Located in one of the most central points of the city, it’s practically impossible not to pass by the Casa Batlló, and if its well-known silhouette doesn’t draw your attention, then the hoard of tourists outside waiting to enter certainly will.
Highlights about the Casa Batlló by Antoni Gaudí
A fundamental work in the Catalan modernist movement, this magnificent building owes its name to Josep Batlló i Casanovas, a well-known textile merchant of the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, who bought the building. Although the building only dated from 1877, he commissioned Antoni Gaudí to carry out a major refurbishment. After overcoming a few planning obstacles relating to the dimensions of some of the elements of the façade, in 1905 the actual construction work on the Casa Batlló finally began, and it was completed two years later. The main changes to the building can be seen on the façade, on the first floor, in the courtyard and on the roof, as well as the construction of a whole new floor above the four existing ones.
Of great beauty and bright colours, the Casa Batlló’s façade is one of the most attractive of Gaudí’s projects of this nature. Made with the ‘trencadís’ technique, which involves using small pieces of glass and ceramics, it takes a very organic form, which is typical of the architect’s naturalist period. The roof is of particular significance, resembling the scales of a dragon, with a cross in a very prominent position.
Visiting the inside of the Casa Batlló
As well as asking themselves what they will see during their visit, the other question that many tourists have when they pass by the Casa Batlló is whether it’s really worth the trouble to visit the inside, or whether looking at the beautiful façade is actually the highlight. Well, in spite of the fact that entrance to the building isn’t cheap, we think that it’s definitely worth the trouble. Its interior is rich in details, many of which are almost unnoticeable if you don’t pay attention, which is why we think the audioguide that accompanies the visit is very useful.
The hallway and main staircase
The juxtaposition of horizontal and vertical lines in the hallway and the curved forms of the roof make the area a perfect place to welcome the visitor and to immerse them immediately in Gaudí’s world. Once you have seen the hallway you go up the main staircase, which takes you up to the main living area, the ‘Planta Noble’ (Noble Floor).
The Planta Noble
Covering an area of over 700m2, Casa Batlló’s Planta Noble was where the Batlló family lived. During your visit you’ll see many highlights, one of which is the original fireplace. You’ll also go into the main living room, in which you’ll see the huge window that’s visible from the Passeig de Gràcia. Walking along the corridor you’ll see some of the smaller rooms of the house. Finally you’ll arrive at the courtyard, in which many events are organised, especially in the summer months. An example of these is the ‘Nits Màgiques’, or ‘Magical Nights’, during which you can enjoy a quiet dinner with musical accompaniment.
Patio de Luces
While you walk up the staircase from the Planta Noble to the flat roof, you’ll be able to see the magnificent ‘Patio de Luces’, which was once the communal stairwell for the building. Decorated in ceramics of many different shades of blue, visitors feel they are literally at the bottom of the sea thanks to the optical effect of the stained glass windows.
The Attic and Loft
Before going up to the roof terrace, you’ll visit the attic of the Casa Batlló. In the vaults you’ll see one of Gaudí’s signature architectural features for the construction of some of the walls, resembling the ribcage of an animal, in this case the dragon.
HAVING YOUR PICTURE TAKEN WITH THE FAÇADE IN THE BACKGROUND
If you’d like to have a photo taken with the façade of Casa Batlló in the background, you can do so by going out of any of the windows on the attic level. From here, and thanks to a fixed camera outside the building, you can have this lovely photo taken. Once you’ve done it you can pick it up (for the price of around €12) from the next room on the tour.
The Roof Terrace
The tour of Casa Batlló ends with the visit to the roof terrace, a stunning area thanks to the many decorative elements in the ‘Trencadís’ style. The chimneys are a real highlight; the most photographed part of the house, alongside its façade, is surely the backbone of the dragon, which lies slain by the sword of Saint Jordi, with the handle in the form of a cross. From this area you can also enjoy some impressive views of the nearby buildings.OUR RECOMMENDATION
We recommend that wherever possible you should visit the Casa Batlló on a sunny day, at a time when the sun shines on the façade and the roof (this is practically all day, except perhaps the very end of the day around sunset). The effect of the sun’s rays on the ‘Trencadís’ makes Gaudí’s work shine in all its splendour.
This area of the Casa Batlló is often hired out for various events, many of which are private but some are public, as is the case with the market stalls that are occasionally organised. These are perfect opportunities to go into this part of the house free of charge.
‘Augmented Reality’ and Audioguide
The mini-tablet that accompanies the visit serves the purpose of an audioguide as well as a visual guide. Thanks to the guide, you’ll be able to see how the Battló family lived in their time, as well as seeing some interesting animations that recreate the universe that Gaudí created in some of the rooms.
Languages in which you can listen to the audioguide
One of the main concerns of the family that own the house is that it should be as accessible as possible. Therefore many adjustments have been made to improve accessibility and to make visits to the house enjoyable for anyone who has a disability, whether they are visually impaired, hard of hearing or have reduced mobility.
Visually impaired:: The fact that you can touch the curved forms of the Casa Batlló gives visually impaired people a good idea of what the building looks like. Other elements of the house that help are the 3-dimensional model and explanatory texts in braille (in various languages) in some areas of the house. The audioguide also helps in guiding everyone through the house as easily as possible.
Hard of hearing:: For people who are hard of hearing Casa Batlló offers the printed texts of the audioguides (available in the same languages as the audioguides themselves).
Reduced mobility: Casa Batlló has wheelchairs available to visitors, which fit comfortably through the interior doors and allow the visitor to see the most important areas of the building.
Passeig de Gràcia 43, Barcelona.
Monday to Sunday: from 09:00 to 21:00 (last admission at 20:00).
General admission: €25 (Fast Pass: €31).
Residents in Catalonia : €15 (Fast Pass: €21).
Concessions €22 (Fast Pass: €28) for students, senior citizens and holders of the ‘Carnet Jove’ (Young People’s card).
Groups of 20 or more: necessary to contact Casa Batlló.
Children under the age of 7: free entry.
How to get there?
Metro: Passeig de Gràcia (lines 2, 3 and 4).
Buses: lines 7, 20, 22, 24, 39, 45, 47, 67, 68, H10, V15, V17 and tourist bus.
Renfe: ‘Passeig de Gràcia’ station.
FGC: ‘Provença’ station.