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Casa Battló


  - 5 opinions

Where amazing happens

Published by Emanuele Benetti — 5 years ago

When I saw it for the first time, through the window of a bus quickly driving for Passeig de Gracia, it made no special impression to me. Just a weird piece of architecture, an odd house which balconies looking like skulls. Nothing was farther from the truth, of course, as I have discovered in recent times. Casa Battlò is a masterpiece of incredible beauty, which will never stop surprising and amazing you. In my first proper encounter with it, indeed, I just could not stop taking photos, and spent almost half an hour in front of it, standing in awe and contemplation.

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Bizarre and almost naïf at first glance, the house actually presents all the traits of the genial style of its creator, Antoni Gaudi. As for most of his works, indeed, the architect employed common materials like colourful tiles, which characterize most of the facade. Shades of blue, green, orange and purple seem to be in perpetual change due to the sunlight and the position of the observer, creating a magical effect which catches even the eye of the most distract passer-by. The balconies are one of the most unique features of the building. Quite similar to wide Carnival masks (though at first sight I had mistaken them for skulls), they are a typical creation of Dali's taste for curved lines. In the facade of Casa Battlò (and in general in most of his buildings), indeed, you will hardly find an example of straight line, which according to Gaudi was not found in nature.

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Right around the balconies, decorations patterns resembling fish scales are scattered everywhere, even on the wide glass walls which allow a view on the insight. Another incredible element of the facade is precisely the structure of the glass walls, framed by a series of this columns whose shape strangely resemble that of long bones. Due to this disturbing similarity, the house has been also labeled with the unflattering name of Casa dels Ossos (House of the Bones). Undoubtedly, the other epithet provided to define Casa Battlò sounds far better than the former: Casa del Drac (House of the Dragon), referring to the structure of the roof. Quite unique, indeed.

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In effect, we may say that the figure apparently crouching on the roof is quite similar to a dragon, though it is almost impossible to see it standing close to the facade. From distance, anyway, you will be able to admire the colourful scales of the supposed dragon, magically shining in the sun or just reflecting the dim light of the cloudy days. According to some interpretations, the small tower with a cross on the top may represent Sant Jordi (Saint George), the saint patron of Catalonia, depicted in the traditional act of killing the dragon. Without embarking in such speculations, it can be said with some confidence that the tower constitutes further proof of the religious fervour of the architect, as the three letters marked on it were probably meant to demonstrate.

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An insistent clamour suddenly awoke me from my state of contemplation, reminding me not only that I was surrounded by a crowd moving along Passeig de Gracia, but also that hundreds of people were queuing in front of me in order to visit the house. Though I have not been inside, I understand that the furniture and the inner decorations of Casa Battlò are probably as wonderful as the facade. Although, I must admit that I was put off by the consistent entrance fee (20 Euros), not to mention the fact that if I had been standing for half an hour staring at the facade, the rest of the house would probably have taken me the rest of the day!

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Dove la meraviglia è di casa

Published by Emanuele Benetti — 5 years ago

Quando la vidi per la prima volta, attraverso il finestrino di un autobus che percorreva rapidamente Passeig de Gracia, non mi fece nessuna intenzione particolare, Giusto uno strano capriccio architettonico, una casa assai strana con i balconi che sembravano teschi. Niente di più lontano dalla verità, naturalmente, come ho potuto scoprire di recente. Casa Batllò è un capolavoro di incredibile bellezza, che non smetterà mai di stupirvi e meravigliarvi. Nel mio primo incontro vero e proprio con essa, infatti, non potevo letteralmente smettere di fotografarla, trascorrendo quasi mezzora perso nella contemplazione, preso dalla meraviglia.

Bizzarra e quasi naif a prima vista, la casa in realtà presenta tutte le caratteristiche dello stile geniale del suo creatore, Antoni Gaudi. Come per la maggior parte delle sue opere, infatti, l'architetto impiegò materiali da costruzione comuni quali piastrelle colorate, che caratterizzano la maggior parte della facciata. Sfumature di blu, verde, arancione e violetto sembrano succedersi in perpetuo mutamento, secondo la luce del sole e la posizione dell'osservatore, creando un effetto magico che cattura l'attenzione anche del passante più distratto. I balconi sono uno degli elementi più straordinari dell'edificio. Assai simili a grandi maschere di Carnevale (per quanto, a prima vista, le avessi scambiate per teschi), sono un tipico prodotto del gusto di Dali per la linea curva. Nella facciata di Casa Batllò (e in generale nella maggior parte dei suoi edifici), infatti, troverete a stento un esempio di linea retta, dato che essa, secondo Dali, non esisteva in natura.

Proprio intorno ai balconi, decorazioni che assomigliano a scaglie di pesce sono sparse dovunque, perfino sulle ampie vetrate che permettono di vedere all'interno. Un altro incredibile elemento della facciata è precisamente la struttura delle vetrate, incorniciate da una serie di colonne la cui forma ricorda stranamente quella di lunghe ossa. A causa di questa inquietante somiglianza, la casa è stata anche definita con il poco onorevole soprannome di Casa dels Ossos (Casa delle Ossa). Indubbiamente, l'altro epiteto coniato per indicare Casa Batllò suona decisamente meglio del precedente: Casa del Drac (Casa del Drago), in riferimento alla struttura del tetto. Una struttura assai unica, infatti.

Effettivamente, si potrebbe affermare che la figura apparentemente accucciata sul tetto è abbastanza simile a un drago, per quanto sia quasi impossibile vederla se ci si trova vicini alla facciata. Da lontano, invece, potrete ammirare le scaglie colorate dell'immaginario drago: esse sembrano risplendere magicamente nei giorni di sole, mentre in quelli nuvolosi si limitano a riflettere la luce fioca. Secondo alcune interpretazioni, la torretta con una croce in cima rappresenterebbe Sant Jordi (San Giorgio), il patrono della Catalogna, raffigurato nell'atto di uccidere il drago. Anche senza avventurarsi in simili interpretazioni, è possibile affermare con certezza che la torretta costituisce un'ulteriore prova del fervore religioso dell'architetto, come indicano le tre lettere che campeggiano su di essa.

Un vociare insistente mi risvegliò d'improvviso dal mio stato di contemplazione, ricordandomi non solo che ero circondato da un brulicare di gente in movimento lungo Passeig de Gracia, ma anche che centinaia di persone erano in fila davanti a me per visitare la casa. Pur non essendo stato all'interno, per quanto ho potuto sapere le decorazioni interne di Casa Batllò sono probabilmente tanto meravigliose come la facciata. Tuttavia, devo ammettere di essere stato scoraggiato (almeno per ora) dal considerevole prezzo del biglietto d'ingresso (20 euro), per tacere del fatto che, avendo impiegato mezzora solo per contemplare la facciata, il resto della casa probabilmente mi avrebbe portato via il resto della giornata!


Just modernism...

Published by angelo laudiero — 4 years ago

Casa Battlò is one of the most famous buildings in Barcelona. Located in the heart of the city (Passeig de Gràcia), it is an expression of modernism in architecture. Designed by the world famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi in 1877, the masterpiece was bought by Joseph Battló in 1900 and today is one of the Barcelona flagship buildings and attractions. What really fascinates the visitor are those colors, curves, forms, balconies, floors and the roof architecture with towers and ceramics.

It's one expression of modernism in architecture but we've got many other examples in the city: Casa Milà, Sagrada Familia and park Guell. Don't miss it!

If you have the time to continue visiting Barcelona, I recommend you take a look to this post.

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Funky building with a funny name

Published by Martha S — 3 years ago

If you are making a bucket list for your upcoming trip to Barcelona, or you are just a student, who is moving there for one semester, or even the whole school year, I know a place that you should definitely include on your list of things that you will visit when you will be in Barcelona. I guarantee you that this point of interest will leave you with your mouth open. If not, I owe you a beer! The name of this famous point of interest is Casa Batlló, and it is known as another modernist Gaudi's masterpiece.

Where to look for Casa Batlló?

Situated close to several other points of interest, you will find Casa Batlló just a short walking distance away from several means of public transport. Using the metro is definitely the easiest way, and you can choose between several different lines and stations, which are all very close to Casa Batlló.

To get there, you can use the green line L3 and exit at Passeig de Gracia, or the purple line L2, and exit at the same station. There are several exits to choose from, and when I was getting there, I was lucky enough to choose the exit right in front of Casa Batlló.

But do not worry, even if you exit the metro somewhere else, you just have to look around a bit, and I am sure that you will immediately be able to spot this extraordinary building. After all, a house that looks drunk and has almost no straight lines, is not a very common thing to see.

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And in case you are planning to see more sights in that area, let me tell you that Placa Catalunya, and therefore the famous La Rambla street, is situated just ten minutes of walking away. There is also another Gaudi's masterpiece, called La Pedrera, but is also known as Casa Mila, only a couple hundreds of meters away from Casa Batlló.

The exterior

I had to think for a few minutes before I figured out how to start describing this outstanding building. And I have came to a conclusion that the best way to start is – from above.

And when I was looking up, I have noticed that the building on the left side of Casa Battló is also quite interesting, but if you compare these two, you can easily guess which one is better. Well, at least I liked Casa Battló much more. After all, I am not even sure if the building on the left is considered as a point of interest or not. But just look at its roof – it looks like stairs.

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The roof is colourful, although the most common colour is blue, followed by green, and it reminded me of a snake skin. After a closer inspection, I figured out that it could as well represent a dragon. But it was quite difficult for me to see all the details up there, so i decided to go back on the other side of the street. And it turned out this was the right decision.

From there, I was really able to see most of the great details on the roof. And even if you did not know that this building is Gaudi's, you could easily guess it by looking at the roof – there are a lot of these small columns up there, that are so typical for him. I am sorry, but I was not able to take a better photo of the roof. Yeah, short people's problems…

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The walls of this breathtaking house are not any less spectacular that the roof. After all, you can only expect perfection from Gaudi's masterpieces. And you can only see this place as a whole, if you look at it from far away. So, after admiring it from the distance for quite some time, I have decided to move closer again, to be able to pay more attention to the details.

There are a few small windows just below the roof, and the row below them will surprise you with bigger windows and interesting balconies. Not to forget to mention the walls – they are not boring, ordinary white walls. Not at all. They are painted in different colours, that form flowers. At least I thought they were painted, until I looked closer. In fact, the whole facade is made out of colourful ceramic tiles.

Seriously, when I was looking at all this, I was overflowed by emotions, and I started to wish that I could make Casa Batlló smaller, so I could take it home and admire it from close – up every single day. And I wonder how many new things I am going to discover on Casa Batlló when I will see it next time.

But back to the balconies. They somehow remind me of a skull – you can clearly see two eyes and a nose. A bit extravagant, if you ask me, but I would totally live inside this house if I could!

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The first thing that I noticed when I saw this house (and you will probably do the same), is the strange shape of the windows on the first floor. And this is the reason that I have left them for the end. After all, they are the part of this house, that gives the impression that the place is drunk. Or maybe gives you the feeling that you are drunk, since the building does not seem straight. So, those windows look like giant soap bubbles, surrounded by bones. I am not sure why, but the lower part of this outstanding building really gives you the impression that it is made out of bones.

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It is also possible to see the interior of Casa Batlló, and, judging by the pictures that I have seen online, I must say that it has to be an experience on its own to see the interior of this building. And it is indeed possible, but the catch is that the entrance ticket costs 21, 5 Euros. I still have to think whether it is worth it or not. But I think I will go and check it out. After all, I will probably regret more not going inside, than spending those twenty Euros on what is said to be an absolute masterpiece.

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Conclusion

It was several years ago, when I first heard of another famous Antoni Gaudi's creation, called Casa Batlló. Actually, I have seen the picture first, before knowing the name of the building. And when I figured out how it is called, I thought that someone has misspelled it. Honestly, I still have no idea how to pronounce it and I am somehow afraid to ask some locals, because they will definitely laugh at me. But the point is, that I have promised myself that, once in the near future, I will see this building with my own eyes. And I must say that it even exceeded my expectations.

What saddened me a bit when I was admiring Casa Batlló, is that most of the people there focused more on taking selfies in front of this house, than on actually taking some time to really see it. After all, you cannot really say that you have seen it, if you were only looking at it through the lens of your camera…

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Casa Batllo is the highlight of Barcelona

Published by L Ge — 2 years ago

Casa Batllo is the most amazing tourist attraction in Barcelona and one of the most beautiful houses in Europe, I would say. Even amongst all the buildings designed by Antoni Gaudi, Casa Batllo should be placed in top 3.

I visited Casa Batllo on a winter evening. That evening I walked along the most bustling street in Barcelona, Passeig de Gràcia, where all the luxury shops, restaurants, and hotels were. Although all the buildings looked magnificent and beautiful along that street in the evening, I still found this house uncommonly stunning when I walked in front of it - it suddenly caught all my attention and made me forget about the surroundings.

Casa Batllo is the highlight of Barcelona

I couldn't help buying one ticket. I then put on the earphone for the video guide (included in the ticket) and started my journey inside the dreamlike house.

On the ground floor were only two vases. Beside the vases was the staircase. From the picture below, you can see that the staircase is full of curves - there's no straight line or angle. When I walked up the stairs, I put my hand on the handrail, and it felt comfortable.

Casa Batllo is the highlight of Barcelona

After I got on the first floor, I found that all the things there were made of curves, and only a few straight lines were there. There were many wavy lines decorated on the walls, which made other things look as if they were flowing with water. Some decorative designs on the walls looked like birds, some looked like flowers, and some were similar to sea animals. As what the video guide said, things in Casa Batllo are 'living' things.

Casa Batllo is the highlight of Barcelona

Casa Batllo is the highlight of Barcelona

Casa Batllo is the highlight of Barcelona

Also, colours in the building looked dreamy. Maybe because it was evening, all the lights were on, and the soft light gave the rooms soft colours.

When I further went up stairs, I found most of the rooms were closed. But the roof was open. Everyone burst out an exclamation at the first glance at the roof, because the roof looked as if it was made of a dragon. There were some chimneys that looked like dragon paws; another part of the roof looked like the back of a dragon. Every tourist was taking photos like crazy.

Casa Batllo is the highlight of Barcelona

Casa Batllo is the highlight of Barcelona

Yes, the entrance fee to Casa Batllo is expensive (19.5 euros for students), but I don't think it a rip-off. The superb design is worth the money. You can't see anything else like Casa Batllo.

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