Should you visit La Casa Amatller in Barcelona?
WE TELL YOU HOW IS THE CASA AMATLLER INTERIOR LIKE
Antoni Amatller i Costa was a wealthy chocolate maker in the Barcelona of the late 1800’s. He owned a building in the prestigious Passeig de Gracia, like any rich local businessman should. But the architecture of the building was pretty bland, it didn’t stand out. And showing off was a key reason to choose Passeig de Gracia as a place to live. So Mr. Amatller contacted one of the most prestigious architects of his time, Puig i Cafalfach.
Everything you need to know about visiting Casa Amatller inside:
Casa Amatller compared to the rest of the Block of Disagreement
Just two years later, in 1902, the building down the corner was also remodeled by another top modernist architect. That’d be known as the Casa Lleó Morera by Domenech i Muntaner. And soon after, next door to Casa Amatller Antoni Gaudi renovated Casa Batllo to give it an extravagant look. The legendary “Block of Disagreement” of Passeig de Gracia as now completed: the locals couldn’t agree which of the three masterpieces was the best.
At the moment, Casa Lleó Morera remains closed to the public until they can figure out how to comply with the local accessibility and safety requirements. You can rule it out of your list.
As for Casa Batllo, it is indeed one of Antoni Gaudi’s most important buildings and it’s usually crowded. Instead, Casa Amatller is less popular because… well, it’s not a Gaudi site. So if you don’t like crowds and prefer unique gems, Casa Amatller should be your choice.
Also, Casa Batllo doesn’t display any furniture or decoration: it’s all about architecture, light and color. Instead, Casa Amatller is maybe darker, but the furniture and decoration fixtures are beautiful. If you are an architecture lover, Casa Batllo is for you. If you’d like to feel transported to a private home of the early 1900’s and see how people lived then, go for Casa Amatller.
Then, in Casa Batllo you get to visit the rooftop and enjoy the city views as well as the backyard, whereas in Casa Amatller you are always indoors. And Casa Batllo has introduced new technologies and audiovisuals to entertain the youngest, while Casa Amatller is all vintage and antiques. BUT, Casa Amatller has hot chocolate!
There you’ll discover Saint George killing the Dragon, references to the 4 fine arts (Music, Painting, Sculpture and Architecture). And you’ll get acquainted with Mr. Amatller’s hobbies: photography, glass and pottery collection, reading… As well as a tribute to the major crafts that were used to decorate the building: wrought iron and carpentry. Hint: look for the animals decorating the balcony doors.
The entrance hall and the cafe of Casa Amatller are open every day,
The beautiful glass door led no less than to the house garage. Yes! Mr. Amatller owned one of the first cars in town! And there’s a roped area leading to the stairs that is only accessible if you’ve paid the entrance fee. But if you tilt over the rope and look up you’ll see an outstanding stained glass skylight.
The staircase feels like taken out of a medieval castle. The Middle Ages were a favorite source of inspiration for the modernist architects. But unless you have paid the entrance fee you won’t get to see the cute decoration under the stairs representing animals… making chocolate! Remember I said Mr. Amatller owned a chocolate factory?
Faborit Casa Amatller Cafe and Chocolate shop
Yes, the brand still exists, although it’s now run by another local family of chocolate makers, the Simon. The only daughter of Mr. Amatller, Teresa, sold them the company since she didn’t have any children that could continue the family business. It’s really nice chocolate! Ask if they have any samples you can try. They often do. And their lovely vintage packaging with the original art nouveau designs Alphonse Mucha made for them make for great gifts and souvenirs.
A bit further in, a large table is surrounded by the old sinks and oven. The servants quarters that were next to the kitchen haven’t been preserved, but the area is now occupied by a lovely cafe where you can get a light meal or some Amatller hot chocolate to eat in the kitchen table.
Visiting the interior of Casa Amatller
Next to the video room you’ll see the superb dinning room, presided by a huge fireplace. The decoration on top of it represents how cocoa beans were imported from America. Let your senses be mesmerized by the stained glasses, the intricate wood work, the gorgeous pavement, the ceramics, everything! A modernist house was supposed to be a complete work of art.
A darkish corridor where you’ll see objects related to Amatller’s daily lives, takes you to the other side of the house. Teresa’s quarters consisted of a sewing room (yes, sewing was one of the few activities the ladies of the high society were allowed to do as a hobby), a bedroom and a dressing room. Teresa redecorated this last one in Art Deco style in 1934.
Between her room and her father’s quarters there’s the main room where they met guests, now displaying part of Mr. Amatller’s precious antique glass collections. Besides his bedroom, you’ll also get to see his dressing room and the original bathroom.
What's not open to the public?
Teresa Amatller created a foundation to manage the building and her father collections, pictures of their exotic African trips, library and archives. The Amatller Hispanic Art Institute continues to be in charge of such heritage, and they were responsible for restoring the building in 2007-08 and opening part of it to the public.
There’s no one living in Casa Amatller anymore. The apartments are now either occupied by the Amatller Institute or rented out as offices. So all that is not open to the public. Neither is the backyard, now a green roof covering the facilities of the Bagués Masriera jewelry in the street level.
Practical info, logistics and tips
Casa Amatller opening hours, tickets and more
Are you planning to visit Casa Amatller when you are in Barcelona?
Marta is the founder of ForeverBarcelona. She is a passionate tour guide that loves Barcelona and loves writing too. She is the main author of our Blog, and is committed to sharing her knowledge about Barcelona and her best tips with our readers.
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Last update on 2021-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API