Casa Vicens – Barcelona, Spain - Atlas Obscura

Casa Vicens

Step inside the first house designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, considered to be one of the first Art Nouveau buildings. 


Any visitor to Barcelona is likely familiar with the unique, often whimsical work of architect Antoni Gaudí. His buildings are a beloved, defining aspect of the city. Now, visitors can become even more familiar with the iconic architect by stepping inside the first house he designed.

Casa Vicens is one of seven properties built by the Catalan modernist in Barcelona and its surrounding areas recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. UNESCO considers its distinctive style an “outstanding creative contribution to the architectural heritage of modern times.”

From the tiles painted with French marigolds on the first two floors to its domed rooftop (which provides a beautiful view of the neighborhood), Gaudí’s first major architectural project laid the groundwork for his remarkable oeuvre and paved the way for Catalan Modernism.

It’s now a museum, which opened in November 2017 and boasts 15 rooms restored with extensive research and input from descendants of the original tenants. It features a collection of furniture made by Gaudí and 32 paintings by the Spanish painter Francesc Torrescassana i Sallarés.

Stockbroker Manuel Vicens i Montaner commissioned the house, which was constructed between 1883 and 1888 as a summer home and expanded in 1925 by Barcelona architect Joan Baptista Serra de Martínez. The structure contains a myriad of styles which reflect the innovative architect’s inspirations from subjects like nature to oriental and neoclassical architecture.

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