Casa Milá better known as La Pedrera (the Quarry in Catalan) in the district of Eixample is one of the most outstanding creations of Antoni Gaudi. It is situated on the corner site of Passeig de Gracia Avenue and you can hardly take your eyes off this amazing building with its almost wavelike pattern of the stone façade imitating a sand-dune. Its eccentric fantastic roof has a terrace with wonderful views of Barcelona and the building itself still has private apartments.
Casa Milá apartments building was commissioned by the industrialist Pere Mila and his wife in 1906, that time Passeig de Gracia was the most fashionable and trendy place in the city where Barcelona’s bourgeoisie chose to build their residences. Casa Mila was ridiculed at the time and nick-named La Pedrera (the Quarry), because of the usage of vast amounts of stone.
For many years this remarkable building was left to fall apart, till UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site in 1984. Then in 1986 Casa Milá was bought by Caixa Cataluña (one of the most powerful banks in Catalonia) and after 10 years of restoration works, it was finally opened to the public. Most of the 8th floors still have private apartments, but other parts are occupied by a Cultural Centre and there is an exhibition of Gaudi’s works and life in the attic.
The exterior of the building with its soft wavy forms which do not contain even a single straight line or right angle has been likened to everything from an abandoned stone quarry to the ripping waves of the sea. Gaudi was often inspired by marine life forms and you are likely to consider that amazing walls of the building imitate a sand-dune. Balconies decorated with wrought iron balustrades remind a mass of the seaweed.
By taking an elevator you can get up to the attic, where the former laundry has been converted into an exhibition of Gaudi’s life and work. The Espai Gaudi is worth visiting as here you probably get the best overview of Gaudi’s architectural techniques, with sketches and models of the buildings.
On the sixth floor there is an apartment El Pis de la Pedrera, which was carefully restored and which recreates the ambience of the early 20th-century Barcelona, giving you an idea of the furnishings of a typical Modernista apartment.
The original use of each of the room has been preserved (hall, drawing room, bathrooms kitchen etc.) and each has been decorated with furniture corresponding to that period.
The roof terrace is one of the highlights of this impressive building. Its chimneys and ventilation shafts are all shaped as warriors, helmeted centurions made of marble, glass and pottery, one of the chimneys is even made of empty champagne bottles. The panoramic views of the city from the roof top are spectacular, you can also view two circle interior patios, which are unlikely spacious.
Major temporary exhibitions are held regularly on the first floor (principal) and are open to the public free of charge.
Winter: November to February inclusive - Daily from 9 A.M. till 6.30 P.M.
Closed Dec 25-26, Jan 1 and 6, and one week in January (to be announced)
Summer: March to October inclusive – Daily from 9 A.M. till 8 P.M.
Admission fee: Adults 10,00 Euros. Children under 12 free. Audio guide for 3,00 Euros available in English, German, French and Italian.
How to get there: Passeig de Gracia, 92.
By metro: Green Line L3 – Diagonal
By bus: 7, 16, 28, 22, and 24
Some useful tips:
• The queues in high season can be awful, therefore you’d better pre-book tickets by calling Telentrada tel. 902 101 212 and try to avoid early mornings.
• During summer time jazz, flamenco and Latin music performances are often given on the rooftop. For 10,00-15,00 Euros entrance fee you will enjoy the concert, will be invited to a glass of champagne and will be able to visit the Espai Gaudi.