An impressive modernist medieval fusion in Barcelona.
21.07.2012 - 21.07.2012
On my last outing I made a visit to the spectacular gardens of Laberint d'Horta, so this time I decided to head back to the city centre and visit a very special and not so widely touristic building. It's one of the best examples of Catalan modernism, however believe it or not, this time the creator is not Antoni Guadí, rather Josep Ouig i Cadafalch. The building in question is Casa Terrades, which has been colloquially named as Casa de les Punxes (House of the Spikes in English)
Right, let's begin. On Saturday morning I went to this beautiful building located on Avenida Diagonal in Barcelona, the largest street in the city. It's easy to find because it is found right next to Passeig de Gràcia and is also very close to La Pedrera. The nearest metro stations are Diagonal and Verdaguer, although there are also many bus stops nearby like the 33, 6, 34, or 15. It's a nice area, so if you're interested in staying nearby there is an apartment called Apartment Rossello II where you can literally exit from and view this urban castle from Puig I Cadafalsh.
You can see this monument from a distance as it's a huge medieval style castle intended to unite three different homes owned by the Terrades sisters. With distinct neo-gothic features this house has 6 towers that end in iron spikes. It is as if the house is out of a medieval or Norse legend, made with red bricks and spectacular decorative details.
The main entrance of the house that is closer to Passeig de Gracia has some of its windows seperated by slender white stone columns that are decorated in floral patterns. There is a ceiling with religious motifs that seem to represent an angel. The pictures that you can take around here are brilliant. I went on a particularly sunny day, but the photos didn't turn out to bad (I think).
You can't visit the actual houses. All of the entrances lead to businesses (like a koisk, a clothing shop for babies), or they lead to offices (what homes are left remain private). It is a shame because I would have liked to see one of the homes from the inside, but seeing the outside is enough I suppose. What is more surprising are the very nice floral motifs of modernist character across the columns, windows, balconies, iron railings... and even on the bottom of the balconies
Finally, one of the most important details is the panel that appears on the façade on Diagonal, which is a representation of Saint George, the patron saint of Catalonia, along with a phrase that says “Sant Patró de Catalunya, torneu-nos la llibertat” or in English “The Patron Saint of Catalonia will give us back our freedom”. It's a truthful depiction of the historic cultural relationship between Catalonia and Spain.
It won't take you long to visit this building so it's worth a quick look even if you're not too keen on the idea. For me, it took about 45 minutes after snapping a bunch of photos. You can make your little tour before or after visiting the modernist houses of Passeig de Gracia (La Pedrera from my earlier article is only 5 minutes by foot). You can also stop by in this area to eat at the Tapa Madre restaurant on Calle Mallorca 301. Good tapas that I found to be affordable.