Mediterranean Melodies travel blog

Casa Batllo

Front View-Casa Batllo

Balconies-Casa Batllo

From the outside-Casa Batllo

From the inside-Casa Batllo

Back Terrace-Casa Batllo

Beautiful Woodwork-Casa Batllo

Modern? Bathroom-Casa Batllo

Back Terrace-Casa Batllo

Air Conditioning-Casa Batllo

Is This your front door?-Casa Batllo

Chimneys-Casa Batllo

Chimneys-Casa Batllo

Casa Mila-La Pedrera

Casa Mila-La Pedrera

Rooftop-Casa Mila-La Pedrera

Rooftop-Casa Mila-La Pedrera

Side view-Casa Mila-La Pedrera

Another side of Barcelona

Entry-Poble Espanyol

Tapas Time-Spanish Village

Poble Espanyo

Poble Espanyo

Nuts and Bolts-Poble Espanyo

Glass Blowers-Poble Espanyo

Little Pussycat-Made in Poble Espanyo

Finnally-the Bus Home

Thursday 25th August 2011 Weather:-Does not change

A quick sprinkle in our 60cm X 60cm shower (yes, I do have my IKEA tape measure with me) was the culmination of a very busy day. All is well if you just squeeze yourself through the door—the trouble starts when you want to wash yourself because any sudden movement of an elbow or shoulder results in a cold/hot/no water shower. It is just one of the little things that give us amusing moments and yes, we are having a good time.

Our first stop today was Casa Batlló, one of the two great buildings designed by Antoni Gaudi on Passeig de Gracia, the other being La Pedrera. From the outside the façade of Casa Batlló looks like it has been made from skulls and bones. The "Skulls" are in fact balconies and the "bones" are the supporting pillars. Gaudi used colours and shapes found in marine life as inspiration for his creativity in this building e.g. the colours chosen for the façade are those found in natural coral. The building was designed by Gaudi for Josep Batlló, a wealthy aristocrat, as an upmarket home. Señor Batlló lived in the lower two floors with his family and the upper floors were rented out as apartments. Casa Batllo is a stunning example of Antoni Gaudi's revolutionary visions for residential buildings. We were amazed to see that when the building was constructed (1904-1906) Gaudi’s was able to install a lift also if you notice under each window he has added wooden louver like structures that can be opened to catch any breezes, for me just viewing Gaudi’s work I find it unbelievable that these structures all originated in one brain.

Casa Mila was our second stop today, over the years the locals have given it two nick names the first being La Pedrera (The Quarry) because of the outside colouring and cave like appearance. The second nickname is Casa dels Ossos (house of bones). The apartment block was constructed between 1906 and 1910. It was Gaudi's last work before devoting himself wholly to the construction of the Sagrada Familia. The building instantly evokes images of abysmal marine creatures. The façade with its wave-shaped window frames and pillars supporting form-sophisticated balconies are a definite eye-tease. You don't need to be a very careful observer to notice skulls and bones intertwined in the wall's intricate design. Casa Mila covers an area of more than 100 square meters and includes two large circular patios, so that almost every part of the house gets its share of sunlight. It is constructed entirely in natural stones, and lacking all the colours and ornamentation design. One of the most interesting places of the whole complex is the rooftop: Here you can find a large ensemble of surrealistic chimneys all looking different and like sculptures standing there alone or in small groups, dominating the rooftop.

Our third stop the ‘Polble Espanyo’ (Spanish Village) it was built for the 1929 International Exhibition in Barcelona on the Montjuïc hill. Its aim was to show visitors a representative sample of Spanish architecture. In order to create the village a team of two architects an engineer and an artist drove around Spain for two years to get inspiration for the building designs to create the Poble Espanyol. They designed and had erected 116 buildings in different architectural styles representing Spain's many regions. The village features a large square, the Plaza Mayor, and a couple smaller squares connected by picturesque streets, with lots of stairs for all you fitness fanatics. It includes a town hall, a church, a monastery, shops and residential buildings, although nobody has ever lived there. Today many of the buildings house artisans all plying their wares. Several of Poble Espanyol's buildings are exact reproductions of existing buildings, while other merely represents a specific architectural style.

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