Casa Lleó Morera is one of the houses of the Block of Discord. The block of Discord it is famous to have in it 4 modernist buildings built by the most famous catalan architects: Lluís Domènech i Montaner, Antoni Gaudí, Josep Puig i Cadafalch and Enric Sagnier one very near the other.
The houses are the Casa Lleó-Morera by Lluís Domènech i Montaner; Casa Mulleras by Enric Sagnier; Casa Bonet by Marcel·lí Coquillat i Llofriu; Casa Amatller by Josep Puig i Cadafalch; and Casa Batlló by Antoni Gaudí
The block of discord is the name locals gave to this group of houses, there is a greek mythology called the apple of discord that tell the story of a wedding. All Gods are invited to the wedding, except Eris the goddess of discord, she got angry to not be invited and showed up giving as a gift a golden apple that had an inscription on it: for the most beautiful. There was then a dispute since different goddess want it: Hera, Athena and Aphrodite, there was even a formal trial to decide who got to keep it. In the end it was Aphrodite who got it in exchange of giving Zeus the most beutiful woman as his wife: Helena, wife of the King of Sparta.
The history repeats itself and the golden apple was the naming of being the most beatiful building in the block of discord. The dispute remains still nowadays, if there is something true across all of them is that they are unique: Lleó Morera, Amatller and Batlló.
Lluís Domenech i Montaner: the architect
Lluís Domènech i Montaner was the architect of Casa Lleó Morera, one of the most important building from the architect are: Música Catalana, the Hospital de Sant Pau, The three dragon castle and Casa Fuster, all of them in Barcelona. Some of his works have been recognised as UNESCO World heritage sites.
Domenech i Montaner travelled around Europe once he finished his studies and learnt from the new architectural trends at that time. When he returned to Barcelona he joined the school of architecture as a lecturer and he was able to train students such as Gaudí and Puig i Cadafalch.
It is important to mention that he was also a designer for bookbindings and as a book illustrator. He was contributor of catalan publications of the time such as la Renaixença, one of the most famous ones.
He was involved politically and was one of the founders of Catalan nationalism and founder of the regionalist league, that became the first political force in his time.
He was commissioned by Francesca Morera to work on the remodelation of Lleó Morera House in 1902, it was an old building called Casa Rocamora built by Joaquim Sitjas. He demolished and rebuild the façade completely and added three galleries and stone balconies in different floors. He also designed the interior of the house that became a piece of art on its own with the work of master artists and crafstmen that did the mosaics -Mario Maragliano-, sculptures - Eusebi Arnau- wooden work etc..
The stained glass on the inside is incredible and an explosion of modernism that was trendy at the time. The work of craftsmen show all around the house, in the staircase, in the glass in the windows, the fireplace, the floors and the decorated walls.
Casa Lleó Morera
The visit is conducted by Cases Singulars in groups of maximum 25 people. We started with the historical context, the family Lleó i Morera who owned the house originally and then a guided tour through the house.
Lleó Morera House, was finished on 1906 and the ownership lasted three generations until 1943 but because the family had it for so long, the delicate ornamental elements were well maintained and we can see them nowadays.
I was very impressed with the house and the decorative arts on the inside, amazing stained glasses, woodwork and ceramics. The history of the family is present in the decoration on the inside of the house and also in the façade, there are lions (Lleó) and mulberry flowers (Morera) representing the meaning of their sir names.
There is also a sad story of the family represented in the house decoration, they loose a child and they wanted to have the memory of that child in the house.
They chose to have it represented through a popular Catalan song called: -la dida del nen rei- that talks about the a prince.The babysitter of the prince falls asleep having the child very near the fireplace and when she wakes up the child is only ashes. She prays to the virgin and promises her that if she brings the child back alive she will give her a golden crown for her and a silver crown for her son. The virgin brings the son back to life and the king and the queen when they arrive they have their son playing around as normal.
Domenech i Muntaner ordered Arnau Eusebi the sculptures to represent that song in the house, in the story the death of the child it's just a bad dream.
This and other stories to be found in that visit at Casa Lleó i Morera. Totally recommended!!
Casa Lleó Morera
The entrance is 15 euros per person. Children under 12 have free entrance, limited to one kid per adult with entrance. www.casalleomorera.com
Disclaimer: the visit was offered by Casa Lleó Morera, as always the opinion is my own.