Hey guys, today I want to tell you about 5 places in Barcelona – masterpieces of Catalan “modernisme”,which are often overlooked by tourists (and locals as well, I dare say). And the best thing is that until September 15th you can visit them with a 50% discount, along with dozens of other Modernist sites, including La Pedrera, Hospital Sant Pau, National Art Museum (MNAC), and many others.
All you need to do is register on the website of the special campaign held by the city administration and print out the coupons you will then receive on your email. It actually started since July 1, and they held this campaign last year as well, so you may want to keep it in mind for next year.
You know how the private museums in Barcelona are quite expensive, and even though normally they will have a reduced price for residents (such as through Gaudir Mes program, which among other allows free access to Park Güell, and you can skip all the lines too!), a 50% percent discount is a really good excuse to visit less hyped up cultural sites and learn more about the ingenious creations of Lluís Domènech i Montaner, Antoni Gaudí, Josep Puig i Cadafalch and other prominent figures of the Catalan Art Nouveau.
Bellesguard (“Beautiful view”) is a manor house located in Sarrià-Sant Gervasi district of Barcelona, which was designed by Antoni Gaudí for the Figueras family. The architectural project draws inspiration in a medieval castle that used to stand on the same site. This neogothic influence sets this building apart from Gaudí’s later works, the interior, however, is a lot more modernist. The highlight of the visit is the rooftop with spectacular views on the city and Collserola.
Price with discount: 4.5€ – with audio guide, 8€ – with a guide.
Casa Amatller is one of the three famous buildings from the three most renowned Catalan architects on Passeig de Gracia, which make up the so called Illa de la Discòrdia (“Block of Discord”), because they represent very contrasting styles. Thus, Casa Amatller, designed by Josep Puig i Cadafalch for Catalan chocolatier Antoni Amatller, has an original and eye-catching facade, where Puig i Cadafalch skilfully combined Catalan modernisme, based on the use of traditional arts and crafts, with a neo-Gothic style and an unusual stepped cornice inspired by the houses of the Netherlands. However, it is completely overshadowed by its more famous neighbor – Gaudí’s Casa Batlló with its colourful and whimsical exterior, which receives way visitors despite being more expensive. But unlike Casa Batlló, in Casa Amatller you can actually see all the original furniture and decorations from 1900.
Price with discount: 7.5€ – with video guide, 8€ – with a guide.
A medieval house on calle Ample (the Passeig de Gracia of the 16th century) that was renovated in the early 20th century by Catalan architect Manuel Raspall, since 1985 Palau Mornau reopened as Hash, Marihuana and Hemp Museum of Barcelona. In 2012, the refurbished to restore the original modernist decorations. The highlight of the exterior is the façade coated with faux stones and wrought-iron balconies adorned with floral motifs. Even if you don’t really care for weed (like me, for example), now is great opportunity to visit this majestic looking palace for only 4.5€.
Price with discount: 4.5€
Palau Baró de Quadras
In 1900, Baron de Quadras commissioned Josep Puig i Cadafalch to refurbish a residential block on Carrer Rosselló. The architect reinvented the building, providing it with two distinct façades: when viewed from the Avinguda Diagonal, the building brings to mind North-European palaces, with an intricately carved neo-plateresque style. Here, the long, ornate balcony, with its busts of eminent medieval and Renaissance figures, floral motifs and heraldic shields, and the mansards on the upper floor, are fully in keeping with the medieval European style.
The façade on Carrer Rosselló, retains some elements of the original building, decorated in the “modernista” style, with elements of the “Viennese Sezessionsstil”. Inside the palace, which has been home to the Institut Ramon Llull, since 2013, the most eclectic “modernista” decorations predominate, blending neo-Gothic style of the main staircase and the wrought-iron entrance with neo-Mudéjar style of mosaics and multi-coloured woodwork¹.
Price with discount: 7€
Casa de les Punxes
An impressive Gothic-castle-inspired building on Avinguda Diagonal is one of the most eye-catching and emblematic landmarks in Barcelona. Owners of three buildings standing between the Avinguda Diagonal, Carrer Rosselló and Carrer Bruc, Terradas sisters commissioned Josep Puig i Cadafalch to redevelop the buildings and link them together on one site behind a vast brick façade. The nickname, “Casa de les Punxes”, comes from the conical roofs, which end in a spike. Don’t miss the roof terrace and ceramic panels on top of the building with patriotic motifs including a representation of Catalonia’s patron Sant Jordi (Saint George).
Price with discount: 10€