Entering the domain of Gaudí's most recognised piece of architecture.
30.06.2012 - 30.06.2012
I have wanted to visit Casa Batlló for a long time. The truth is I pass by this building almost everyday because this impressive piece of architecture is located in the centre of Barcelona, yet I'd never actually been inside. Though let me be the first to say; I had my reasons for this. For a start the entry fee isn't exactly what you would call cheap, they never open in the evenings nor other occasions... and well... there's almost always a queue.
But this weekend I decided that the time had come to make a visit to this monument by Gaudí, and after getting the entry ticket online to avoid the queues (which cost 18.15€), I went to discover what was within this iconic modernist building.
The building is found on one of the a main streets in Barcelona - Paseo de Gracia, just to the side of the metro exit, so it didn't take much time to find, even if you don't know Barcelona very well. At the entrance they give you an audio guide without any additional charges so that you can begin touring the museum without losing out on any of the details.
In reality, the building was originally constructed by the Spanish architect Emili Sala Cortés in 1875 but was later reconstructed by Antoni Gaudí who was entrusted to the project by the homeowner at the time; the industrious Josep Batlló i Casanoves, between 1904 and 1906
The facade of the building is awe-inspiring. Made of sandstone from Montjuíc, it has been carved into a warped shape according to superficial rules. There are many different interpretations regarding the symbology of the main facade, but it seems that the most correct interpretation is that the construction represents the figure of a giant dragon - a favourite of Gaudí that appears in many of his works. The most curious thing however, is that when you consider the entire decor of the building, there are hardly any straight lines.
After scaling the stairs you enter the main floor, which is the principal dwelling of the building. Seeing it for the first time was a little sad as there is hardly anything left of the property in terms of furniture, so it's hard to imagine the lives of the more affluent members of Spanish society in the early twentieth century. Despite that point, you can still enjoy the views of Paseo de Gracia through the extravagant windows.
Climb some more stairs and you arrive at a small terrace. It was there that I stayed to rest a little bit whilst observing the trademark mosaics of Gaudí before continuing on with my climb.
Before reaching the roof of the building (the most beautiful part as you can see in the photos), you can take a seat in the media room where they show some documentaries about modernism and Antoni Guadí (you can even see his hologram!).
Finally, before you leave this museum of sorts, you can stop by the gift shop! You'll find everything here. I couldn't resist leaving without buying myself a little souvenir of the visit; a red dragon.