Manzana de la Discordia (Apple of Discord or Block of discord; manzana in Spanish means both block and apple) is a set of three adjacent buildings standing side by side on Passeig de Gracia. Designed by three masters of Modernism, these contrasting buildings are indisputably a vivid sample of different approaches of the architects.
The three buildings are Casa Batlló by Antoni Gaudi, Casa Amatller by Josep Puig I Cadafalch and Casa Lléo Morera by Lluís Doménech I Montaner.
Casa Battló is undoubtedly is the most famous of the trio. Commissioned by the textile industrialist Josep Batlló, it was totally renovated by 1906 and bears little resemblance with the building Gaudi started to work with.
Casa Battló is said to represent the legend of Saint George and the dragon. The roof of the building looks like the humped back of the dragon and roof tiles like its scales. The entire façade of the Casa Batlló is decorated with trendicas (sharps of pottery pieced together) and it is a blend of different colours.
And the framing of the windows remind you of the bones and tendons of the victims, while the wrought-iron balconies are their skulls. A cross in a turret at the left represents the sword of St. George defeating the dragon.
You can also go inside the building, what gives you an insight into Gaudi’s amazing design. The entire Casa Batlló is open for public and you can choose the rooms you would like to see or even get up to the roof.
The Casa Batlló was awarded the 2004 Europa Nostra Award for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage and was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2005.
Opening times: Daily from 09.00 – 20.00
On January 1st and December 25th Casa Batllo remains open.
Note: In October 2009 Casa Batllo´s opening hours main vary. Please check official site for this information www.casabatllo.es
Admission fee: Adults 10,00 Euros (first floor apartment), 16,50 Euros (first floor apartment, attic and roof), Children under 6 free.
Casa Amatller by Josep Puig is the first building on the block. The building was originally designed as a residence for chocolatier Antoni Amatller and was constructed between 1898 and 1900. It was built in distinctly neo-gothic style and bears resemblance to a middle-ages castle. The façade is dotted with eccentric stone carvings of animals. The entrance way has stained glass features such as an intricate ceiling, light fixtures and doorways.
Currently this building hosts the Amatller Institute and the Modernism Centre, which organizes guided visits to the modernist buildings in town.
Opening times: Mon – Sat from 10.00-17.00, Sun 10.00- 14.00
Admission fee: Free
The third building Casa Lléo Morera was adapted in 1905 from an existing structure. The commissioner of the building was the local tycoon Albert Lléo i Morera, whose name Lleó (lion) and Morera (mulberry bush) is symbolically reflected in decorative elements.
The building was forgotten during the mid-twentieth century and suffered a number of attacks during the Civil War. In 1992 a process of restoration was begun to recover some of the lost elements. Now its façade decorated with medieval arches, rounded corner balconies and a wedding cake doom crowning the roof represents one of the most amazing examples of the style which can be related as the international form of art nouveau.
The building is not open to the public; its upper floors are occupied by private offices and ground floor by a leatherwear shop.
How to get there:
By metro: Green Line L1, Yellow Line L4, and Purple Line L2 – Passeig de Gracia.
By bus: 7, 16, 17, 22, 24, and 28