La Pedrera in Barcelona aka Casa Mila was designed by Antoni Gaudi and is also one of Barcelona's top tourist attractions.
In 1984 Casa Mila was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO.
It is hard to believe that La Pedrera was in such a poor condition in the early 1980's, the interior was in decay and it had even been painted a horrendous brown color...... Luckily for us it has now been restored to its previous splendor.
You will also find it on Passeig de Gracia, number 92, in the Eixample district of Barcelona city.
Locally Casa Mila is called La Pedrera, “The Quarry”.
Gaudi started construction of Casa Mila in 1905 and building went on until 1910, it was officially completed in 1912, at the height of Gaudi's career.
At the time he was also working on La Sagrada Familia and Park Guell. La Pedrera was originally built for a married couple named Roser Segimon and Pere Milà, Roser was the wealthy widow of Josep Guardiola who had just returned from the American colonies with a lot of money.
Her second husband Pere, a developer, was criticized for his excesses and ridiculed by many of the residents of Barcelona. It was even said that he was more interested in the widows “guardiola” which means “piggy bank” than in “Guardiolas widow”.
Casa Mila has very few straight lines and to construct it Gaudi subcontracted a plasterer named Beltran to make the model that would be used as a reference point in the construction of the building.
The facade is self-supporting and is constructed from stone that curves and undulates and breaks away totally from the idea that straight and flat facades are necessary.
The balconies that are made from wrought iron also go on to enforce this concept even more as they curve out even further from the stone.
Wrought iron is a material that was favored by Gaudi and most other modernist architects because of the unending ways it provides to place ornaments and other structures on buildings.
The interior of Casa Mila has small ventilation patios and does not have a stairs for the occupants of the building to use to access their homes, the only way is to use the elevator of the service stairway. There are separate lifts for the owners and the servants. An interesting fact is that Gaudi only put lifts on every second floor because he wanted the people who lived in the flats to get to know each other, the idea was thet the people on different floors should communicate with one another.
On the rooftop of La Pedrera you will find chimneys that resemble medieval knights and ventilation ducts that are twisted and shaped into strange organic looking structures. The views of the Eixample from the roof are good and you can even see La Sagrada Familia from it in the distance.
In summer Casa Mila has a terrace bar on the roof that is open from 20h00 to 0h00 on Fridays and Saturdays, this is a great place for a drink where you can enjoy live music in a truly unique location.
It also contains the “Espai Gaudi” which is a series of drawings, models and multimedia displays that will help you get a grasp of what Gaudi was trying to achieve with his architecture. This museum is in the vaulted attic that has 270 arches and it will take your breath away.
“El pis de La Pedrera” is a furnished modernist flat that is decorated with furniture from the 19th century.
Don't miss the floral ceiling painting in the interior courtyard and its wonderfully ornate staircase on the Pg de Gracia side of the building. The interior courtyard on the C/ Provença side of the building is where the guides take all the visitors through every day, keep an eye out for all the mosaics and the paintings on the walls and the wonderful fairytale like staircase.
The Catalunya Caixa Foundation is responsibe for opening Casa Mila to the public and manages the exhibitions and other activities held there and the visits to its interior and roof.
In the basement you will find the auditorium and this is where the conferences and concerts are held you will also find a garden adjacent to it.
Very often there are free exhibitions held on the first floor, they are a great way to get to see the design of the interior of the building.
How to get there
Public transportation in Barcelona
Bus: 7, 16, 17, 22, 24 and 28
Metro: Lines 3 and5 (Diagonal station)
FGC: Provença Station
RENFE: Passeig de Gràcia Station
November to December: Monday to Sunday 9h00 to 18h30 last entrance at 18h00
March to October: Monday to Sunday 09h00 to 20h00
Closed: 25 December and 9 to 15 of January 2012
You have to pay an entrance fee to go to the apartment on the second floor and to the roof, the other floors 3 – 5 are not open to tourists.
Normal entrance: 15€
Discounted entrance (students and the unemployed): 11€
BCN Card (20% discount): 12€
Bus Turistic (10% discount): 13.50€
Minors under 13 years of age: Free
You can pay with cash or credit card.
Tickets can also be bought in advance from Tel-Entrada Catalunya Caixa.
Call: 902 10 12 12
Groups of more than 10 people must reserve in advance, as early as possible. This can be done by phone, call 902 202 138 between 9h00 and 14h00 or via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or via fax 902 202 139.
Use the reservation sheet they provide and remember the reservation will only be valid once you have received confirmation from the reservation department.
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