Casa Terrades (Casa de les Punxes)

Casa Terrades (Casa de les Punxes) (69)

Walking along one of Barcelona’s main avenue – Diagonal – when you come to the crossroads with Rosselló, at number 416 you will find a very unique, almost magical building. Suddenly, as if taken from a medieval fairy tale, you will see a house which looks like half-castle and half modernist palace. It is the famous Casa Terradas, always better known as the “Casa de les Punxes”. 

Designed in 1902 by the famous architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch, who also built the Casa Amatller and the Palau Macaya, the medieval inspiration for the Casa de les Punxes makes it at odds with its current surroundings. 

The building seems to wear witches hats – it has four round towers topped with conical needles – the “punxes” or points – a main tower with a domed roof and numerous galleries and bay windows in the flamboyant Gothic style.

It is made up three different houses of apartments even though it appears to be a single block. On the spectacular red brick façade (except the ground floor where is it made of stone) the ironwork, balconies and ceramic panels with patriotic motifs are outstanding. The biggest and most well known is the one which represents Saint George with the inscription “Patron Saint of Catalonia, give us back our freedom” This was a provocation for the time, and has fortunately resisted the passing of time and the wars. It has to be said that due to the political situation at the time he worked and his great involvement in politics Puig i Cadafalch was exiled to Paris in 1936, the year that the Spanish Civil War began. When it ended in 1939 the dictatorship government did not allow him to return to work in Spain. He did not come back until 1942, when he carried out some projects which often had to be singed by other architects in order to be approved. 

On another of the panels you can see a huge sun dial.

Some of the artists working with Puig i Cadafalch were: Alfons Juyol who made the stone sculptures, Eudald Amigo for the stained glass, Enric Monserda who designed the interior decoration and Manuel Ballarín who made the wrought ironwork. 

Even though today it is a private building and cannot be visited, it is worth at least going to see it from the outside.    

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