Casa Batlló in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
© Marco Arduino/Sime/eStock Phot
House of the dragon. St George’s Day
We're looking at the rooftop of Casa Batlló, a six-storey building in the centre of Barcelona, topped with colourful 'scales'. What brings us here? Well, here in Spain's province of Catalonia, as in England and several other countries, it's St George’s Day. George (or Jordi, as the Catalans call him) is 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.
While the dragon tale may be fanciful, St George himself was real, he’s believed to have been an officer in the Roman army – and 23 April is believed to have been the date he died in 303 CE. While St George’s Day is traditionally celebrated on the 23rd, church celebrations are delayed if, as is the case this year, the 23rd falls between Palm Sunday and the second Sunday of Easter. They will be held on 26 April instead.
Back to our homepage house of the dragon. The designer of this striking façade was the architect Antoni Gaudí. Gaudí designed dozens of buildings around Barcelona in matching fashion: bold fairy-tale designs with curvy constructions and vibrant colours. Gaudí's long-unfinished masterpiece, the famous Sagrada Família cathedral, is set to be completed in 2026, a century after his passing.