The Casa Batllo (Casa Batlló) is the most original and dreamlike house of the architect Antoni Gaudí in Barcelona. Polychrome facade decorated with ceramic and glass, undulating roof allegory of Saint George killing the dragon. The fundamental work of Catalan modernism, being Gaudi the incontestable leader. It was built between 1904 and 1906. Located at 43, Passeig de Gràcia, in the heart of the Eixample district and precisely in the center of the famous block called « Manzana de la Discordia ».
The Spanish expression, Manzana de la Discordia, is a pun: manzana meaning both "block" and "apple", meaning the apple of Discord. At the beginning of the twentieth century, it is important to know that there was a fierce competition between wealthy owners and their architects to build the most beautiful house in Barcelona.
The Patrons: The Batlló Family
In the midst of an industrial revolution, Barcelona is totally transformed. Entrepreneurs are getting rich with the newest chemical, metallurgical, electrical and automotive industries. They rivaled audacity, wanting to leave their marks in the city. Josep Batlló i Casanovas made a fortune in the textile industry. To differentiate himself from his family, who built magnificent modernist but more traditional buildings, he appealed to the star of the time: Antoni Gaudí. The latter had already taken over the project of La Sagrada Família since 1884, also worked on the Parc Güell (1900-1914) and had finished La Casa Calvet en 1900, the Gibert pharmacy,the decoration of the Bar Torino en 1902.
Josep Batlló that had already bought a building, orders Gaudi to destroy it and to let his imagination run free to make it his masterpiece. Technical prowess for the time, the architect will content himself with remodeling the building without destroying it.
La Casa Batllo was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1964 as "Works of Antoni Gaudí" in conjunction with the Güell Park, the Güell Colonnade, the Güell Palace, the Casa Vicens, the Nativity Facade and The crypt of the Sagrada Família and the Casa Milà.
The visit of La Casa Batlló: The Facade.
Faithful to his usual technique, Gaudí carries out very few plans and relies mainly on plaster models, which he shapes until obtaining the sinuous forms that he desires. The Casa Batllo is known in Barcelona as the Casa dels ossos (House of the Bones), owing its name to its very original architecture: the balconies resemble fragments of skull with openings for eyes and nose. The columns of the first-floor grandstand have the shape of human bones (tibia) and many other details of the facade makes us think of a skeleton.
Another possible interpretation is that the balconies resemble Venetian masks. The facade, undulating and composed of a mosaic of glass and ceramic, gives under the effect of the sun, the impression of being in motion and waving like waves. The columns at the bottom of the building recall tree trunks. This gives the house a much more magical and fairy look.
Finally the roof, terrace that we can visit today, reminds the arched back of a dragon. The ceramic tiles that cover it look like scales. Inside there is a wooden staircase that recalls strangely a vertebral column, which could belong to the supposed mythical dragon.
Another symbol is a tower surmounted by a "Gaudian" cross with four branches oriented at the four cardinal points.
Visit : Casa Batllo inside
As for the façade, Gaudi is inspired by the marine environment to decorate the interior of this house: the vestibule and the patios are dominated by the navy blue and the ocher of the rocks. The walls are undulating like waves and decorated with fish scales. The stained-glass windows represent water bubbles.
The entry hall
This magnificent entrance evokes an underwater grotto with dormers in the form of tortoises, arched walls and its staircase has the shapes of animals from the depths.
The Noble Floor
It was home to the Batllo family. Now empty of furniture, it is captivating by the beauty of its undulating ceiling - another reference to the strength of the sea - and by its large glass roof which overlooks the Paseo de Gracia.
This huge backyard of 230 square meters was directly connected to the dining room of the noble floor. The trencadis, always used by Gaudi, allows him to give free rein to his creative imagination: these mosaics based on ceramic bursts and glass, decorate the whole space with blue, green and red reflections. Definitely it is the most beautiful modernist patio in Barcelona.
It was used as launderette and storage for the tenants of Casa Batllo. But what a granary! It feels like being in the dragon's belly with the succession of ribbed bows... If the light is sifted, the beast may not be far away indeed... Just above on the roof terrace..
The Terrace Roof
It is without a doubt the signature of the brilliant architect for the Casa Batlló: the largest polychrome sculpture of the building. Gaudí draws the spine of the animal using tiles giving it the appearance of a tortoise shell with a sharp gradation going from orange to white. The picnic-shaped fireplaces are grouped like mushrooms. Their curvatures and their colors will be found at the Palau Güell and the nearby Casa Milà.
Useful information and Facts
Visit La Casa Batllo: entrance ticket price
The Casa Batlló is open to the public only since 2011. The visit has nevertheless immediately become one of the main tourist attractions in Barcelona as its magnetism is irresistible. We advise you to buy a ticket that will allow you to choose the date and time of your visit and thus avoid the foreseeable queues for the discovery of this masterpiece of Catalan Modernism.
- Adult over 18 years: 23.50 €
- Young from 7 to 17 years: 20.50 €
- Children under 7: Free
- Student: 20.50 €
- Senior over 65 years old: 20.50 €
An audio guide is available in: Catalan, Spanish, English, French, Italian, German, Chinese, Japanese, Russian and Portuguese. Don’t forget the casa Batllo gift shop to buy a unique souvenir.
Casa Batllo Opening hours
- La Casa Batlló is open 365 days a year.
- It is visited from 9 am to 9 pm - on site the ticket office closes at 9 pm and the purchase of tickets online is limited to 7:30 pm
- The very rare days of exceptional events, the Casa Batlló remains open in the morning from 9 am to 2 pm.
We advise you to visit this monument around 11 o'clock in the morning to avoid too busy schedules. It takes at least two hours to visit Casa Batlló.
Where is the Casa Batlló? Getting there:
The Casa Batlló is located on Passeig de Gràcia, 43
The nearest metro station is Passeig de Gràcia, which runs on lines L2, L3, L4
Buses 7, 16, 17, 22, 24 and 28 serve the same station
The Casa Batlló is accessible to people with reduced mobility.
Special Events & Activities
Private party - Events
The Casa Batlló is the only modernist building that you can rent for an evening or a special event for companies or individuals. Needless to say that for your guests, the effect of surprise will be at the rendezvous. The noble floor, the Jujol living room, the attic and the roof terrace are available for rental. A dream space for exceptional events.. Our teams can organize such activities in Barcelona for companies and groups
Christmas and New Year's Day at Casa Batlló
If you are in Barcelona for the end-of-year celebrations between December 19 and January 9, know that an audiovisual show is projected on the facade of the building: it's Christmas at Casa Batlló!
Casa BatllóPasseig de Gràcia, 43, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
Area: Eixample left
Website: Casa Batlló - Barcelona
Opening hours: Every day 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Prices: 23.50€ (they have special discounts)
Phone: +34 93 488 06 66
Metro/Bus: Metro: L3 Passeig de Gràcia