Antoni Amatller made his fortune as a chocolatier. In 1898, he commissioned architect Josep Cadafalch ( a contemporary of Gaudi) to refurbish an older (1875) building based on a typical Catalan mansion, with a ridged facade inspired by homes from the Netherlands. This was the first of the refurbished homes in Barcelona that comprised the "Block of Discord", which we had discussed in previous postings. While this building appears to be a single "palazzo" or mansion, it is really a series of apartments over a ground floor chocolate shop. The Amatllers lived on the first floor, above the store. Compared to some of the other homes we've visited, Casa Amattller seems more compact and traditional in its designs. In that regard, I found this home a bit more attractive, while Lorraine was drawn more towards the Gaudi designs. Cadafalch used many of the finest Barcelona craftsmen and artists who were skilled in the modernista movement. What I really liked about visiting this house was that some of the original furnishings are still here and not shipped off to some museum. Added to this were the whimsical knights, dragons, and other characters decorating the facade. I felt as if we were walking into a medieval castle as we climbed the central staircase. In any event, all three houses of the "Block of Discord" were elegant and well worth visiting.
Street view of Casa Amatller. The facade sort of looked liked a box of chocolates to us. On the right edge of the photo, you can get a glimpse of Casa Botllo next door (we wrote about that in a previous posting).
The castle-like staircase takes visitors up to the Amatller's apartment. On the left, behind the glass doors, is an elevator, which was a novelty at the time of this building.
The elegantly carved door on the left is the main entrance into the apartment.
Many of the homes we visited seemed to incorporate a courting fireplace in the living room. These were designed with a double seat on one side for the couple and a single seat on the other side for the chaperone.
This is an photo of the living room at the time the Amatllers lived here. Notice the other room through the doorway...
...this was a multi-purpose room; music/sitting/game room.
Keeping to the castle-like theme in the house is the master bedroom.
Theresa's (Antoni Amatller's daughter) bedroom was styled a little bit differently...
...with her own little sitting area.
Here is an old photo showing how Theresa decorated her room.
Amatller handled some of his chocolate factory work here in his study.
In this series of three rooms, Antoni and Theresa displayed some of their many collections. The room to the right, through the doorway, was a billiards room. The one to the left, behind the drapes, was Antoni's photography room (he was an amateur photo enthusiast). After Antoni's death, Theresa opened up the drapes and made the central room larger.
The sculpturings around the windows are exquisite!
Some of Amatller's chocolates were made and sold in the ground floor shop. This is part of the original kitchen in the store. It is still a functioning chocolate store for the Amatller brand.
The original Amatller chocolate is still for sale....
...along with newer, fancier candies.
Carl and Lorraine Aveni are two retirees planning on traveling through Europe for at least one year.