Ash
Written by Ash

Casa Vicens – Gaudi’s First Masterpiece

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Update 06/17/20: Casa Vicens reopens to the public on July 8th. Tickets bought before July 31st will be half price!

Imagine a colourful, neoclassical, slightly oriental construction in the middle of Gracia like an oasis in the middle of the desert.

This is Casa Vicens.

The first and least known Antoni Gaudi building is this extravagant house – that from 1888 until the 15th of November 2017 was completely closed to visitors.

But now? You can see it and it starts with my Casa Vicens visiting guide below.

Ready to get the visit going already? Get your tickets clicking the blue button below:

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The History of Casa Vicens

It’s 1883.

Catalan wonder-architect Antoni Gaudi is 5 years removed from architecture school.

Hotshot stockbroker Manuel Vicens i Montaner is keen on constructing a magnificent ‘summer chalet’ between the the neighbourhood of Gracia and nearby Sant Gervasi, two neighbourhoods in constant expansion.

He hires Gaudi, who aims to honour the figures and contemporary styles of the moment using traditional Catalan building methods as a base.

With a few decorative and symbolic elements that the world had never seen before.

The result? A fairy tale in building form.

We notice Gaudi’s genial madness immediately in the imposing facade full of natural elements, carvings, and painted tiles. The interior displays many exotic influences, polychromes, and a massive garden.

The house would eventually pass into the hands of the Herrero-Jover family for more than 100 years. In 2005 it was declared a UNESCO Heritage Site – and the last of the city’s 8 buildings with this distinction to open to the public.

Today? It’s finally open to us!

Casa Vicens Interior

To start off, let’s imagine what awaits us at a Casa Vicens visit through our ‘virtual tour’ of the various house spaces.

The house is divided into three levels: the ground floor, the first floor, and the second floor.

Included in all of this is its lush garden (which originally included plans for a waterfall), a circular fountain, and a panoramic space that’s full of typical plants of the era.

The Ground Floor (La Planta Noble)

The ‘noble’ floor is where you find all the main decorative elements and ornaments.

The ground floor of Casa Vicens is comprised of three different spaces: the living room, the veranda, and the smoking room.

The living room and its dining space have oriental vibes and a garden motif. The three dimensional figures of fruit, birds, flowers, and vines were created by Gaudi using pressed cardboard.

You’ll look up at the dome painting from the living room and feel as if you’re looking into the sky.

The semi-open veranda is connected to the living room, letting in tons of necessary sun to light up the room. From here you’ll be able to contemplate nature through its garden view.

The Turkish-style smoking room with replica palm trees and papier-mâché tiles is pure relax.

The First Floor (Primera Planta)

On this floor you’ll discover how the residents of Casa Vicens lived.

The two bedrooms, one bathroom, and small living room of this floor are characterized by plant-like decorations full of symbolism exploding out of the walls. For any lover of Gaudi you’ll see this as a sneak preview to stuff like Casa Batllo.

Here you’ll also get a second terrace with a wooden bench and another view of the garden.

The Second Floor (Segunda Planta)

Clear, spacious, and harmonious: this was the space given to the workers of the mansion.

Here you can admire the light play created by numerous windows and the rooftop terrace with its exposed wooden beams. The second floor is also home to the Casa Vicens permanent collection, which gives a great overview of the house.

Casa Vicens Exterior

The Facade

On the first two levels of Gaudi’s Casa Vicens the ceramic tile roles run horizontally. They’re decorated with French marigolds, a flower that grew naturally on the spot the building was constructed on.

Further up the emblematic blue, orange, and green tiles lose their floral motif and switch to vertical. You’ll notice a couple cherub-like characters on the balcony overlooking the street.

The curves of the building edges were to avoid the drabness that defined classical architecture.

The Rooftop

In what can only be seen as the precursor to the rooftop terrace heaven at La Pedrera, this rooftop accessible to the entire house is famous for its four-side walkway, pitched roof, and water-collecting curved terracotta tiling.

Look for the small cupola on the west side of the building.

You’ll also notice the green and white ceramic chimney caps, an ode to Gaudi’s love of Asian and Islamic styles.

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Special Days + Exhibitions

On the 22nd of May is Saint Rita Day, where Casa Vicens will organize special activities to honour the “saint of the impossible”.

Why exactly? Because of the fountain dedicated to her in the back garden. For years Casa Vicens was only open to the public on the this day and people would pass by to drink water from the fountain, believing it to have curative properties.

Antoni Gaudi’s Casa Vicens also hosts a permanent exhibition that will explain the history of the house, its primary function as Gaudi’s architectural manifesto, and the social, cultural, and artistic movements of the time.

The first exhibition promises to be a grand expose on modernism in general and an ode to Gaudi’s contemporaries in the architecture world. Over the years it is anticipated that new decorations and furniture will be added by various invited artists.

You also wouldn’t be able to complete the visit without full gift shop, book shop, a garden bar, and coat check.

Casa Vicens Tickets

General Admission

With general admission tickets the visit is done independently.

As there are no time slots you can stay as long as you want for the visit, though generally all you’ll need is 60-90 minutes to do it thoroughly.

Maps are given and members of staff are on hand on every floor for explanations.

  • General Casa Vicens entrance fee: €16.00 €8.00.
  • Disabled/65+: €10.00 €7.00.
  • Kids under 11/companion: free.

You’ll save €2.00 per ticket buying online via Ticketbar – always buy online.

Here you get the lowest prices while at no extra cost to you earning me a small commission to cover the expenses and time I put in… if you think I’ve helped please reserve using the blue button below.

CASA VICENS
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Once bought simply show the tickets on your smart phone after downloading the pdf.

Looking for free general entry? Your Casa Vicens visit is free of charge during European Night of the Museums (May 20th) and International Museum Day (May 18th).

Guided Tour Tickets

If you’re looking for a guided tour of Casa Vicens they are available in English, Catalan, Spanish, or French. The English tour typically runs twice a day (at 10:00 am and 2:30 pm) and is capped out at 10 people.

It’s not only a great way to discover the house but learn about Gaudi’s approach in general.

  • General guided tour entrance fee: €20.00.
  • Under 25/65+/disabled visitors: €18.00.
  • Kids under 11/companion of disabled person: free.

Guided tour tickets are best bought in advance from the official Casa Vicens website. Make sure you show up 15 minutes before your time slot to avoid lining up.

Groups of 10 or more people can organize a tour by contacting reserves@casavicens.org.

Gaudi Super Combi 3-in-1

In 2019 the hottest new product online for Gaudi lovers is the ticket package that allows you to skip the lines and see all three of Gaudi’s famous Barcelona mansions:

  • Casa Batlló with English video/augmented reality guide.
  • Casa Milá (La Pedrera) with English audio guide.
  • Casa Vicens (open ticket).

You can buy this package (with a €4.00 discount) by clicking the blue button below.

GAUDI SUPER COMBI
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Casa Vicens Opening Hours

The house is open daily aside from a select few holidays.

  • October 15th 2019 to March 31st 2020: Mondays from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm
  • April 1st to September 30th 2020: Monday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm.
  • October 1st to March 31st 2021: Mondays from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm

Closed: Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and the 6th of January.

Special hours: Christmas Eve until 7:00 pm, May 22nd (Santa Rita) open only until 5:00 pm.

Ticket offices cease sales 40 minutes before closing time, for this reason it is preferred to book online. Visitors must begin exiting the building 15 minutes before close time.

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Skip lines and save money buying tickets online!

How to Get to Casa Vicens

You’ll find the mansion at Carrer de les Carolines 20.

The closest metro stop is Fontana (green line L3).

You can also use the following buses: 22, 24, 27, 32, 87, 92, 114, V17.

Write Me for More Info

If you didn’t get enough information on Casa Vicens or are still in the dark on something regarding your Barcelona holiday, remember that you can write me in the comments below for custom advice.

Also, any comments to help make the blog better would be greatly appreciated.

Happy travels 🙂

  • November 19, 2019 at 10:32 pm
    Susan
    Thank you Ash for this recommendation. Casa Vicens was one of my favourite places and I only heard about it through your site. The English tour was also awesome. I booked most of my visits and trips through your site when I was in Barcelona, which saved me a heap of time (and &). Your tips on Montserrat were fab too. Thanks so much.
  • June 10, 2019 at 3:04 am
    Sophie
    Hi Ash! Firstly, this website is an absolute life saver :) I know nothing about Barcelona and have booked a trip to surprise my partner so I cannot ask him directly for advice. I have already gotten so many tips & tricks from this site so THANK YOU!!!! I am just writing for some advice. We arrive on a Sunday afternoon at the end of June and are staying not too far from the Sagrada Familia - I believe that we will arrive into our hotel and settle by around 3pm. I am wanting to take my partner to Casa Vicens as our first stop (though this stop will probably more for me!) and I was hoping for us to have a leisurely stroll back, and enjoy the sites and atmosphere of beautiful Barcelona, including a stop or two for some food and drinks. I understand that Gracia is on the way back and Eixample is also not too far. Do you have any advice for walking routes and/or restaurants, tapas bars etc. between Casa Vicens and Sagrada Familia and the surrounds? Thank you so much!
    • June 10, 2019 at 11:08 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Sophie, Thanks so much for the kind words, it means a lot :) Let's see, first of all let me say that it's quite a nice walk and a perfect way to discover Gracia.... I'd prefer this than Eixample simply because it's more authentic and there will be many more squares and less cars etc. If I were you I'd make my first stop the Plaça del Sol and here there's a great little tapas spot called Sol Soler. You could grab a drink and something small to eat on the terrace, soak up the square, and be on your way. I'd then walk over to Plaça de la Revolucion and here it's another spot where you could have a drink... there's also a nice Italian gelato place. From here you could walk up the famous Calle Verdi which is full of bars and restaurants (maybe check out Bar Canigo, a classic)... then from here you can loop back to the Sagrada area. Honestly, most of the cool things to do in this walk will be on the Gracia side so concentrate on that. You may also want to try and hit the Passeig de Sant Joan on the way back as it's a nice pedestrian boulevard that to me is very Barcelona. You can get some more ideas in my Gracia article. I've mapped out the route in general using Google maps here. Cafe Camelia is only a point of reference to denote as far up as I'd go on Verdi before turning. Cheers, Ash
      • June 11, 2019 at 2:43 am
        Sophie
        That is absolutely fantastic Ash, thank you SO much for your help and once again I really do appreciate it! I especially appreciate the time and thought you have put in response to my questions. Thank you!!! :)
        • June 11, 2019 at 12:04 pm
          ashley
          Team Member
          Ash
          No problem at all Sophie! Please let me know if you have any more questions :)
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