Casa Batllo or House of Batllo is perhaps the most beautiful residential property ever built.
Located on number 43, Paseo de Gracia, in the central region of Barcelona, the building is a major tourist and cultural attraction.
Casa Batllo was built by Antoni Gaudi and receives more than a million tourists every year.
Inspired by nature, Gaudi has ended up building a dream-like house which all tourists in Barcelona must visit.
Some die-hard Gaudi fans, visit CasaBatlloo at night.
Interesting Casa Batllo facts
Over the years lots of interesting facts about Casa Batllo have emerged.
Some are documented Casa Batllo facts and some are just legendary stories.
Some of the below-mentioned facts are academic and while others are just Casa Batllo fun facts.
For example, Did you know the fact that there are virtually no straight lines in the entire design of Casa Batllo.
Continue reading for some of the best Casa Batllo facts –
Casa Batllo is named after its second owner
The building was originally built in the year 1877, by Emilio Sala Cortés, a professor at the Provincial School of Architecture, Barcelona.
In 1903, a businessman named Mr Josep Batllo y Casanovas bought the building and decided to turn it into his residence.
Yes, you got it right – Casa Batllo is named after its second owner.
Mr Batllo wanted Gaudi to demolish the building
It is a known fact that Mr Batllo was unhappy with the original design.
He wanted something out-of-the-box, something captivating. He wanted his residence to be the best in the area.
Mr Batllo gave Gaudi the artistic freedom to create, and the architect didn’t let him down.
He even gave the architect permission to demolish the building and start afresh, but Gaudi decided against it.
Casa Batllo was originally built by Gaudi’s architecture professor
Yes, that’s right.
The building Antoni Gaudi was asked to improve was originally built by one of his professors.
When Gaudi was studying at Provincial School of Architecture in Barcelona, Prof Emilio Sala Cortés used to teach him architecture.
Some believe that this was why when Mr Batllo asked him to demolish and rebuild Casa Batllo, Gaudi refused. And reformed it instead.
Gaudi got Casa Batllo project because of Park Guell
The Catalan architect Gaudi had started work on Park Guell in 1900. He would continue to work on it for the next 14 years.
In 1903, when Mr Batllo was looking for an architect to re-build his residence, he came to know of Gaudi’s work at Park Guell.
Mr Batllo was impressed by what he saw at Park Guell and commissioned Casa Batllo’s re-building to Gaudi (in 1904).
Gaudi’s design for Casa Batllo almost got rejected
As is today, back then as well every residential building’s design had to be approved by the local Government in Barcelona.
Being a risk-taking architect, Gaudi planned many features for Casa Batllo which broke away from Barcelona’s building norms.
Gaudi’s plan for Casa Batllo was discussed in great detail by the local government and there was a lot of opposition as well. Fortunately, in the end they consented.
Casa Batllo lost a competition for ‘best house’
This is a very interesting Casa Batllo fact.
Casa Batllo is located on a street named Manzana de la Discordia.
Manzana de la Discordia means the Apple of Discord.
In Greek mythology, an apple was given by Eris to ‘the fairest’ that led to discord between three goddesses and eventually, the Trojan War.
The specific period of construction of Casa Batllo was a time when every family was competing to build the most remarkable house in order to win the best urban house award, hosted by the Barcelona City Council.
Here, the discord refers to the rivalry of the three architects to win the best house.
Batllo’s house was nominated but unfortunately, it didn’t win the award.
Casa Batllo is a tribute to Saint George
A common theory exists that Casa Batllo pays tribute to the patron saint of Catalonia, Saint George, and his legendary battle with a dragon.
It is interpreted that the roof is actually a dragon. And the spire-like structure on the left of the roof represents ‘Ascalon’, the sword of Saint George, that plunges into the back of the dragon.
The wooden lift in Casa Batllo works even today
Did you know that Casa Batllo sports some interesting features that are unlikely to be seen inside a normal house?
The first lifts to be installed in a skyscraper was in 1885 in Chicago, USA. Just 20 years later Gaudi was installing elevators inside residences.
Batllo House, for instance, has a wooden lift installed into the patio of lights, which is functional even today.
There is also a private garden that was built for the afternoon pleasure of the Batllo family.
There is also a secluded spot in Mr. Batllo’s study for courting of couples.
Gaudi even designed the furniture in Casa Batllo
An appreciable characteristic of Antoni Gaudi was his ability to design every aspect of his spaces with care and precision.
It wasn’t just the building, he also worked on the furniture the inhabitants would use in the house.
Most importantly, his furniture was ergonomically designed – to be both beautiful and comfortable.
His furniture look strange because they break away from the mold, but in the last couple of decades he has come in for a lot of praise by the design and architect community.
Needless to say, all furniture in Casa Batllo was designed by Gaudi and his team.
The success of Casa Batllo got him another client
Casa Batllo was redone from 1904 to 1906.
A few years after Casa Batllo was completed, another Barcelona businessman named Pere Mila i Camps contacted Antoni Gaudi.
The businessman had seen Casa Batllo and wanted a similar (if not better) residential house for himself.
The location of Gaudi’s next project was just 700 meters (2300 feet) from Casa Batllo. It was eventually called Casa Mila (also known as La Pedrera).
Not many know about this Casa Batllo fact.
Note: Because of this proximity, most tourists see both the Gaudi masterpieces at the same time. Some, however, prefer to visit only one and want to know which is better Casa Batllo or Casa Mila.
In 1950s Batllo family sold off Casa Batllo
The Batllo family lived on the Noble Floor of Casa Batllo till the mid-1950s.
Josep Batllo died in 1934 and his wife followed him in 1940.
After the death of the parents, the House of Batllo was managed by the children till 1954.
When managing it became difficult and some money was also needed, the Batllo children sold the house to an insurance company named Seguros Iberia.
For the next 40 years or so Seguros Iberia was run from the rooms of Casa Batllo.
Casa Batllo gets rented out for events
In 1993, Casa Batllo got the current owners – the Bernet Family.
Some refurbishment had already started when they had bought the house. They continued to do the refurbishments throughout the whole building.
Two years later, the new owners started renting out Casa Batllo for various events.
The central location of Casa Batllo Gaudi and its beautiful design immediately created a high demand for the rooms.
More than 2,500 square meters of rooms were available for rent.
Interesting fact: Did you know that the Bernet family also own Chupa Chups, a popular Spanish brand of lollipop and other confectionery sold in over 150 countries.
Casa Batllo goes public
In 2002, as part of the International Year of Gaudí, the public was allowed inside Casa Batllo to relish the beauty of the house.
Since then both the activities have co-existed – renting out the premises and ticketed entry for tourists.
A lot of credit goes to the current owners for packaging this architectural gem and presenting it to the rest of the World.
For instance, Casa Batllo’s audio guide is perhaps one of the finest in the World (this is a subjective opinion).
Casa Batllo is also known as ‘House of Bones’
The local name for the building is Casa dels ossos or House of Bones Barcelona.
The locals called it ‘House of Bones’ since its facade has a visceral, skeletal look.
Identifiable as Modernisme or Art Nouveau in the broadest sense, this residential property appeals a lot to the kids – for it triggers wild imagination. Find out other Barcelona attractions for families with kids
Gaudi has taken inspiration from nature and tried to stick as close to it as possible.
When you visit Casa Batllo, you will find yourself surrounded by plants, skeletons, dragons, marine life, and various other animals.
Exactly what Antoni Gaudi wanted, when he built it.
Thus, whether you’re an aspiring architect, a culture enthusiast, an art student or simply a tourist, Gaudi’s Casa Batllo is a must visit.
What are you waiting for? Book your tickets right away!
When you buy this ticket online, you save 4 Euros (because you don’t pay the window surcharge) and you also avoid the queue.
You have the option of buying ‘regular’ or ‘Skip The Line’ Casa Batllo tickets. Select the appropriate ticket on the ticket booking page. After the purchase, the tickets will be emailed to you.