Casa Calvet

Casa Calvet (78)

The first family house to be built by Antoni Gaudí can be found at number 48 Carrer Casp. It was commissioned by the Calvet family, well-known textile manufacturers of the time, and some consider it to be one of his most conventional works. 

The Project encountered problems in obtaining the municipal license, but was eventually awarded the prize for the best building to be completed in 1900 for its artistic merit. It should be mentioned, as an anecdote, that when Gaudí returned the plans, which had been rejected as a result of the building being taller than that permitted at the time, he sent them back with a red line cutting the building down to the permissible size, making it quite clear that if he could not carry out his original plan, then the building would be brusquely truncated. There was no answer and the house was built to Gaudí’s original plans. 

Different from Gaudí’s other buildings, mainly for its spectacular nature, the Casa Calvet is full of intricate details. If you have five minutes, stop and look at the enormous wooden entrance door and its curious doorknocker: a wrought iron cross which crashes down on a bug, a symbol of evil, and must have required incredible forging skills. The gallery on the first floor, where the owners lived, is adorned with wrought iron details and stone relief work which represent different types of mushroom – something which Sr. Calvet loved to go and pick. In the lower part you can also see the monogram of his surname, a “C”, a shield of Catalonia and a cypress tree – a symbol of hospitality. 

In the upper floors, the circular balconies alternate with rectangular ones and if you look up to the sky, you will see the curves of the top of the façade.

After this visual tour, you’ll be ready for the Casa Calvet’s great surprise. The ground floor, which contained the offices for the textile business, was turned into a restaurant in 1994 and has retained all of its original character and elements. Some of the pieces of office furniture, three double sided wooden benches, counters, and the pine divisions which separated the different offices, now turned into private dining rooms.

Although you need to reserve in advance, if your pocket will allow, you can always go and eat here. 

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