Antoni Amatller was aware of the enormous artistic value of his home, Casa Amatller, long before it was recognised as one of the best houses in Catalan Modernist architecture. We have received photographs of the main rooms of Casa Amatller in its early years, as Puig i Cadafalch had photographic reports made of its buildings. The chocolate industrialist was also aware of the documentary value of photography and we are sure that he was proud of his home.

Thanks to these old photographs and the extraordinary conservation of the furniture and decorative elements, the restoration at the beginning of the decade of 2010 was able to return the Casa Museu Amatller to a state as similar as it was at the beginning of the 20th century. Thus, it is possible to say that Casa Amatller is the only modernist house in Barcelona that maintains its original appearance of 1900, when the businessman lived there with his daughter Teresa. However, there are details in the images from the beginning of the century that cannot be appreciated, so in the restoration of 2010-15 there have been some surprises. As in the Sala de la Música, located in the public part of the Casa Amatller.

At the top of the walls, just under the incredible coffered ceiling, restaurateurs found a frieze with popular Catalan stanzas written in Gothic characters. One of them is the beginning of the Catalan national anthem, Els Segadors, in its original version, reworked at the end of the 19th century. The other is the Cançó del Mariner, a composition from the modern period.

These letters marked Catalanist values that corresponded to the personality of the housing developer, the chocolate industrialist Antoni Amatller, and the modernist architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch. Both were protagonists of the current that, in addition to highlighting Catalonia’s own culture, demanded a political protagonism. The involvement of Puig i Cadafalch, who was the second president of the Mancomunitat, stands out.

We do not know exactly when or why these stanzas were covered up, but we can imagine it: because of its eminently Catalanist character, especially in relation to the hymn – “Catalunya triomfant…”- they were surely removed from view in 1939. At the beginning of this year the Civil War front was in Barcelona, with the Francoist army about to take over the city of Barcelona. A time was approaching in which nationalist parties, Catalan and any hint of Catalanism would be banned. So, seeing the difficult panorama that arrived, it is very probable that it was used at this moment to cover some texts that linked the owner, Teresa Amatller, with the Catalan and Catalanist tradition. Today, fortunately, it has been possible to recover this piece of heritage so that we can enjoy its beauty and the history it tells.

All the old buildings keep secrets, many of which are lost in time. In the Casa Museu Amatller the restoration work has allowed some of them to be brought to light, which also speak of a terrible period in the history of our country.

After decades of being hidden, today the verses resonate again for all visitors of the spectacular modernist house.

Happy Diada de Catalunya from Casa Museu Amatller!