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Casa Amatller information
Lonely Planet review
One of Puig i Cadafalch’s most striking bits of Modernista fantasy, Casa Amatller combines Gothic window frames with a stepped gable borrowed from Dutch urban architecture. But the busts and reliefs of dragons, knights and other characters dripping off the main facade are pure caprice.
The pillared foyer and staircase lit by stained glass are like the inside of some romantic castle.
The building was renovated in 1900 for the chocolate baron and philanthropist Antoni Amatller (1851–1910) and it will one day open partly to the public. Renovation – still continuing at the time of research – will see the 1st (main) floor converted into a museum with period pieces, while the 2nd floor will house the Institut Amatller d’Art Hispanic (Amatller Institute of Hispanic Art).
For now, you can wander into the foyer, admire the staircase and lift, and head through the shop to see the latest temporary exhibition out the back. Depending on the state of renovation, it is also possible to join a 1½-hour guided tour of the 1st floor, with its early-20th-century furniture and decor intact, and Amatller’s photo studio. These are generally held on Saturdays; check the website for details.
Amatller was a keen traveller and photographer (his absorbing shots of turn-of-the-20th-century Morocco are occasionally on show). The tour also includes a tasting of Amatller chocolates in the original kitchen.