Casa Batllo Barcelona

Top Gaudi Buildings in Barcelona

Antoni Gaudi buildings are my favorite sites in Barcelona Spain. I was extremely impatient to finally see them up close. And I couldn’t believe how colorful some of the facades were.

Still, it was kind of a venture to get into Gaudi buildings given the crowds of tourists. I stood in line for over an hour in front of Casa Batllo and Casa Mila.

Gaudi buildings Barcelona
The ‘skin’ of Casa Batllo

That is why I went to Sagrada Familia the next day since it was even more crowded than these two Gaudi buildings. Nevertheless, I was patient enough and proud afterward to have visited these three landmarks of Gaudi buildings in Barcelona.

Which Gaudi Buildings to Visit

Along with Park Guell, these Gaudi buildings are on the list of the top places to visit in Barcelona. Keep in mind that there is a lot more of Antoni Gaudi to see in the city. It’s not hard to navigate from one building to the next. You can just admire the facades and take a few lovely photos. It is also easy to find a map of Gaudi’s architectural legacy at any tourist information center.

Batllo Barcelona

As I mentioned before, my favorite of all the Gaudi buildings is Casa Batllo. Here are a few things that I read about it while gazing at its facade… (By the way, I felt a bit hypnotized by the colorful dots and blueish mosaics that covered it. It truly resembled an animal’s skin. Not a skin that belongs to a dangerous creature, but rather a fairy one. It might be a dragon, a great white one with charming blue, green, and yellow spots covering the entire body.)

Batllo Barcelona
GAUDI BUILDINGS: Spots and ‘bones’ of Casa Batllo

I was never a fan of lizards and dragons, but Gaudi made me fall in love with his interpretation of these creatures.

Anyway, Gaudi was supposed to remodel the house belonging to the Batllo family. The owner wanted to demolish it and build another one in this high-class Gracia District. Gaudi was against it.


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He designed two facades, redistributed the ground floor, and added cellars, the attic, and the famous terrace roof uniting the two interior patios into a much bigger one. The result of his design was most surprising and fantastic with shapes and forms manifesting freely throughout the space. The artist imposed the original style into these Gaudi buildings, as we know them today.

Casa Mila Barcelona

Pay attention to an interesting fact in Casa Batllo and Casa Mila: notice the almost complete lack of straight lines in both Gaudi buildings.

GAUDI BUILDINGS: The wavy Casa Mila

There are a lot of different interpretations concerning the symbolism of the facade design, but they say that probably the most accurate is the one referring to the enormous dragon defeated by St George (Gaudi’s favorite topic). Those skulls and bones are of dragon’s victims. Even St George is represented by a lance-tower with the cross plunged into the “spine” of the dragon. Also, Gaudi designed furnishings for the dining room and the first floor – doors, lamps, chimneys, etc.


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Casa Mila – another hour and a half of waiting in line. Luckily, I brought a book with me and read about the Gaudi buildings. It said that Casa Mila was Gaudi’s last private building project since he dedicated his last 12 years to La Sagrada Familia. Unlike Casa Batllo, this was a completely new building.

Rooftop and corridor of Pedrera
Rooftop and corridor of Pedrera

Citizens of Barcelona immediately gave a nickname to the construction – Pedrera, the name that stuck to this day and it is a Catalan word for “a quarry”. They even called it el avispero (wasp’s nest) or la empanada (meat pie), because they have never seen anything like it before. Many said that it is like “a mountain crowned by a great cloud”, or like “a rolling sea”. There is no doubt that Gaudi took nature as a model and reversed the process of the Park Guell, since here he was trying to “naturalize the architecture”.


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The originality of Casa Mila continues into the interior with innovative elements such as a spiral access ramp for cars or lack of a communal staircase. One should admire the first floor with columns and ceilings and the famous roof terrace with unusual sculptures. They say that with the whole design, Gaudi wanted to portray the undulation of waves.

Sagrada Familia Barcelona

Gaudi took over the project of La Sagrada Familia church nine years after the work started in 1891. The last 12 years of his life he dedicated solely to this cathedral, he even lived here, but didn’t get to finish it. Unfortunately, he was hit by a tram in 1926 during one of his usual daily strolls around the city. This is thus his resting place now.


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When finished, the church will have three entrances: the eastern one dedicated to the Nativity, the western one dedicated to the Passion and Death of the Lord, and the southern facade will be the biggest and will portray the Glory and Resurrection. Each entrance will have four spires. A total of 12 (between 98 and 112 meters in height) will represent the twelve apostles.

There will also be five more of them – above the transept, representing Jesus surrounded by four evangelists, the former rising to 170 meters. Finally, there will be included in a bell tower covering the apse dedicated to the     Virgin Mary.

Sagrada Familia Barcelona
GAUDI BUILDINGS: One of the Bible scenes on the facade

The decoration of the Nativity facade was made up of three vestibules which symbolize the three theological virtues: Faith, Hope, and Charity, all of them displaying a profusion of sculptures to illustrate various moments in the life of Christ. There are the angels above announcing the birth with their trumpets.

Expect to see the queue curving around the church, so be prepared to wait to get in. But, you will have the opportunity to enjoy gazing at all the details of the cathedral’s facade. This is, after all, one of the most recognizable landmarks of Barcelona and one of the main Gaudi buildings.

And it’s a huge thing to know that this is Master Gaudi’s resting place, that he was buried within his own grand creation.


The full Barcelona Lisbon SERIES


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22 responses

  1. I love Barcelona and think that Gaudi’s work is so innovative and frankly, just brilliant. He is a true genius who is just way ahead of his time. So glad I got to experience so much of his work for myself while I was in Barcelona. La Sagrada Familia was also amazing, even if it still isn’t finished. LoL.

    1. Totally agree, I’m amazed by Gaudi’s effort to make architecture more “natural”, so that we can have a certain unity of nature and modern life. Loved the city! 🙂

  2. Wow, Gaudi is a genius. I’m headed to Barcelona in just a few weeks so your post has gotten me SO excited!! Last time I was there was in the early 2000’s and there was construction all over Sagrada Familia and so we didn’t see ANY of Gaudi’s work 🙁

    1. Not any? Oh, you have a lot to visit than! 😉 So glad my posts came at the right time – there are few more to come in the next ten days or so. Looking forward to hear your impressions when you come back, don’t forget to share! 😀

  3. I’m highly interested in information on Barcelona. I’ve never been there but am thinking about a visit. I love architecture photography so your blog post shows that it would be the place to go. Informative and beautiful post.

  4. I am really liking the architecture and appreciating this kind of art.A nice fusion of modern culture and ancient art. Had a completely different imagination of what Barcelona would look like. Great post.Hats off Gaudi!

    1. This is just Gaudi’s Barcelona, but still – his constructions are the most recognizable landmarks of the city. You should definitely go and see it for yourself. Thanks! 🙂

  5. Wow that’s some intense and intricate architecture. When the pictures are so intriguing I wonder what must be the feeling watching it for real. Thanks for sharing, will definitely visit these masterpieces someday.

  6. Loved reading the info on all your Barcelona building artsy finds. I hope to visit this lovely city in the near future and see these facades for myself in person!

  7. Gaudi was ridiculously talented. Casa Batllo was one of my Barcelona highlights as well. I appreciated the location of my hostel as I only had a 10 minute wait because I was able to get there early!

  8. Barcelona has so much unique architecture because of Gaudi! His architecture is so unique! I didn’t realize how he died – that is so tragic! I hope that Sagrida Familia is able to be finished soon.

    1. He took long walks every day because of his health condition. That is actually how he got inspired to “naturalize architecture” and vice versa, by contemplating on Nature along the way. Ironic when you think about it – to walk every day because it’s good for your health and than to die while walking!

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