Visiting Barcelona conjures up thoughts of amazing architecture, baroque churches, epic nightlife and of course Antoni Gaudi. More often than not when you search for things to do in Barcelona, you are met with a long list of Antonio Gaudi landmarks, one of the more popular being, the Sagrada Familia. Outside of this tourist favorite, Gaudi has many notable works throughout the city and Casa Batllo is one that should not be missed!
Casa Batllo, located in the heart of Barcelona along Passeig de Gracia, is a colorful canvas of nature-inspired details, evoking a dream world that can only be explained by your wildest imagination. Originally bought by the very wealthy Batllo family, it was restored in the early 1900’s by Gaudi and his team, creating a visual masterpiece that came with high function-ability.
If you are anything like me and follow Instagram religiously you probably can’t help but notice everyone’s photo of the outside of Casa Batllo. As one of Gaudi’s most photographed works of art, I hardly ever see anyone capture the inside. So when touring Barcelona I, of course, made a trip to view the outside of this building but was intrigued by what I might find beyond the front door. Upon entering, instant gratification ensued, and I knew I had made the right decision to step inside and below are my reasons why you should escape into Gaudi’s world.
- The Deep Blue Sea
Always drawing inspiration from nature, Gaudi created a space within the walls of Casa Batllo where one could feel like they were swimming in the deep blue sea. With blue tiled walls and stained glass windows, complete with twisting and swirling lines, you feel as though you are in an aquatic dream. With an unexpected and overwhelming sense of calm, these unique design elements can be seen throughout the entire house.
2. Don’t Keep it Straight
Gaudi was known for was his specific intention of not setting straight lines within his designs. This is evident in most of his work but seemed to be more so at Casa Batllo. With twirling stairs, curvaceous windows, and arched doorways, Gaudi created a space not meant for the straight and narrow. Hallways such as the one below are prime examples of the kind of space you encountered once inside this house.
3. Rooftop Dragon
What can only be described from onlookers passing by, as the back of a dragon, the shape of this rooftop terrace was anything but ordinary. While you can get the idea of this extraordinary design from the street, true appreciation only comes from viewing the design up close and personal. Stepping out onto the rooftop, you are greeting with sweeping views of Barcelona, multiple colorfully decorated chimney stacks, a design element Gaudi is known for, and an oddly shaped structure with crackled orange tile and multi-colored mosaics used to create what appears to be the scaly back of a dragon. This is absolutely unlike any other rooftop you have ever been on!
4. The Centerpiece
The Noble floor, a room to see and be seen. As the “centerpiece” of the house, the room overlooks the ever popular Passeig de Gracia street, which is easily visible with the floor to ceiling oval-shaped windows as the main feature. The colorful stained glass fills the room with blue hues, reminiscent of the feeling of being in the water. A unique feature of this room is the private nook nestled in a romantic mushroom-shaped fireplace, known as a festerdor, which was used for courting couples that needed chaperoning. As one of the more fascinating facts I learned on the tour, the Noble Floor quickly became my favorite place in the house.
5. Outdoor Ambiance
Nestled in between the city buildings of Barcelona, this quiet patio is a garden fantasy come to life. Walking out onto the muted yellow and blue tiles that created a patchwork of impeccable design you are greeted with a rounded wall mixed with a harmony of colored mosaic tiles. Speckled with potted plants and flowered vines this had to be the best spot in the house to enjoy an evening cocktail.