Wander through Barcelona’s Art Nouveau neighbourhood and you’ll stumble across Casa de les Punxes – a striking building which looks like a miniature neo-Gothic castle. Since it opened to the public just last year, it’s quickly become one of the best hotspots for architecture and history lovers alike. Here’s some facts about Casa de les Punxes to get you started…
This striking building designed by Josep Puig i Cadafalch has a distinctly medieval feel to it, despite having been built in 1905. The structure is named for the imposing spikes (punxes) at the top of its four turrets.
Cadafalch was commissioned by the influential Terradas family to built this legendary structure. At this point, he was already one of Barcelona’s most prominent architects with a signature style that blended his historical education, love of Barcelona’s local traditions and distinctly modern aesthetics.
Saint Jordi, the patron saint of Catalonia, is a prominent figure throughout the home’s iconography. From a large ceramic mural on the corner of the building to its stained galss windows, the so-called protector of lovers and Christian figure is easy to spot throughout the house in his armour and roses.
Although Casa de les Punxes has been around since 1905, it wasn’t until 1976 that it was declared a cultural asset of National Interest. The year before, the modernist structure was also given national monument status.
The Terradas family approached Josep Puig i Cadafalch to design a unique home for its three daughters, who each had their separate spaces within the building. Although the building looks like one big block, it’s actually three interconnected towers – one for each sister. When they passed away, the house was then handed onto their brother.
After undergoing extensive renovations throughout 2016, the house opened its doors to the public last year. It was last open over a century ago and guided tours regularly take place, showing interested parties through its stained glass hallways and into one of its spires.
In recent years, Casa de les Punxes has undergone a number of changes from its original design thanks to new residents and the wear of time. A big renovation project in 2016 removed a number of details to restore the home to Cadafalch’s original vision and also add in a few modern utilities, including a lift.
Casa de les Punxes combines not just Cadfalch’s fantastic architectural designs, but also the works of ceramic artists, stained glass window makers and sculpturists. These include Manuel Ballarin, who designed the intricate iron balconies, sculptures by Alfons Juyol and stained glass windows by Eduard Amigo.
Beyond Saint Jordi, there’s a number of recurring design elements throughout the house. They include vegetables, mythological figures with horns and delicate flowers including daisies, roses and clovers to appeal to the Terradas sisters’ sensibilities.
Located in L’Eixample, the distinctive house is not only recognisable by its neo-Gothic facade but also by the fact that it’s completely detached from everything else. It sits a slight distance apart from the surrounding residential buil