Discover the most surprising and unknown facts of Casa Batlló, one of the indisputable symbols of Barcelona.

Casa Batlló is considered one of Antoni Gaudí’s masterpieces. It is the greatest represention of Catalan modernism, known all over the world. It reflects the artistic plenitude of the architect, and belongs specifically to his naturalistic period.

We are going to give you some information that many people do not know, and that is very interesting and make it even more special, so that you can get to know it a little better.

15 curiosities about Casa Batlló

1- Gaudí did not build the building

The building was built in 1875 by the architect Emiliano Sala Cortés, who had also been one of Gaudí’s teachers. In 1903 Josep Batlló, a businessman with several textile factories in Barcelona, acquired the building. He asked Gaudí, who was already well known, to remodel the building. At that time he was working on the Sagrada Familia, the Torre de Bellesguard and the Parc Güell.

When Batlló saw the great change he was so impressed that he recommended Gaudí to his friend Pedro Milà. Later Gaudí built Casa Milà, known as La Pedrera, for Pedro Milà.

2- He didn’t win the first prize

When the restoration of the Casa Batlló was finished, they presented it to a competition, but it did not triumph and the Condal School, of Bonaventura Bassegoda i Amigó, ended up winning the prize.

3- Marine inspiration

Gaudí focused on the marine world to design the house. That’s why the inside areas of the building can remind us of it.

4- The inside of an animal

We can also find references to living organisms. In some cases as you walk around the house you feel inside of an animal, for example with the catenary arches, which look like the inside of a whale’s belly.

5- The dragon’s house

The main animal is the dragon. Casa Batlló is related to the legend of Sant Jordi, the patron saint of Catalonia, who killed the dragon to save the princess. If you look at the façade you can see that the tiles that crown the building and the general shape of the roof are reminiscent of the spine of a dragon.

6- Recycling

Gaudí is well known for the technique known as “trencadís”, which is obtained from pieces of glass and ceramic waste. This is why he is considered a pioneer in recycling.

7- Wavy façade

Although many have not noticed, the façade of the building is wavy. This creates a very special effects with the light that gives even more originality and magic to the house.

8- Balconies

What do you see in the balconies? Each one seems to see something different: skeletons, Venetian masks, turtles…

9- Natural lighting system

Gaudí worked to make Casa Batlló very luminous. He achieved this through the skylight and the central courtyards.

10- Efficient ventilation

Gaudí also created a ventilation system from different openings that are manually activated in the windows of the house and that allow to regulate the air without the needing to open the windows completely. The central courtyards also play a fundamental role, since they help to conserve heat in winter and to ventilate in summer.

11- The furniture was also designed by Gaudí

Gaudí designed part of the furniture with his unmistakable soul. You can find chairs, benches, showcases or doors that bear his signature.

12- The apple of discord

The stretch of Paseo de Gracia in which the Casa Batlló is located is known as “the apple of discord” because it is accompanied by other very important buildings: Casa Amatller, by Josep Puig i Cadafalch, Casa Lleó Morera, by Lluís Domènech i Montaner, Casa Mulleras, by Enric Sagnier and Casa Josefina Bonet, by Marcel-li Coquillat. The name of “discord” comes from the big professional rivalry between Domènech i Montaner, Puig i Cadafalch and Antoni Gaudí.

13- Related to Chupa Chups

Batlló’s daughters sold Casa Batlló to Seguros Iberia, which set up its commercial offices there. Later, the owners of the company Chupa Chups, the Bernat family, acquired it, restored it and opened it to the public.

14- Full of roses

Casa Batlló is filled with roses on Saint George’s Day (23 April) to remember the legend, and also to encourage people to donate blood. The town hall sets up a mobile unit where you can donate blood near the building.

15- Interpretation

There are many interpretations of this building, but the one that most people share is the one that maintains that the façade refers to the legend of Sant Jordi. He would be fighting against the dragon, represented in the highest part of the Casa Batlló, and the four-armed cross would be the sword nailed to the animal. The victims of the dragon appear through the bones and skulls.

What do you think of this interpretation? What’s yours?

If, after reading all these curiosities, you feel like visiting the Casa Batlló, buy your tickets now!