Nov 012012

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

Passeig de Gràcia 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 Gràcia, you’ll also see stylish locals and possibly a smartly-dressed man carrying beautiful flowers. 🙂

"Passeig de Gracia"

Passeig de Gracia, Barcelona

Two of architect Antoni Gaudi’s most famous designs, Casa Milà (La Pedrera) and Casa Batlló, 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 Gràcia, I was surprised to learn that Gaudi’s Casa Batlló is one of three buildings on a block of the avenue that is called the Block of Discord or (Illa de la Discòrdia 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 Batlló, Barcelona

At No. 43 is Gaudi’s Casa Batlló 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 Batlló by Antoni Gaudi

Adjacent to Casa Batlló 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 Lléo Morera, Domènech 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 Lléo Morera by Domènech i Montaner

  47 Responses to “Barcelona’s Block of Discord”

  1. Antonio Gaudi sure has lot of influence in Barcelona. I hope you had a chance to visit Park Guell by him as well. Love the photos.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Lovely pictures of Barcelona. These buildings looks really amazing, its worth the visit just to see these buildings.

  5. What a wonderful street to have a leisurely stroll! I would love to visit Barcelona just to gawk at Gaudi’s creations. The Casa Batlló looks awesome! Those building facades are gorgeous.

  6. I didn’t remember seeing these buildings when we were walking down the street and wondering what it must have been like to live there. I bet the insides are fantastic, too. I wonder if the furniture follows this fantastical style, too.

    • 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.

  7. Beautiful – there’s something about ornate paving and sidewalks that just makes me smile every time.

  8. 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 Lléo Morera

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

  9. Barcelona has the most interesting architecture!! Your pics make me want to see it all in person. Thanks for sharing it with us and thanks for linking up!

    • I’ll have to post a few more pics of buildings in Barcelona. So much character and beauty in many of the buildings there.

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. These buildings (and Sagrada) are the only one things I liked in Barcelona. I like the works of Gaudi at all.

  13. 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.

    • 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. 🙂

  14. Great photos Cathy, I’ve done the same tour in Barcelona, loved the architecture 🙂

  15. It would be very difficult to decide which of the three I like best. Gaudi is a tad too baroque for me, though.

  16. Great minds think alike 🙂
    So interesting the block of discord, and such a fabulous name, too.

    • 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.

  17. Gaudi always overshadows the other Modernisme architects. Look out for Gibert, Brunet and Casanovas also.

    • 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.

  18. Barcelona is next on my cities for us to check out list. I’ll be pinning this tour for our trip for sure. Thanks!

  19. woah, interesting! I actually walked around this area a lot when I visited Barcelona. My favorite Tapas place was right across the street!

  20. Again, you’ve gotten me so jealous of your trip! I really need a return trip to Spain!

  21. I love Gaudi and Barcelona. I can’t wait to go back someday soon!

  22. It is one of my favorite blocks in Barcelona. I don’t have photos but the images are definitely seared into my memory. Thanks for bringing back such wonderful memories.

  23. […] you have already seen my postcards from Girona, snapshots of Madrid, posts about Barcelona’s “Block of Discord”, Catalonian wine country and more. For Travel Photo Thursday, I want to share some photos of […]

  24. Those designs are just breathtaking, Cathy! Must go there!

  25. You know, I thought I went to every single Gaudi building or site when I was in Barcelona, but I never realized he sculpted the sidewalk tiles too!

  26. Interesting selection – I only knew about Casa Batlló by Antoni Gaudi:)

  27. […] view of Gaudi’s works on a walking tour, which also included Gaudi’s Casa Batlló on the “Block of Discord”, his building set between those of other prominent and competing architects of the time (with […]

  28. […] you seen any of Gaudi’s buildings in Barcelona? What are your […]

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