La Casa de les Punxes

The House of Spikes

Casa de les Punxes

The official name for La Casa de les Punxes by Josep Puig i Cadafalch is Casa Terrades - a little dull for this magnificent House of Spikes.

Owing to its location on Diagonal on the corner of Carrer Bruc in the Dreta de l'Eixample, it's one of Barcelona's emblematic buildings because it is a reference point as you drive in and out of the city.

Casa Terrades is an amazing Gothic castle in the heart of Barcelona, and built between 1903 and 1905, it is definitely one of Josep Puig i Cadafalch's signature pieces.

The House of Spikes is actually three separate properties, which are all privately owned, so unfortunately it's not possible to see the inside.

However, the exterior is a must for anyone interested in Modernist Barcelona.

Casa Terrades is popularly known as Casa de les Punxes - The House of Spikes - and is actually three buildings that occupy a triangular block of land between Avinguda Diagonal, Carrer Rosselló and Carrer Bruc, right next to Verdaguer Metro station in the Dreta de l'Eixample.

In 1903, the Terrades sisters decided they wanted to join their three properties together and commissioned Josep Puig i Cadafalch to do the job.

Casa de les Punxes Window Detail

The result is an extraordinary Gothic castle situated in the heart of Barcelona, and Casa Terrades is one of the Modernist buildings that is most treasured by local people.

It's nickname - Casa de les Punxes - refers to its four rounded towers, one on each corner and each finishing in a rounded witch's hat spire.

The plain brick walls break out into High Gothic tribunes and miradors trimmed with a profusion of detailed ornamental stonework.

These are mainly floral motifs, bulbous in projection and deeply undercut to make them as visible as possible from street level.

It's a very strange building to find in a Mediterranean city.

A Catalanist Message

Another main decorative feature of Casa Terrades are the painted-tile panels that crown the sections between the spires.

Sant Jordi on Casa de les Punxes

These include a sundial, a floral design and an angel, but it's worth remembering that Puig i Cadafalch was not only an architect but also a Catalanist politician.

Just like Gaudí and Domènech i Montaner, revindications of Catalonia's linguistic, cultural and political rights are always present in Puig i Cadafalch's work.

On Casa Terrades, he once again uses the George and the Dragon legend, which is present at Casa Amatller.

In 1907, a headline in El Progreso read "The Propagandists of Hatred: Separatism and Architecture".

Puig i Cadafalch had inserted a large ceramic plaque depicting Sant Jordi and the Dragon into the apex of the gable that looks down on Carrer Rosselló.

The legend on the panel - discernible from street level - reads 'Sant Patró, Torneunos la Llibertat' - 'Patron Saint, Give Us Back Our Freedom'.

Then, just as now, the right-wing Spanish press was always keen to jump on any expression of Catalan autonomy.

Visiting La Casa de les Punxes

La Casa de les Punxes
Av. Diagonal, 420
08037 Barcelona

Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 9 am to 8 pm

Entrance: Adults €12.50 Junior, Students, Seniors €11.25 Children under 5 Free


Metro Verdaguer: Yellow L4 Line, Blue L5 Line

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