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Casa Botines by neobit

The Casa Botines (built 1892-1893) is a Modernist building in León, Spain designed by Antoni Gaudí. It was adapted to serve as the headquarters of Caja España, a local savings bank.
While Gaudí was finishing the construction of the Episcopal Palace of Astorga, his friend and patron, Eusebi Güell recommended that he build a house in the center of León. Simón Fernández and Mariano Andrés, the owners of a company that bought fabrics from Güell, commissioned Gaudí to build a residential building with a warehouse. The house’s nickname comes from the last name of the company’s former owner, Joan Homs i Botinàs.
In 1929, the savings bank of León, Caja España, bought the building and adapted it to its needs, without altering Gaudí’s original project.
With the Casa de los Botines, Gaudí wanted to pay tribute to León’s emblematic buildings. Therefore, he designed a building with a medieval air and numerous neo-Gothic characteristics. The building consists of four floors, a basement and an attic. Gaudí chose an inclined roof and placed towers in the corners to reinforce the project’s neo-Gothic feel. To ventilate and illuminate the basement, he created a moat around two of the façades, a strategy that he would repeat at the Sagrada Família in Barcelona.
Gaudí placed the owners’ dwellings on the first floor. These are accessed, respectively, by independent doors in the lateral and back façades. The upper floors house rental property and the lower floor contains the company offices. The building’s principal entrance is crowned by a wrought iron inscription with the name of the company and by a stone sculpture of Saint George show as he is slaying a dragon. During the restoration of the building in 1950, workers discovered a tube of lead under the sculpture containing the original plans signed by Gaudí and press clippings from the era.

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