One of Puig i Cadafalch’s most striking flights of Modernista fantasy, Casa Amatller combines Gothic window frames and Romanesque flourishes 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 beautifully tiled pillared foyer and staircase lit by stained glass feel like the interior of some romantic castle. The building was renovated in 1900 for chocolate baron and philanthropist Antoni Amatller (1851–1910).
The 1st (main) floor, where Amatller and his daughter Teresa lived, has been converted into a museum, with period pieces and original furniture and decor; much of the furniture was also designed by Puig i Cadafalch, while artist Eusebi Arnau was also involved in the building. Amatller was a keen traveller and photographer; his absorbing shots of turn-of-the-20th-century Morocco are occasionally on show.
One-hour guided tours run in English at 11am, Catalan at noon and Spanish at 5pm; self-guided 40-minute visits, with a multimedia tablet, run every 30 minutes. All visits include a taste of Amatller chocolate at the end. It's free to wander into the foyer and admire the staircase and antique lift.