These new rich people wanted their homes in the new area under construction then, Barcelona Eixample district. So this was the real birthplace of modernity, and soon became the symbol of luxury and wealthy of the city .
West Eixample Tour
The route covers the most important streets of the Quadrat d'or in the Eixample District (Golden Blocks of buildings ) .
This area holds around the Passeig de Gràcia . It is bounded by the Aribau Street on its left, and Passeig de Sant Joan on the right; the Avinguda Diagonal on the upper part ; and Ronda Universitat and Sant Pere Avenues on the lower part.
Our route begins on the Avinguda Diagonal and ends in Plaça de Catalunya, is a downward path , so it is nice and you will get less tired because is all the way down.
Casa de Les Punxes
Les Punxes Hous is our first stop. To view it , stand at number 420 Avinguda Diagonal , between Roger Llúria and Bruc Streets.
It is popularly known as the Casa de les Punxes or Pointy House, because of the niddle-shaped towers.
Even though its original name is Terrades House , name of the family owning the original building. It is a work of Josep Puig i Cadalfach, and was built between 1903 and 1905.
It is been conceived as a large red brick building, looking like a medieval castle with its watchtowers. It has beautiful decorative ceramic panels on the top floor, and floral decorations on the capitals and arches all over the walls.
It is privately owned , so the interior can not be visited , but certainly worth a visit. Surround it and you will find endless interesting details.
Continue on Avinguda Diagonal to Còrsega Street , at number 316 you will find the Casa Comalat . Although the building was designed by Salvador Valeri , this home shows a great influence of themaster, Antoni Gaudí.
Its lower part is very similar to the Casa Batlló , designed by the architect , visible later on if you continue following this itinerary. Its facade is richly decorated with ornaments and reliefs or mosaics plant shapes. The windows on the upper floors resemble medieval soldiers or armors .
Palau del Baró de Quadres
Go on now towards Avinguda Diagonal, walk a few more meters to see the extraordinary Baró de Quadras Palace .
Palau Baró de Quadras was esigned by Josep Puig i Cadalfach . Standing in the front façade you will check by yourselves that there are very strong Gothic influences, visible in the structure of the house and the general shapes of the windows.
You will go back in time getting into the courtyard and staircase leading to the main floor , and gargoyles that look like something just went out of Middle Ages .
This building currently houses the Asia House , a center dedicated to Asian Culture doing many temporary exhibitions. You can visit the interior, which is open daily and Sunday until noon.
And now it comes the time to explore in depth the Passeig de Gràcia Avenue, a real open-air museum of Art Noveau buildings .
So go on now towards Avinguda Diagonal, to your left hand side until you get Passeig de Gràcia Avenue on your left. Continue going down the Street towards Plaça de Catalunya, to scroll through this amazing place and visit some of the most emblematic buildings of Barcelona .
The first highlight that we want to recommend you is La Pedrera, located on the right hand side at Passeig de Gràcia , at the corner with Provenza Street .
La Pedrera - Casa Milà
The Casa Milà is popularly known as La Pedrera because of its appearance, an imposing stone mass and its undulating facade. This nickname means in fact The Stone Quarry house, and it really looks like.
The project was entirely commissioned by Pere Milà, a wealthy industrial, and is one of the masterpieces of Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí.
In addition to its facade, spectacular in terms of size and shape, highlighting the roof and the top of stairs. you will find amazing soldier-shape chimneys, are true sculptures in themselves.
The interior is equally impressive, wavy and twisted as its exterior, its colorful decoration and ornamental details will blow you away.
For more detailed information on this spectacular work of art visit our section dedicated to La Pedrera.
Made your way along Passeig de Gràcia, always all the way down from now on. Continue till reaching number 66, on the corner of Valencia Street, where is standing the House of The Widow Marfà .
It is a building of 1905 , designed by Manuel Comas and Thos. With a huge gallery of inspiration based on several arches, that lead you back to the Romanesque medieval art style on the ground floor and on the top of the building.
The ground floor courtyard used for car-horses and carriages is one of the most beautiful all over the houses in the area. The whole façade has an elegant and serene look.
The Block of Discord: Amatller, Batlló and LLeó-Morera Houses
Continue down the Passeig de Gràcia and find to the popular Block of Discord on the opposite side of the Avenue (right hand side).
It is occupied by three largehouses located on the promenade, between the streets Consell de Cent and Arago Streeet.
The block of buildings is known with this name because of the rivalry among the three families living here, who wanted to have the most beautiful house.
All of them were built by great architects of the Catalan Modernism (art Noveau). These buildings are the Casa Batllo by Antoni Gaudi; Casa Amatller built by Josep Puig i Cadafalch; and Casa Lleó-Morera standing in the next corner, designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner.
Amatller House is the oldest of the three buildings , dating to 1875, it was commissioned by the chocolate industrial Antoni Mila.
It is one of the most original works of Catalan modernism , its staggered facade reminiscent of Dutch and Holand Houses structures is unique in the whole city.
Look at the sculptures all over the façade and you will discover a whole Univers. The main one is between the doors, dedicated to the legent of Sant Jordi i el Drac ( St. George and the dragon ) made by the brillant sculptor Eusebi Arnau.
This is just one of the thousands of decorative details you'll find on its facade: ceramics, esgrafiats, wrought iron on balconies , plants and floral motives in relief decorations , stained glass windows... decorative artes majestically applied. .
From outside is visible the lobby and colorful stained glass lamps and decorations on the main doors. Read more in our section: Amatller House
Next to it you will see Casa Batlló, right on the corner. This amazing colorful house was built by Antoni Gaudi.
It is absolutely spectacular , both for its undulating forms and its tonalities but also because of the thousand decorative , imaginative and unique details decorating the walls.
There are endless allusions to the Sea and natural decorations; balconies looking like Carnival masks , and columns that simulate bones. And topping it all , a huge body of a dragon in ceramics, with many colors on top of the building.
If you would like to have more information about this building , check our section dedicated to the Casa Batlló .
Lleó - Morera House
Finally , alongside the corner of Consell de Cent street , you will see the third house in discord: Casa Lleó Morera .
It was in fact not a new construction, but a profound refurbishment of an existing building , conducted by Domènech i Montaner between 1902 and 1906.
In the Lleó Morera House you can not visit the house inside because is still having private owners, but the outside is an impressive piece of reinterpretations of the Gothic and Renaissance Art styles .
Lleó Morera's facade is richly decorated with floral motifs, very typicaly used by this architect, as well as wrought iron balconies with impossible ripples. A small temple is crowning the corner and the building alltogether.
To read further information regarding this house and the architect who built it go to our section dedicated to the house: Casa LLeó-Morera.
Leave the Block of Discord now and continue thejourney to the Rocamora Casas, located on the left side a few blocks away, between the number 8 and 10 of the same Street..
There are there a set of houses designed by Joaquim and Bonaventura Bassegoda in 1914. It has a strong influence of Gothic art , although there are modernist details like windows or balconies with semicircular ironworks talking about this modern reinterpretation of medieval styles.
Crowning the Houses there are several slender pinnacles covered with orange ceramic tiles contrasting with the white colour of the façades .
Casa Pascual Pons
Now you are reaching the end of the tour, the last steps at the Passeig de Gràcia so close to Plaça de Catalunya visible at the very end of the Street, on the right hand side.
Almost in front of the Square, a few meters before, you will see the House Pascual Pons on the left side. Is occupying the numbers 2 and 4 of the St.
The architect in charge of the amazing house was the wellknown Enric Sagnier. It is a large stone building with Gothic-inspired crystal and pinnacles elements. You'll also see this inspiration in the tracery right in the upper windows and the trefoiled arches.
Particularly noteworthy are the slender towers crowning the building , projected as a medieval fortress or a similar kind of monumental building, inspired by the architecture of the great medieval palaces.