Casa Milà, most commonly known as La Pedrera, is one of the most important buildings designed by Gaudí in the city of Barcelona. This was the last civil work of the Catalan architect and it is a must see attraction to discover his particular architecture.
Location of La Pedrera
La Pedrera is located in the Eixample district of the city of Barcelona, on Avenida Paseo de Gracia 92. This is one of the most popular streets in the city, where we can also find other very important buildings of the modernist movement as Casa Batlló or Casa Amatller.
It is impossible to pass through this area of Paseo de Gracia and not see this large stone building. Casa Milà does not go unnoticed with its huge facade full of curves and unique details.
Casa Milà was built between 1906 and 1910 and was commissioned by the married couple Pedro Milá y Camps and Roser Segimon, who lived on one of the floors of the building and rented the rest of them. At that time, Paseo de Gracia avenue was the most important in the city and obviously all the most important and wealthy families began to build their homes there.
As it is nowadays, this unique a building did not go unnoticed and was mocked by the society of the time. The truth is that La Pedrera, like all of Gaudí’s work, marked a before and after in architecture and represents one of the most important works of Catalan modernism.
After several years of being in a poor condition, La Pedrera was restored and opened to the public as a cultural center in 1996. Since 2013, the Catalunya La Pedrera Foundation has been operating there, carrying out social, cultural and environmental projects. Today La Pedrera is one of the most visited places in Barcelona.
La Pedrera entrance tickets
If you are planning to visit La Pedrera, I recommend you book tickets in advance. There are several types of tickets available, and all offer a different experience:
- La Pedrera Essential: this visit includes an audioguide and allows you to visit the building on your own. You need to choose and exact date and time for the visit.
- La Pedrera Oculta: a guided tour that allows you to access the basement and the rear facade.
- La Pedrera Night Experience: a night tour that includes a glass of cava and a show on the rooftop.
- La Pedrera Premium: this visit includes an audioguide and allows you to visit the building on your own, but with an open date.
- La Pedrera essential & night experience: a ticket that combines the essential visit and the night experience.
LA PEDRERA OPENING HOURS:
– From Friday to Sunday and holidays: 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
– Night visit: 8:40 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
You can also buy tickets through Civitatis or book a free tour:
La Pedrera Essential Visit
I opted for the “La Pedrera Essential” visit, this is what you see during the tour:
Unlike what is usually done in other buildings or museums, which is to go from the bottom to the top, the tour of La Pedrera begins on the rooftop of the building. This place will definitely surprise you and introduce you a little to the work of architecture that you will visit.
The rooftop of La Pedrera is completely different from any other building. In the first place, it is designed to be toured, with stairs that lead the way and different elements that surprise you and that make this terrace like no other.
Among the elements of the roof, the stairwells, ventilation towers and chimneys stand out, which instead of having been built for a purely functional purpose, also fulfill an aesthetic role. These sculptural volumes with curved shapes are the “guardians” of La Pedrera and are covered with stone, marble and ceramics.
A very curious fact is that George Lucas visited Barcelona and they say that he was inspired by the chimneys on Casa Milà to design the helmets of Darth Vader himself for Star Wars. And if you notice they are quite similar!
The audio guide tour takes you all over the rooftop, along with sounds and explanations of each sector, it’s very useful to understand what we are seeing.
Beyond its aesthetic character, the rooftop offers incredible views of Barcelona. You can see all of Paseo de Gracia and the Sagrada Familia, framed in one of the arches.
- The Attic
After visiting the roof terrace, you go down to the attic, another space in Casa Milà that leaves you speechless. Here you can really see the greatness of Gaudí as an architect: 270 brick catenary arches that simulate the skeleton of a whale, support the roof and make up a unique interior.
Formerly this place was the community laundry of the building. Today the attic houses an exhibition of Gaudí, with models of his works, videos of his history, furniture designed by him and more.
- The apartment
The next space that you visit is the fourth floor apartment, which is furnished as in the time and gives us an idea of how a bourgeois family lived in La Pedrera.
We can also see how Gaudí thought of even the smallest detail of his works: the knobs, handles, moldings, doors, among other elements, were designed by the architect.
The Butterfly Courtyard
The visit ends in the interior patio, a characteristic space of Casa Milà that serves as lighting and ventilation for the apartments. This patio has wonderful details: the iridescent colors of the ceiling resemble those of a butterfly’s wing and together with the curved structure of the staircase and the bars, they make nature present as in all Gaudí’s work.
Visiting La Pedrera is a plan that I highly recommend to all travelers visiting Barcelona. It is an amazing building and it’s worth seeing the inside because it allows you to understand more about Gaudí’s work.
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