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Casa Batlló: A Brief History & Short Tour of Gaudí’s Casa dels Ossos

Casa Batlló: A Brief History & Short Tour of Gaudí’s Casa dels Ossos

Summary:

Thinking about visiting Gaudi’s Casa Batlló in Barcelona? From its curved structure to Magic Nights on the roof, here’s a quick tour of Casa Batlló.

Barcelona has plenty of world-renowned sites that any traveler must see when coming to this city, but the calling card of Barcelona is, probably, its incredible architecture. And, among the most famous architectural wonders stands Casa Batlló, the masterpiece creation of brilliant Antoni Gaudí.

In this article, we will introduce you to Casa Batlló, talk about the history of this masterpiece, and, of course, elaborate more on why this curvy building is considered a masterpiece.

Casa Batlló exterior of the gaudi building in barcelona spain

History of Casa Batlló

Curiously, Casa Batlló was built a few decades before Gaudí had a hand in creating its appearance and did not even bear the same name back then. The building was constructed in 1877 by Emilio Sala Cortés, who, by the way, was one of Gaudí’s professors. Back then it did not have any prominent features and looked like any other building could look at the end of the 19th century in Barcelona.

Everything changed when, in 1903, the building was bought by the businessman and textile industrialist Josep Batlló. He was not so fond of the design of this place, but it was important for him to have an estate on the street Passeig de Gràcia, as it was one of the poshest streets even back then.

In 1904, Josep Batlló invited Antoni Gaudí to redesign the whole place and gave him full freedom to change anything he wanted or deemed necessary. At first, Batlló was even planning to tear down the house and start working on it from scratch, but Gaudí convinced him that it would not be necessary, so the main frame stayed unchanged. 

In 1906, work on the project was finished, with Gaudí unrecognizably changing both the façade and the interior of the house and creating another modernist masterpiece. 

The Batlló family owned the building until the 1950s, after which time Casa Batlló changed hands several times and went through a few minor renovations. In 1993, the house was purchased by its current owners.

Related Read: Spain Country Info & Destination Guide

The Uniqueness of Casa Batlló

Ok, so this house is almost 150 years old, and it has been reconstructed by Antoni Gaudí, but why is it considered to be one of his masterpieces, and why does everyone make such a big fuss about it?

First of all, even for those who do not understand anything about architecture, design, or the brilliance of Gaudí, it is extremely beautiful and innovative. 

Known locally by the name “House of Bones” (Casa dels ossos in Spanish), it does bear some skeletal features. At the same time, there are almost no straight lines in the whole design. When you find yourself inside, you are haunted by the thoughts of the unreality of this place and admiration of the mind which could create something so unique.

Honestly speaking, it is difficult to stop yourself from touching every single feature, from rounded windows to some quirky small details, such as the extraordinary chimney. Looking at all the smooth shapes, it is impossible to believe that Gaudí only reconstructed the house.

Both the exterior and interior of the house are undoubtedly remarkable. The façade has been decorated with a colorful ceramic mosaic that changes color depending on the lighting and angle of view. And, of course, the cherry on top is the roof that looks like the back of the giant dragon that became the main distinctive feature of Casa Batlló.

Visiting Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló is open 365 days a year from 9 AM to 8 PM (with the last entry at 7 PM). There are three ticket options available: Blue, Silver, and Gold. 

Blue is the cheapest option, and, for its price, you will be able to enter and will receive a SmartGuide. With the Silver pass, you will also get to enter an exclusive room with furniture from the beginning of the 20th century. The Gold pass has all of the above, plus free cancellation, the possibility to skip the line while entering, and a photo opportunity in the exclusive room.

In my opinion, the greatest thing you can get while buying a ticket (except for the possibility to walk inside, of course) is the SmartGuide. It’s simply a smartphone with a wired headset, but its augmented reality program shows you features about the house you don’t physically see, and the audio guide leads you through the house while explaining everything in detail.

smart guide in casa battlo barcelona spain
Using the provided SmartGuide during a visit to Casa Batlló.

There is also an option to buy a ticket that allows you to enter Casa Batlló before the crowds of tourists at 8:30 AM if you are willing to pay some more for the opportunity to take better pictures with fewer people or just walk around and admire the place with fewer distractions.

Our Tip: Planning a visit to Casa Batlló, it is much more convenient to buy tickets online, as the crowds are really enormous, so you can save some time standing in line to the ticket office. On top of that, the tickets are cheaper online as well. Win-win!

Magic Nights at Casa Batlló

Thanks to the management team of Casa Batlló, we had the opportunity to have the best experience Casa Batlló has to offer: Magic Nights

Every summer, the dragon rooftop of Casa Batlló hosts concerts in the evenings and the name Magic Night speaks for itself. You can enjoy two glasses of Cava while listening to talented musicians from Catalonia playing music of different genres, such as blues, soul, jazz, funk, or flamenco.

On the night we went, the talented Carmen Porcar, a Barcelona-born singer and songwriter specializing in blues, jazz, and soul, serenaded us until after the sun went down. Here’s a sample of how awesome her band is:

The price of the ticket includes an evening visit to Casa Batlló, after which time you ascend onto the legendary rooftop to enjoy the panoramic views of the sunset, live music, two glasses of sparkling wine, and, of course, the stunning architecture of one of the Gaudí’s masterpieces. 

A truly magical, romantic, and unforgettable experience!

Summing Up

Casa Batlló is one of the best things to see in Barcelona, whether you have 10 days or just 1. Be sure not to miss it!

Well, we hope we’ve inspired you to visit this example of Modernisme, Art Nouveau building for yourself! Got any questions, feedback, or tips to add about visiting Casa Batlló? Let us know in the comments below, and thanks for reading!

Mariia Kislitsyna
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Mariia Kislitsyna
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