“The temple, which is an ode to light and surprises with its lightness, is expected to be completed in 2026, coinciding with the centenary of the architect’s death.
Located in the so-called ‘Block of Discord,’ Casa Batllò was conceived to stand out from Casa Amatller (which we will see later) and Casa Lleó i Morera, generating a dispute among its owners that has given its name to the block.
The most famous Catalan architect of all time was responsible not only for the design and construction of the building but also for its interior decoration: from the handles of doors and windows to the handrails of the stairs and the furniture, Gaudí personally took care of every detail, creating spaces imbued with his personal touch.
The other major residential building designed by Gaudí is also located on Paseo de Gracia, but a few meters further: La Casa Milà, better known as La Pedrera, acquired its name due to the dust generated by the construction works.
In addition to the main floor, adapted to the time when the Milà family lived in the building, you can visit the rooftop, where you can see up close the famous chimneys, and at night, you can enjoy a videomapping show that will delight both young and old.”
Without leaving Paseo de Gracia and within the aforementioned ‘Block of Discord,’ we can visit this house, the work of another great master of modernism, Josep Puig i Cadafalch. Casa Amatller, built for Antoni Amatller and his daughter, had the first open balcony to the street in all of Barcelona, with a pink marble column that delighted locals and strangers and caused more than a few envious glances in the neighborhood.
In addition to the modernist decoration, Cadafalch included many decorative elements that metaphorically referred to the owners of the house, such as references to wisdom, savings, elegance, or fidelity, personified in the animals that represent them.
Palau de la Música Catalana
We change neighborhoods to visit the masterpiece of the third great Catalan architect of modernism: Lluís Domènech i Montaner, the father of Palau de la Música Catalana, which has the privilege of being the only concert hall in the world declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The entire building is spectacular, but the concert hall is truly impressive: Domènech i Montaner’s decoration includes prominent figures in music, such as Beethoven, accompanied by 18 modernist muses representing different eras, cultures, and arts. In fact, one of them plays castanets and wears a flamenco dress.
Do you want to experience the Palau in a unique and original way? Check out our Palau Experience: you will enjoy a guided tour with audio commentary, a Spanish tapa, attend rehearsals for the show, and enjoy the incredible performance by the artists of Gran Gala Flamenco. Can you ask for more?
Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau
But not everything was residential and leisure buildings for the Catalan bourgeoisie: Domènech i Montaner received, in the early 19th century, the commission to design and build the new headquarters of the Hospital de la Santa Creu, which he distributed among 13 modernist pavilions in an impressive complex, later completed by his son, Pere Domènech i Montaner, with 6 other buildings with less modernist influence than his father’s.
In addition to aesthetics, Domènech paid great attention to practicality, connecting all the buildings with each other through an underground tunnel system so that professionals did not have to go outside. The building was used as a hospital until 2009 and can currently be visited freely or on guided tours.
The oldest of Gaudí’s works in Barcelona (dating back to 1883), although originally not belonging to the capital but to the municipality of Gràcia, which was independent at that time. Recently restored, Casa Vicens allows visitors to get an idea of the evolution of Gaudí’s style as an architect, although its basic principles were already there, as demonstrated by the entrance gate, which mimics palm leaves.”
Built at the request of the Güell family, one of the wealthiest families of the time, Casa Güell took the name ‘palace’ because it occupies an entire block. The sumptuousness and luxury with which it was built are well worth a visit, where you will be amazed by details such as the large entrance doors designed for horse entry, the latticework of the balconies, the chimneys, and the rich ceiling decorations.
A detail not to be missed: the dome of the central hall, whose decoration emulates a summer sky filled with stars, where each small hole represents a celestial body.
Casa de les Punxes
It owes its name to the three pointed towers that form it (punxes means spikes in Catalan) and is also known as Casa Terradas, as it was commissioned by Bartomeu Terradas Brutau to Puig i Cadafalch. It consists of three independent residences, one for each of Mr. Terradas’ sisters.
Its interior is much more austere than that of other modernist buildings, but it houses an exhibition on the legend of Saint George and allows a visit to the rooftop and the spikes visible from the street.
Casa Padua 75
Although it is not possible to visit its interior as it is a private property, Casa Padua 75, located at the same address, is worth the effort to get to know its striking facade: painted in a mix of apple green and maroon, imitating a vertical garden with flowers.
This building, from 1903, was the work of Jeroni Granell i Manresa and housed the headquarters of the Esencias Buil perfume laboratory in 1970. In 1989, it was rehabilitated by the Alonso Berenguer Arquitectes Asociats studio.
Flamenco, another must-visit in Barcelona
If you’ve spent the day enjoying the best Catalan architecture, the night is the time to relax by watching one of the shows you can’t miss when visiting Barcelona: the incredible Gran Gala Flamenco show, the best showcase of this art outside Andalusia. Book your tickets now for the Teatro Poliorama or the Palau de la Música!