgeous colours swirled in intricate patterns and the skeletal structure created a fierce edge to something that looked so otherwise innocent.

After paying the entrance fee (€21.50) we were handed an audio telephone device thing to listen to as we walked, giving us a tour that moved as steadily as we wanted too. It’s quite hard to juggle a bag and a camera whilst holding a device to your ear to listen to, but luckily the audio telephone thing (technical term) has an earphone outlet, so if you remember take some with you so that you can enjoy hands free roaming.

The 1st room we walked into was the entrance to the stairs that wound up the entirety of the house. The stairs were wide and with each step we took I felt myself grow more and more captivated by the intricate designs.

For Gaudi’s designs weren’t just visual, they were functional.
The stairs didn’t just look pretty and bridge the gap between floors, they made everything feel easier, more natural. Such as the bannister that would in(and de)crease in width in certain areas – which wasn’t to make a statement but to fit the shape and contour of your hand as you moved up the stairs.

In the middle of the house is a light well, a large skylight that pools light through the layers of the house to maximise natural lighting. Many houses in that era were built with skylights, however Gaudi enlarged Casa Battló’s well and covered it in blue tiles, that deepened in colour the higher up they went, to give the illusion of an equal distribution of light.
As an accompaniment to this the windows decreased in size, with the smallest being at the top of the house becoming larger as you moved towards the lower floors.
And to the side of this well is an elevator which Gaudi installed, which still functions today.

The roof terrace overlooked beautiful structures and Gaudi had designed everything down to the very last chimney. The sky light had been designed so that rain drops would continuously slide, rather than settle and the curvatures of the roof combined with the cross is believed to be representational of the legend of St George killing the dragon.
There were certain areas that were out of bounds to the general public, and I don’t think i’ve ever been so frustrated by limitations. I wanted to see into the apartments behind the giant doors, wander up the closed off stairs and discover every little secret and story behind Casa Battló. But unfortunately I couldn’t.

However that doesn’t take away its magic.

Gaudi was an unique individual.
A talented and inspirational innovator.

His theatrics and creativity had me excited and intrigued no matter which direction I turned in, eager to explore and uncover the secrets, reason and stories behind each room and I promise you that a tour through Casa Battló is worth every bit of time and effort.

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