Casa Batllo, a remodelled 19th century building, is one of the two great buildings designed by Antoni Gaudi on Passeig de Gracia, the other being La Pedrera. It's unique interior is just as extraordinary as its fairytale-like exterior. From the outside, the facade of Casa Batllo looks like it has been made from skulls and bones. Locals know Casa Batllo variously as the casa dels ossos (house of bones) or casa del drac (house of the dragon). Its easy enough to see why. The "Skulls" are in fact balconies and the "bones" are supporting pillars. The building was designed by Gaudi for Josep Batllo, a wealthy aristocrat, as an upmarket home. Senor Batllo lived in the lower two floors with his family and the upper floors were rented out as apartments.
Gaudi used colours and shapes found in marine life as inspiration for his creativity in this building e.g. the colours chosen for the facade are those found in natural coral. The facade of the Casa Batllo is made of sandstone covered with colorful trencadis(a Catalan type of mosaic). Typical of Gaudi, straight lines are avoided whenever
possible. The colorful scaled roof recalls a reptile skin with shiny scales and it changes colour as you walk around. The roof represents a dragon; the small turret with a cross would symbolize the sword of St. George stuck into the dragon. The bones and skulls on the facade represent all the dragon's victims.
Before going inside, take a look at the pavement. Each paving piece carries stylised images of an octopus and a starfish, Gaudi designs originally cooked up for Casa Batllo.Inside the building, everything swirls: the ceiling is twisted into a vortex around its sun-like lamp; the doors, window and skylights are dreamy waves of wood and coloured glass. The same themes continue in the other rooms and covered terrace. The attic is characterised by Gaudi trademark hyperboloid arches. Twisting, tiled chimney pots add a surreal touch to the roof.
This building is a stunning and original work and well worth the visit. If you decide to take a look around inside you will learn how much attention to detail Gaudi spent on his designs thinking about such things as varying window size depending on how high the window was from the top of the building. In this way he could ensure uniform lighting conditions in each room of the house. Occasionally, one of the sections of Casa Batllo may be closed for a private event. Under these circumstances visitors may have restricted access.