Casa Vicens, the first house designed by Antoni Gaudí, can be visited for the first time after remaining a private residence for more than 130 years. The last World Heritage Site building to open to the public in the city of Barcelona, Casa Vicens is spectacular and a must-see for anyone travelling to Barcelona.
Casa Vicens tops the list of eight buildings in Barcelona that UNESCO has declared to be of interest cultural for the entire international community, along with the Sagrada Família, Casa Batlló, La Pedrera, Park Güell, Palau Güell, the Palau de la Música and Hospital Sant Pau.
The private house was built as a summer home between 1883 and 1885, and designed by the 31-year-old Gaudí for Manel Vicens i Montaner (1836-1895), a dealer. The house is built following Catalan construction traditions, which the architect interpreted in unexpected ways. As a whole, it heralds and displays the creative freedom that would become the hallmark of his entire body of work with fantastic wooden parts, floral and organic-world inspired ornamentation, vivid colours, and amazing architecture.
The summer house is divided into four levels: the basement for storage; the ground floor to house the living room, dining room and kitchen; the first floor, which was meant for the bedrooms; and the top floor for the servants. At first the house only had three façades since it was attached to the neighbouring construction on the northeast side; the southwest served as the main façade open to the extensive gardens surrounding the house.