Barcelona’s Block of Discord

Barcelona’s Block of Discord is located on Passeig de Gr脿cia, the grand avenue of elegant shops and upscale hotels.

Passeig de Gr脿cia is also home to Moderniste architectural gems exuding the Eixample district’s “la rauxa i el seny” design culture. Besides the many tourists you’ll pass along Passeig de Gr脿cia, you’ll also see stylish locals and possibly a smartly-dressed man carrying beautiful flowers. 馃檪

"Passeig de Gracia"

Passeig de Gracia, Barcelona

Two of architect Antoni Gaudi’s most famous designs, Casa Mil脿 (La Pedrera) and Casa Batll贸, are located on Passeig de Gracia and even the wide sidewalks of the avenue are paved with tiles designed by Gaudi using his original cast. His influence is seen throughout Barcelona.

"Gaudi's tiles along Passeig de Gracia"

Sidewalk along Passeig de Gracia

So What is the Block of Discord?

"Block of Discord, Barcelona"

Block of Discord, Barcelona

While enjoying the architecture along Passeig de Gr脿cia, I was surprised to learn that Gaudi’s Casa Batll贸 is one of three buildings on a block of the avenue that is called the Block of Discord or (Illa de la Disc貌rdia in Catalan or Manzana de la Discordia in Spanish). On this one block, three competing visions of Modernisme are on view in the early 20th century designs of three prominent architects.

"Tourists at Casa Batllo"

Tourists at Casa Batll贸, Barcelona

At No. 43 is Gaudi’s Casa Batll贸 with it’s colorful facade, mask-like balconies and symbolic features such as the roof that resembles the back of a dragon. The late 19th century building was restored by Gaudi between 1904-1906. You can see that it’s a very popular spot for tourists and Gaudi enthusiasts.

"Casa Battlo, Barcelona"

Casa Batll贸 by Antoni Gaudi

Adjacent to Casa Batll贸 at No. 41 is Casa Amatller, designed by Josep Puig i Cadfaich and built in 1900 for a chocolate baron, Antoni Amatller. It is quite a contrast to its neighbor with a Flemish-style stepped roof and Gothic design elements.

"Casa Amatller by Josep Puig i Cadfaich"

Casa Amatller by Josep Puig i Cadfaich

At the end of the block at No. 35 is Casa Ll茅o Morera, Dom猫nech i Montaner’s interpretation of Moderisme. Unfortunately, what you can’t see in the photos is the detail of sculptures that depict inventions of the time such as the camera and telephone. Loewe, a luxury leather goods company, is located in the building.

"Loewe's on Passeig de Gracia"

Casa Ll茅o Morera by Dom猫nech i Montaner

47 thoughts on “Barcelona’s Block of Discord

  1. Jackie Smith

    Your photos brought back wonderful memories of Barcelona. It is such an interesting place — love the photo of the man holding the flowers. Dick Jordan posted today about a photo and 1,000 words, and this photo is one of those that makes you wonder what the 1,000 words would be.

  2. Barb

    I love, love, love the architecture of those buildings. Unfortunately you don’t see character like that in large city buildings most of the time.

    1. Cathy Post author

      I would love to live in this area of Barcelona for a while. It must have been something to live in one of these three buildings at the time they were built.

  3. jenny@atasteoftravel

    Barcelona certainly owes a lot to Gaudi and the architects of Modernisme! They are fascinating buildings and to have them all in the same block is amazing. It’s a shame we can’t see inside Casa Amatller and Casa Ll茅o Morera

    1. Cathy Post author

      We went into the Loewe store in Casa Ll茅o Morera, but they really don’t want you taking pics. Would be nice to see the whole building inside.

  4. Leigh

    I remember walking that street and being in awe of the architecture. Wonder how the egos of these three architects played out. I’d be happy living in any of those buildings.

  5. Glenn Barker

    Thanks for sharing! Barcelona is one of my favorite cities, and Passeig de Gracia is a perfect example of why. With the amazing Modernista architecture and the hustle of people from around the world, it’s a traveler’s paradise. Your photos brought back lots of fond memories!

  6. Steve

    Can you imagine how tough the co-op board meetings must be for people who live in these buildings? I wonder if there’s any competition between them, or if it even means anything more to them than simply having a place to live. Very interesting buildings.

    1. Cathy Post author

      Good questions, Steve. Actually, I’m not sure if these building are currently used for residences. I obviously need more time in Barcelona for research. 馃檪

    1. Cathy Post author

      Great minds indeed, Sophie! I totally agree that it’s a fabulous name. It conjures up all kinds of interesting thoughts about the architects and the times, I think.

    1. Cathy Post author

      Oh, I’ve got to admit that I don’t know anything about Gibert, Brunet and Casanovas! I promise to look them up next time in Barcelona.

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