When you are traveling to Barcelona, you must have heard of Gaudi already. Without seeing his architecture, you cannot say that you have seen Barcelona. The reason Barcelona is special and differenciated from other European cities would be because of unique architectures of Gaudi, spreaded all over Barcelona. Casa Batllo is one of his most representative architecture you should not miss.
Among the normal buildings on Gracia street, you suddenly spot this unique and outstanding building. Different from normal straight buildings, the facade is curvy like waves in the storm. Batllo family wanted to build a house on Gracia street, which is the main street of Barcelona, to show off their wealth.
Smart guided tour is included in the ticket price already. Smart guide combines audio and visual guided tour. When you click the according number of each room on the machine, you can listen to the explanations while it also shows you the furniture and atmospheres through the screen.
The living room area of Casa Batllo. The common disctinct of architectures of Gaudi is the curve. Impressed from the nature, he applied the shape of the nature on the buildings as well. As the nature doesn't have straight lines, his architectures are naturally curvy.
Through the big windows in the living room, you can look down the Gracia street. It was for Batllo family to look outside, and also to show off their wealth and lifestyle.
Gaudi considered lights one of the most important parts of architecture, thus, he installed skylights even in the very small room. Skylights allow the natural lightings indoor while stained glasses penetrate colorful lights. The windows can be pushed up and down to refresh the air, which keeps the shape and space than pushing windows towards outside or inside.
The ceiling of the living room impresses you embodying whirlpool. From the ceiling to the floor, you can see Gaudi's artistic inspirations.
The garden of Casa Batllo is designed with the Mediterranean style. Gaudi often used trencadis technique which seems similar to mosaic. While mosaic is to arrange small pieces of tiles or glasses to create one big piece, trencadis is to break tiles and arrange them again to make a piece. With trencadis technique, the normal tiles become shiny and artistic artwork.
When you go upstairs through stairs, you will see two rooms on each floor. There is an alphabet on each room instead of the room numbers. Gaudi designed each letter in more artistic ways.
Observe the shape of doorknobs. He grabbed some clays and clenched his fist, and modeling the reformed clay, he made the unique doorknobs which are the most comfortable to grab. Through this small detail, you can notice his philosophy of architecture to optimize for humans.
In Casa Batllo, every single thing has its own meaning and purpose. Nothing is by coincidence in this house. From A to Z, Gaudi delivers his delicate and artistic senses.
The highlight of Casa Batllo is this part. The windows get smaller as going above, while the colors get darker. Considering the lights coming in through the dome, he placed tiles in darker colors above, while putting light colored tiles on lower floors where it is harder to get light.
The handrails are made of oaks, to protect glass panels while giving the nice touch. When you move from side to side, through the glass panels, you can see the effect of rising waves.
The rooftop of Casa Batllo. The spiked pilars are chimneys of this house which are transformed to one of the design elements. He used trencadis technique to build the rooftop as well. When you look around Barcelona from the rooftop, you realize again how special this house is among the normal European buildings. Built in 1877, Casa Batllo is even more modern, artistic, and creative than any other new buildings.
There is a photo spot which is included in some types of tickets. You can take a photo at the balcony of Casa Batllo as if you are the owner of this house.
The souvenir shop of Casa Batllo is greatly interesting with displayed souvenirs applied with trencadis technique or stained glasses of Casa Batllo. There is a special souvenir with the alphabet Gaudi himself designed. The necklaces and bracelets with the letters he designed can be found nowhere else.
The tour is even more interesting and attractive when you know the history of this house and the intentions of Gaudi. Even when you do not know well about Gaudi or architecture, you don't have to worry at all as the smart guide will perfectly guide you. The admission fee is quite costly, however, there are various things to see inside and you will get lots of knowledge about Gaudi and architecture, and also artistic inspirations.
Words and Photographs by Yuna Lee
Address : Passeig de Gràcia, 43, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
Transportation : Metro L2, L3, L4 Passeig de Gràcia
Opening Hours : daily 9:00-21:00
Admission Fee : Adults - 24.5 euros(basic), 30.5 euros(skip the line), 34.50 euros(vip+photo) / Students & Under 7-18 years old - 21.5 euros(basic), 27.5 euros(skip the line), 31.5 euros(vip+photo) / Free under 7 years old
Website : https://www.casabatllo.es/en/online-tickets/visit-casa-batllo/