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Barcelona Modernisme Route
Ruta 4, Editorial Montaner i Simón, Fundació A. Tàpies (46) – Casa Fuster (75)
Pag >> 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6

On reaching Carrer Aragó, turn left to find EDITORIAL MONTANER I SIMÓN (46), (MONTANER I SIMÓN EDITOR’S), a publishing company owned by the family of Domènech i Montaner’s mother, which currently houses the FUNDACIÓ ANTONI TÀPIES. Built by Domènech i Montaner himself from 1880 to 1882, this is one of the pioneering examples of the architectural and urban renovation that was introduced by the Modernista movement, together with Gaudí’s Casa Vicens (number (88) of the Modernisme Route). The building features a very unacademic façade with a slightly Mudejar (Moorish) appearance, a system of skylights that provides very diffuse top lighting, and a peculiar structure with cast iron pillars and steel beams that is more characteristic of markets and railway stations of the of the late 19th century.
Editorial Montaner i Simon, Fundació Antoni Tàpies

Address
Aragó, 255.

Open
Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Closed on Mondays and on 1 and 6 January and 25 December.






Information
Tel.: 934 870 315. www.fundaciotapies.org

Further details
Timetables may change.

Prices and discounts
Prices.

Adults: €7.00.

Children up to 16 years of age: free.

Persons over 16 years of age with student card: €5.60.

Discount of the Modernisme Route: 20% off the adult price.
Description
Built by Domènech i Montaner himself from 1880 to 1882, this is one of the pioneering examples of the architectural and urban renovation that was introduced by the Modernista movement, together with Gaudí’s Casa Vicens (number (88) of the Modernisme Route). The building features a very unacademic façade with a slightly Mudejar (Moorish) appearance and a peculiar structure with cast iron pillars and steel beams that is more characteristic of markets and railway stations of the of the late 19th century. The building is now crowned by a sculptural work by the great contemporary artist Antoni Tàpies, Núvol i cadira (Cloud and Chair), which has become the emblem of his foundation. The museum exhibits a wide selection of the work of this Catalan artist and holds temporary exhibitions, symposia, conferences and film cycles. It also houses a library specialised in modern and contemporary art, the Tàpies archive with the largest collection of his works and related documents, and collections on Asian and Pre-Columbine arts and culture.

The building is now crowned by a sculptural work by the great contemporary artist Antoni Tàpies, Núvol i cadira (Cloud and Chair), which has become the emblem of his foundation. The museum exhibits a wide selection of the work of this Catalan artist and holds temporary exhibitions, symposia, conferences and film cycles. It also houses a library specialised in modern and contemporary art, the Tàpies archive with the largest collection of his works and related documents, and collections on Asian and Pre-Columbine arts and culture.

On this point we may take a detour from the main One-day Route to reach Rambla Catalunya, where on the left we will see CASA DOLORS CALM (47) (DOLORS CALM HOUSE. Rambla de Catalunya, 54). This building, remodelled in 1903 by Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas, features elegant -if rather deteriorated- marquetry on the set of bay windows on the façades, sgraffito work, and sculptural elements on the ground floor and the cornice. A few metres away on the opposite side of the avenue is CASA FARGAS (48) (FARGAS HOUSE. Rambla Catalunya, 47) by Enric Sagnier (1902-1904). Its most outstanding element, the dome, disappeared during a later addition of floors, and the main interest at present lies in the sober design of the undulating bay windows. Now continue down Rambla Catalunya and turn right at Carrer Diputació, where you will find another building by Sagnier built in the same years as Casa Fargas, the CASA GARRIGA NOGUÉS (49) (GARRIGA NOGUÉS HOUSE. Diputació, 250), which features corbels by Eusebi Arnau representing the ages of man, and stained glass windows on the piano nobile. Turning back into Rambla de Catalunya, a little further up on the same side is the FARMÀCIA BOLÓS (50) (BOLOS PHARMACY. Rambla de Catalunya, 77) by Josep Domènech i Estapà, built between 1904 and 1910, which still has almost all its original decorative elements: a presumptuous, aristocratic lamp bearing the name of the shop, a stained glass window depicting an orange tree, and furniture, all designed by the great craftsman Antoni Falguera. A little further up, on the opposite side of the street, you will come to CASA DOMÈNECH I ESTAPÀ (51) (DOMÈNECH I ESTAPÀ HOUSE. València, 241), built by the architect Josep Domènech i Estapà for his own family in 1908-1909, which features a curious asymmetric distribution of the exposed masonry façade with a bay window on one side offset by a line of windows on the other.

If you return to Rambla de Catalunya, a little further up on the same side you will come to the CASA JUNCOSA (52) (JUNCOSA HOUSE. Rambla Catalunya, 78), by Salvador Viñals i Sabaté (1907-1909), which occupies a large site on the corner of Carrer València and features a large central bay window and a slightly Modernista foyer. On the corner of Carrer Mallorca stands the CASA QUERALTÓ (53) (QUERALTÓ HOUSE. Rambla Catalunya, 88), a 1907 building by Josep Plantada i Artigas which has undergone major modifications in the course of time, including the mutilation of its crown. It is decorated with elegant pink sgraffito work and false arches with columns and capitals.

If you now return to Passeig de Gràcia, slightly further up at the corner of Carrer València you will find the CASA VÍDUA MARFÀ (54) (MARFÀ HOUSE. Passeig de Gràcia, 66), one of the best examples of the Neo-Medieval style language imported by Modernista architects. Built by Manuel Comas i Thos between 1901 and 1905, it features three semicircular arches giving onto the street and slender columns supporting the bay window on the façade. On the corner opposite the Casa Marfà is the Hotel Majestic and just in front of it you can see one of the 31 BANC-FANALS (55) (BENCHES/STREET LAMPS) designed in 1906 by Pere Falqués to light the ostentatious boulevard appropriately. Restored from their then very deteriorated state in the 1980s by the City Council, one must distinguish these original elements from the circular benches-cum-flower beds you will find on some of the wide chamfers of Passeig de Gràcia. They are the fruit of a certain contemporary “Neo-Modernisme” and were added to the avenue’s landscape at the end of the 20th century, their suitability still being challenged today.

A major detour from the main route, turning right at Carrer València, takes you to the CASA ELIZALDE (ELIZALDE HOUSE. València, 302), a house built in 1885 for the Sala family that currently houses a municipal civic centre. (From here Modernisme itineraries are organised on Saturday mornings. These must be booked in advance. For further information, phone 934 880 590). The building is of limited architectural interest, but features a monumental court. At the corner of Carrer València and Carrer Roger de Llúria you will find the popular QUEVIURES MÚRRIA (56) (MÚRRIA GROCERY. Roger de Llúria, 85), a historic commercial establishment that opened in 1898 as a coffee roaster and rolled wafer manufacturer under the name of a nearby church, “La Puríssima”. The shop evolved to become one of the most famous Barcelona groceries, and features Modernista fire-tinted glazing signs that bring a cheerful touch to the façade, in particular the original advertisement for Anís del Mono, designed by Ramon Casas.

A short distance away are three Modernista buildings of interest CASA JOSEFA VILLANUEVA (57) (JOSEFA VILLANUEVA HOUSE. València, 312), built between 1904 and 1909 by Juli M. Fossas, features an elegant bay window on one of the corners that formerly had its counterpart, now disappeared, on the other corner of the building. Across the street is CASA JAUME FORN (58) CASA SANTURCE (59) (SANTURCE HOUSE. València, 293) by Miquel Madorell i Rius (1902-1905), which has an interesting foyer and a façade decorated with two strikingly crowned bay windows and a coat of arms with the name of the owner, the Count of San José de Santurce.

Walk a little further along Carrer València and you will come to the building of the CONSERVATORI MUNICIPAL DE MÚSICA (60) (MUNICIPAL CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC. Bruc, 104-112), designed in 1916-1928 at the end of the “Modernista fever” by Antoni de Falguera, a specialist in municipal buildings. Going up Carrer Girona is CASA LAMADRID (61) (LAMADRID HOUSE. Girona, 113), built by Lluís Domènech i Montaner in 1902. Although it may be considered a relatively simple house considering the author, it does have a particularly interesting façade, a compendium of the traditional decorative repertory of its designer, with a striking sculptural crown decorated with plant motifs and a Gothic-style coat of arms. On the other side of the street, the CASA GRANELL (62) (GRANELL HOUSE. Girona, 122) is an excellent example of the simpler Modernista style that was used in dwellings of less well-off people, a modest building of which Jeroni F. Granell i Manresa was both architect (1901-1903) and owner.

Returning to Carrer València, a little further along you will come to the CASA LLOPIS BOFILL (63) (LLOPIS BOFILL HOUSE. València, 339 / Bailèn, 113), perhaps the most outstanding work by Antoni M. Gallissà (1902). This large building, which has undergone major modifications, is a showcase of decorative details that are clearly influenced by Domènech i Montaner. Particularly outstanding are the extraordinary ground floor and the bay windows and balconies of the façade.

If you go up Carrer Bailèn you will come to Carrer Mallorca. Along this street you will go past the FARMÀCIA PUIGORIOL (PUIGORIOL PHARMACY. Mallorca, 312), an establishment with Modernista decoration. Then walk towards Passeig de Gràcia and you will come to the CASA VALLET I XIRÓ (64) (VALLET I XIRÓ HOUSE. Mallorca, 302), by the architect Josep M. Barenys i Gambús, dating from 1913 and considered to be late Modernista in style, with Central European Secession influences. Further along you will come to CASA THOMAS (65) (THOMAS HOUSE. Mallorca, 291-293), designed by Domènech i Montaner. The main interest of this building, built between 1895 and 1898, is that it shows the first characteristic signs of this architect’s unmistakeable style, such as the Neo-Gothic façade, the bluish tones and the foyer featuring floral motifs with figures of reptiles. The house that can be seen today is not, however, the first design by Domènech i Montaner. The building was originally limited to the workshop and the first floor, the dwelling of the owner. When it was extended in 1912 the original lines were respected, the towers were rebuilt at a higher level and elegant bay windows were added to the façade.

A litlle bit further on, on the corner with Carrer Llúria is the PALAU MONTANER, (66) completed by a young Domènech i Montaner in 1896 for one of the owners of the Montaner i Simon publishing firm -though the building was begun by Josep Domènech i Estapà until he resigned in 1891 after an argument with the owner, leaving two stories already standing.

Palau Montaner

Address
Mallorca, 278.
Open



Only for guided visits:

From 1 December 2012 onwards only pre-booked visits for groups will be organised


Information
Tel.: (+34) 933 177 652. www.rutadelmodernisme.com
Further details
Timetables and language of visits may change without prior notice due to security reasons.
Prices and discounts
Price: Adults €6.00.

Pensioners and children under 18 years of age: €3.00. 

Discount of the Modernisme Route: 50%.
Description
A litlle bit further on, on the corner with Carrer Llúria is the PALAU MONTANER, (66) completed by a young Domènech i Montaner in 1896 for one of the owners of the Montaner i Simon publishing firm -though the building was begun by Josep Domènech i Estapà until he resigned in 1891 after an argument with the owner, leaving two stories already standing.

Decorative elements related to the art of printing can be found both inside and outside, but the interior is especially exquisite. Here we find the stamp of great artists of Modernisme, like the sculptor Eusebi Arnau, the carpenter Gaspar Homar and the glassmaker Antoni Rigalt. The mansion is richly decorated, with mosaics, sculptures, carved woodwork and a spectacular staircase under a grand ornamental glass skylight. The palace is now is one of the headquarters of the Madrid Government’s Delegation in Catalonia.

Decorative elements related to the art of printing can be found both inside and outside, but the interior is especially exquisite. Here we find the stamp of great artists of Modernisme, like the sculptor Eusebi Arnau, the carpenter Gaspar Homar and the glassmaker Antoni Rigalt. The mansion is richly decorated, with mosaics, sculptures, carved woodwork and a spectacular staircase under a grand ornamental glass skylight. The palace is now is one of the headquarters of the Madrid Government’s Delegation in Catalonia. On the opposite corner is the PALAU CASADES (Mallorca, 283), a Pompeian mansion designed by Antoni Serra i Pujals (1885) and featuring an unusual court decorated with polychrome columns. Since 1922 this has been the College of Lawyers centre. From here, the route returns to Passeig de Gràcia.

Back on Passeig de Gràcia, almost beside Hotel Majestic, is CASA JOAN COMAS (Passeig de Gràcia, 74), in which Enric Sagnier (1907) undertook a thorough remodelling of an existing building, modifying its rear balconies, converting the garden into a warehouse, and giving the façade a Modernista appearance by adding a bay window, new railings on the balconies, and a curved cornice. Nevertheless, the building is considered to be predominantly eclectic in style. A little further up, at the crossroads of Carrer Mallorca, on the other side of the avenue is the Neo-Gothic inspired CASA ENRIC BATLLÓ (passeig de Gràcia, 75) designed by Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas (1895-1896), which today houses a hotel and has one of the most attractive façades on the Passeig, thanks to its brilliant polychromy. Crossing Passeig de Gràcia and going up to the corner of Carrer Provença, you will come to the jewel in the crown of Modernisme in Barcelona, standing majestically over the intersection.

Until 1905, on this corner there stood a modest three-storey building with a garden. After its demolition it was replaced by one of Gaudí’s most admired and photographed works: CASA MILÀ, (67) popularly known as LA PEDRERA. The last residential building by Gaudí, it was built between 1906 and 1910 for Pere Milà, a property developer married to Rosario Segimón, the widow of José Guardiola, a wealthy Indiano (as Catalans returning rich from the American colonies were called). Milà was a young and successful businessman who indulged in luxury, novelty and fashion, a true dandy of Modernista Bacelona. He was one of the first to boast a private motor car in the city’s avenues, and as he went by Barcelonans joked about his love of money and opulence, wondering if he wasn’t rather more interested in “the widow’s guardiola” (piggy bank), than in “Guardiola’s widow”.

Casa Milà, la Pedrera

Address
Passeig de Gràcia, 92 / Provença, 261-265.
Open
Novembre to February (inclusive): 9am to 6.30pm. Last entrance at 6pm

March to October(inclusive): 9am to 8 pm. Last entrance at 7.30pm.

Closed on January from 13th to 19th

and December 25th.
Information
Tel.: 902 202 138. www.lapedrera.com


Further details
Timetables may vary.
Prices and discounts
Adults: € 16,50.

Reduced: € 14,85.

7 to 12 years of age: € 8,25.

0 to 6 years of age: free.

Groups of over 10 persons must reserve by e-mail  reserves@lapedrera.com or tel. 902 202 138.

Discount of the Modernisme Route: 20% off the adult price.
Description
Until 1905, on this corner there stood a modest three-storey building with a garden. After its demolition it was replaced by one of Gaudí’s most admired and photographed works: CASA MILÀ, (67) popularly known as LA PEDRERA. The last residential building by Gaudí, it was built between 1906 and 1910 for Pere Milà, a property developer married to Rosario Segimón, the widow of José Guardiola, a wealthy Indiano (as Catalans returning rich from the American colonies were called). Milà was a young and successful businessman who indulged in luxury, novelty and fashion, a true dandy of Modernista Bacelona. He was one of the first to boast a private motor car in the city’s avenues, and as he went by Barcelonans joked about his love of money and opulence, wondering if he wasn’t rather more interested in “the widow’s guardiola” (piggy bank), than in “Guardiola’s widow”. Gaudí did not conceive the Casa Milà as a simple residential building, but as a complete work that ventured from architecture into the realm of sculpture. The façade, influenced by the early international Art Nouveau movement, is clad in limestone blocks that were rough-hewn to achieve a matte finish, forming characteristic curved volumes and sinuous arabesques that recall a sea cliff with cave dwellings marked by evocatively shaped wrought iron balconies. The lower part of the façade is built with stone from the Garraf Massif and the upper part with stone from Vilafranca del Penedès, both south of Barcelona. Originally, Gaudí aimed to convert La Pedrera into a religious allegory of the Holy Rosary, culminating atop the façade with a four-metre-high bronze medallion. However, the Setmana Tràgica (Tragic Week, a social revolt sparked in 1909 by the mobilisation of the Catalan reservists to fight in Morocco, during which churches were attacked and burnt) persuaded Milà that a residential dwelling with a giant virgin on the terrace would undoubtedly become the next target for anti-clerical mobs. He therefore quietly cancelled this part of the scheme. Some claim that the interior layout of La Pedrera was taken from Gaudí’s studies of medieval fortresses. This image is reinforced by the chimneys and accesses to the roof terrace that look like sentinels with helmets. The interior, however, is nothing like a fortress. The paintings on the ceilings of the foyers and the inner courts are particularly interesting. From the foyers one can enter the old underground coach house, now converted into a sloping, semicircular auditorium with wrought iron and brick columns supporting the building (not included in the visit). Milà’s wife, Rosario Segimón, never shared her husband’s devotion to Gaudí but acquiesced to living in a Gaudinian space until 1926 when, after the architect’s death, she decided to redecorate the main floor in a Louis XVI style that was far more to her taste. After the removal of the dividing walls, this space is now used for the large exhibitions. On the top floor of the building is the attic, which now houses the Gaudí Space, and has been restored to the appearance that it had when it was designed by Gaudí. Built in brick, it originally housed the washrooms of the house. The ground plan is a wide figure of eight, and it has 270 parabolic arches that years later captured the imagination of Le Corbusier and -according to the mood of the visitor- can be seen as the ribs of an immense animal or as a palm tree. The recovery of this space involved the removal of 13 apartments built in 1953: although these apartments did have their architectural interest, they had hidden one of the secrets of this part of the house. When it was returned to its original state, it was found that Gaudí had given a logical order to the small windows distributed at different levels to allow light and a constant current of air into the attic, which was also designed for drying laundry. The Gaudí Space currently attempts to illustrate the personality of the architect through a series of drawings, models, photographs and audio-visual materials that explain his life, his historical and cultural context, and the artistic values and technical innovations of his work. From the Gaudí Space, there is access to the stepped roof terrace of la Pedrera, which the poet Pere Gimferrer called a “warriors’ garden”. The roof terrace has also undergone a radical restoration: only Gaudí’s original chimneys have been maintained, now returned to their splendour together with the stairwells, clad with fragments of marble and trencadís of Valencia tiles. The one chimney which is crowned with glass bottle fragments was restored with champagne bottle bottoms from the turn of the 20th century (according to hearsay Gaudí designed this by using the empties on the morning after the inauguration party). The work of the restorers has recovered the original force of the Ulldecona stone overhang decorated with fragments of floor tiles. Though the overall colour is cream, this area is more multi-coloured than the grey-white façade. The six exits from the stairwells punctuate this world-famous roof terrace. From here one can see a different perspective of the inner courts of the Casa Milà and, at the distance rising from the cityscape, the Sagrada Família. The last stage of the visit to La Pedrera is “El Pis de La Pedrera” a space that shows the key elements of Gaudí’s architecture and gives the visitors an idea of the lifestyle of a bourgeois family in Barcelona in the early 20th century. This space occupies two former dwellings of La Pedrera, covering almost 600 square metres, and provides a total reconstruction of the period, including the typical study room, the old bathrooms and the small servants’ quarters. Casa Milà was listed World Heritage by UNESCO in 1984. Curiously enough, in the early 1980s the appearance of the Casa Milà was deplorable. The façade was a dark brown colour, the frescoes in the foyer were seriously deteriorated, the main floor had been transformed into a bingo hall, and the shops on the ground floor did not respect the curves of the original openings. After the restoration, the gloomy building recovered all its splendour. At present, the building is the headquarters of the Caixa Catalunya Foundation. The savings bank Caixa Catalunya has since 1986 invested more than 48 million euros in its restoration, which has involved the repair of the serious mutilations that the building had undergone, the restoration of the original appearance of the attic and roof terrace, and the recovery of the original paint colours of the inner courts, which had suffered damage ranging from destruction during the Civil War to the slow but sure effects of pollution. The corridors linking the courts and the inner staircases have also been restored to the original apple green colour that Gaudí gave them. La Pedrera currently houses the Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera, where the foundation’s various departments can be found.

Gaudí did not conceive the Casa Milà as a simple residential building, but as a complete work that ventured from architecture into the realm of sculpture. The façade, influenced by the early international Art Nouveau movement, is clad in limestone blocks that were rough-hewn to achieve a matte finish, forming characteristic curved volumes and sinuous arabesques that recall a sea cliff with cave dwellings marked by evocatively shaped wrought iron balconies. The lower part of the façade is built with stone from the Garraf Massif and the upper part with stone from Vilafranca del Penedès, both south of Barcelona. Originally, Gaudí aimed to convert La Pedrera into a religious allegory of the Holy Rosary, culminating atop the façade with a four-metre-high bronze medallion. However, the Setmana Tràgica (Tragic Week, a social revolt sparked in 1909 by the mobilisation of the Catalan reservists to fight in Morocco, during which churches were attacked and burnt) persuaded Milà that a residential dwelling with a giant virgin on the terrace would undoubtedly become the next target for anti-clerical mobs. He therefore quietly cancelled this part of the scheme.

Some claim that the interior layout of La Pedrera was taken from Gaudí’s studies of medieval fortresses. This image is reinforced by the chimneys and accesses to the roof terrace that look like sentinels with helmets. The interior, however, is nothing like a fortress. The paintings on the ceilings of the foyers and the inner courts are particularly interesting. From the foyers one can enter the old underground coach house, now converted into a sloping, semicircular auditorium with wrought iron and brick columns supporting the building (not included in the visit). Milà’s wife, Rosario Segimón, never shared her husband’s devotion to Gaudí but acquiesced to living in a Gaudinian space until 1926 when, after the architect’s death, she decided to redecorate the main floor in a Louis XVI style that was far more to her taste. After the removal of the dividing walls, this space is now used for the large exhibitions organised by the Caixa Catalunya Foundation, present owner of the building.

On the top floor of the building is the attic, which now houses the Gaudí Space, and has been restored to the appearance that it had when it was designed by Gaudí. Built in brick, it originally housed the washrooms of the house. The ground plan is a wide figure of eight, and it has 270 parabolic arches that years later captured the imagination of Le Corbusier and -according to the mood of the visitor- can be seen as the ribs of an immense animal or as a palm tree. The recovery of this space involved the removal of 13 apartments built in 1953: although these apartments did have their architectural interest, they had hidden one of the secrets of this part of the house. When it was returned to its original state, it was found that Gaudí had given a logical order to the small windows distributed at different levels to allow light and a constant current of air into the attic, which was also designed for drying laundry. The Gaudí Space currently attempts to illustrate the personality of the architect through a series of drawings, models, photographs and audio-visual materials that explain his life, his historical and cultural context, and the artistic values and technical innovations of his work.

From the Gaudí Space, there is access to the stepped roof terrace of la Pedrera, which the poet Pere Gimferrer called a “warriors’ garden”. The roof terrace has also undergone a radical restoration: only Gaudí’s original chimneys have been maintained, now returned to their splendour together with the stairwells, clad with fragments of marble and trencadís of Valencia tiles. The one chimney which is crowned with glass bottle fragments was restored with champagne bottle bottoms from the turn of the 20th century (according to hearsay Gaudí designed this by using the empties on the morning after the inauguration party). The work of the restorers has recovered the original force of the Ulldecona stone overhang decorated with fragments of floor tiles. Though the overall colour is cream, this area is more multi-coloured than the grey-white façade. The six exits from the stairwells punctuate this world-famous roof terrace. From here one can see a different perspective of the inner courts of the Casa Milà and, at the distance rising from the cityscape, the Sagrada Família.

The last stage of the visit to La Pedrera is “El Pis de La Pedrera” a space that shows the key elements of Gaudí’s architecture and gives the visitors an idea of the lifestyle of a bourgeois family in Barcelona in the early 20th century. This space occupies two former dwellings of La Pedrera, covering almost 600 square metres, and provides a total reconstruction of the period, including the typical study room, the old bathrooms and the small servants’ quarters.

Casa Milà was listed World Heritage by UNESCO in 1984. Curiously enough, in the early 1980s the appearance of the Casa Milà was deplorable. The façade was a dark brown colour, the frescoes in the foyer were seriously deteriorated, the main floor had been transformed into a bingo hall, and the shops on the ground floor did not respect the curves of the original openings. After the restoration, the gloomy building recovered all its splendour. At present, the building is the headquarters of the Caixa Catalunya Foundation. The savings bank Caixa Catalunya has since 1986 invested more than 48 million euros in its restoration, which has involved the repair of the serious mutilations that the building had undergone, the restoration of the original appearance of the attic and roof terrace, and the recovery of the original paint colours of the inner courts, which had suffered damage ranging from destruction during the Civil War to the slow but sure effects of pollution. The corridors linking the courts and the inner staircases have also been restored to the original apple green colour that Gaudí gave them.

Leaving La Pedrera, we continue up Passeig de Gràcia towards Avinguda Diagonal. After a few metres we find the CASA CASAS-CARBÓ (68) (Passeig de Gràcia, 96), built by Antoni Rovira i Rabassa in 1894. The main interest of this building, which was the residence of the painter Ramon Casas and the writer Santiago Rusiñol, is its interior which features the terrace of the main floor, an elegant Romantic garden of the late 19th century, and the fireplace designed by the decorator Josep Pascó (1902) for the piano nobile of the building. The only outstanding feature on the façade is the carved stone balcony of the main floor. The last important building before reaching Avinguda Diagonal is PALAU ROBERT (Passeig de Gràcia, 107), a noble building surrounded by gardens built in 1903 in Neo-Classical style. This building, by Henri Grandpierre and Joan Martorell i Montells, was a private residence until 1981, when it was acquired by the Generalitat of Catalonia, to house its tourist information offices.

The intersection of Avinguda Diagonal and Passeig de Gràcia is popularly known as Cinc d’Oros -the “five of gold coins” from the Spanish-style pack of cards- because of the five Modernista lamp-posts by Falqués that decorated the square at the beginning of the 20th century (they are now on Avinguda Gaudí, between the Sagrada Família (81) and Hospital de Sant Pau (82)). The intersection is currently presided by an obelisk which used to support a statue of the Republic by Josep Viladomat, withdrawn after the Civil War (and currently relocated in Plaça Llucmajor, in the northern area of Barcelona). The substitute statue at the base of the obelisk, dedicated to the fascist Victory of 1939, was made by Frederic Marès, although with the advent of democracy in 1979 the fascist symbols adorning it were erased by the Barcelona City Council, as with many other monuments and buildings in town. –› page 103

Along Avinguda Diagonal, west towards Plaça Francesc Macià, you will come to CASA SERRA (69) (Rambla de Catalunya, 126), which in its time was one of the best examples of single-family urban mansions in Barcelona. The building, planned by Josep Puig i Cadafalch in 1903, is now backed by a contemporary building with a glass façade which Antoni Milà and Frederic Correa built in 1987. This daring combination of Modernisme and modern design now houses the Provincial Council of Barcelona. Of the original design, two wings forming an angle give onto Rambla Catalunya: in one of them there is a Plateresque door in which Puig i Cadafalch emulated the door of the Casa Gralla, a Renaissance building demolished in 1856 in Carrer Portaferrisa. The Eclecticism of the architect seems to have no limits in this work. In addition to the Plateresque door, the balconies and windows combine Gothic and Renaissance elements.

At this point it is worth remembering that only one block from here, at the crossroads of Carrer Balmes and Carrer Còrsega, was the Casa Trinxet, another work by Josep Puig i Cadafalch (this one from 1902-1904) that is no longer standing. It had a spectacular interior, but was demolished in 1968 despite attempts by artists and intellectuals to save it for conversion into a museum of Modernisme. Very close to Casa Serra is CASA ANTONI COSTA (70) (Rambla de Catalunya, 122), perhaps the most representative multi-family dwelling by Josep Domènech i Estapà (1904), a monumentalist building with Secession influences. Further along Avinguda Diagonal, presiding over the corner of Carrer Enric Granados, is the CASA SAYRACH (71) (Diagonal, 423-425), one of the most outstanding examples of late Barcelona Modernisme. Built in 1918, the house is unique because of the curved forms of the façade, in which the influence of Gaudí may clearly be seen, and because of the slender tower at the corner. The entrance hall is an apotheosis of the most Baroque Modernisme. This work is now attributed to the architect and writer Manuel Sayrach i Carreras, even if the project was signed by Gabriel Borrell. If you now go down Carrer Enric Granados and follow Carrer Paris toward the right, you will come to the intersection with Carrer Aribau and the CASA SOCIETAT TORRES GERMANS (Aribau, 180), a building by Jaume Torres (1906) featuring sets of bay windows at the ends of the façade, sgraffito work and a stepped cornice.

Back on Avinguda Diagonal, at the crossroads with Carrer Buenos Aires is the CASA PERE COMPANY, (72) The house was proposed for the Barcelona City Council prize for the best building in 1911, though this was finally awarded to the Casaramona factory (35) by the same architect. The building is considered the first of Puig’s “white period”, in which the architect introduced influences from the Viennese Secession in his projects. On the façade some decorative elements have been maintained, such as the sgraffito work by Tomás Fontanals on the façade facing Carrer Buenos Aires, depicting Our Lady of the Assumption. In 1940, the building was purchased by a famous gynaecologist, doctor Melcior Colet Torrebadella, who converted it into a clinic. The work was carried out under the direction of the interior designer Santiago Marco Urrutia (1885-1949), who transformed the house interior and only preserved the original fireplace by Puig i Cadafalch. In 1982, Doctor Colet gave the building to the Generalitat’s Directorate-General for Sports for conversion into the current museum.

Casa Pere Company

Address
Buenos Aires, 56-58.
Open
Monday to Friday from 10am to 2pm.
Information
Tel.: 934 192 232 http://cultura.gencat.net/esport/colet/index.htm
Further details
Timetables may vary.
Description
The house was proposed for the Barcelona City Council prize for the best building in 1911, though this was finally awarded to the Casaramona factory (35) by the same architect. The building is considered the first of Puig’s “white period”, in which the architect introduced influences from the Viennese Secession in his projects. On the façade some decorative elements have been maintained, such as the sgraffito work by Tomás Fontanals on the façade facing Carrer Buenos Aires, depicting Our Lady of the Assumption. In 1940, the building was purchased by a famous gynaecologist, doctor Melcior Colet Torrebadella, who converted it into a clinic. The work was carried out under the direction of the interior designer Santiago Marco Urrutia (1885-1949), who transformed the house interior and only preserved the original fireplace by Puig i Cadafalch. In 1982, Doctor Colet gave the building to the Generalitat’s Directorate-General for Sports for conversion into the current museum.

Back at the Cinc d’Oros, on the opposite side is the CASA PÉREZ SAMANILLO (73) (Diagonal, 502-504), the headquarters of the Círculo Eqüestre, a high-society club. Built in 1910 by Joan Josep Hervàs i Arizmendi, the house has undergone many modifications in the course of history. One of the main original features of this Neo-Gothic style mansion is the oval window of the dining room that gives onto Avinguda Diagonal, popularly known as “the fish tank”. A few steps further along is the façade of the POMPEIA CHURCH (Diagonal, 450), a Neo-Gothic church that Enric Sagnier i Villavechia designed in 1909 for the Capuchin fathers, whose main features are the exterior façade of red brick and stone and the stained glass of the entrance.

Above the Cinc d’Oros, Passeig de Gràcia becomes a landscaped space that the inhabitants of the Gràcia district call ‘Els Jardinets’ (The Little Gardens). This small green is a miniature open-air museum of sculptures: a metal installation and the sculpture La Lectura (Reading) by Josep Clarà are homage to Pompeu Fabra, author of the modern Catalan grammatical rules. This final section of Passeig de Gràcia, between Avinguda Diagonal and the urban fabric of the old town of Gràcia, has two outstanding Modernista buildings. One of them is the CASA BONAVENTURA FERRER (74) (Passeig de Gràcia, 113), built by Pere Falqués in 1906. Falqués gave a striking sculptural treatment to the façade of this building, particularly in the bay window, which gives it an exceptionally monumental appearance. Slightly further up is the CASA FUSTER (75) (Passeig de Gràcia, 132) Domènech i Montaner’s last work in Barcelona (1908-1911). This building marks the end of Passeig de Gràcia and to some extent summarises the work of Lluís Domènech i Montaner. The façade has a cylindrical tower typical of the architect, adorned with sculptures that simulate swallows’ nests, and a curious French-style attic which is not very common in Modernista architecture. The building should have been crowned with a tower similar to that of the administration pavilion of the Hospital de Sant Pau, but it was never completed.

For many years, the mythical Cafè Vienès wich occupied the ground floor, together with the dance hall El Danubio in the basement, was one of the main meeting points of the city. In 2004 the company Hoteles Center reopened the Cafè Vienès, after buying the house and fully restoring it into a luxury hotel (for further information see Let’s Go Out, the guide to Modernista bars and restaurants).


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