Casa Batlló in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
© Marco Arduino/Sime/eStock Phot
A house of grand scale(s)
We're looking at the rooftop of Casa Batlló, a six-story building in the center of Barcelona topped with colorful 'scales.' What brings us here? Well, here in the Catalonia region of Spain, and in several other locales from England to Ethiopia, it's the feast of Saint George. You know George (or Jordi, as the Catalans call him): He's the knight who, legend holds, saved a much-loved princess by defeating a fierce dragon. It's said the tower jutting from the casa's tiled roof represents George's lance thrust into the monster's scaly back.
George is Catalonia's patron saint—but the designer of Casa Batlló's façade could be called the land's patron architect. Antoni Gaudí designed several buildings around Barcelona in matching fashion: bold fairy-tale designs with curvy constructions and vibrant colors. Gaudí's long-unfinished masterpiece, the famous Sagrada Família basilica, is set to be completed in 2026, a century after his passing.