I visited for you: la Pedrera – Casa Milà of Gaudí
There is plenty of Gaudi’s work in Barcelona, and it is difficult to do an exhaustive list! The Passeig de Gracia offers a unique density of houses to visit, and the Casa Milà – Pedrera is one of the work not to miss. Less colored the Casa Batlló, Park Güell, or the Casa Vicens, the Casa Milà is however a remarkable work as interesting as its sisters. After 2 years on Barcelona I finally decided to visit it, and I share with you my impressions about it today!
The short story of the Casa Milà “Pedrera”
The Casa Milà was built Antonio Gaudí between 1906 and 1912. At the time, the avenue Passeig de Gracia was the main one of Barcelona, with a lot of theatres, department stores and restaurants patronized by the local bourgeoisie. This last one was particularly involved in the growth of the avenue as a lot of rich families of the time decided to build their house, or private hotel on Passeig de Gracia.
This was the case for the family Milà, who bought a tower with a garden on the avenue, and decided to build there a residence with housing to rent. They gave the project to the architect Antonio Gaudí, who by the time was quite famous in time and had already proven his talent.
The construction of the house created many controversies: Gaudí was always changing the plans of the house, overcame the initial budget, and surpassed the surface given by the municipality. After fighting with the city council to keep the size of the building intact and not downsize it – as it was considered enormous on the avenue – Gaudí finally finished the residence. The house, judged too big and original by the local press, was nicknamed “La Pedrera” aka “the stone quarry”.
The must-see of La Pedrera : the circular rooftop
It truly is what strikes you when on the terrace of the Casa Milà : the large circular surface of the building, way bigger that one could imagine as seen from Passeig de Gracia ! Profoundly characterised by the love of nature that was inspiring Gaudí, the rooftop of the Casa Milà is a clever mix between the 4 elements of nature, as the ondulations of the roof reminds us of the waves of the ocean, the ocre and beige of the color of the earth and fire, and as the helical towers look a bit like tornados. Sculpted with the shape of a Corinthian helmet at the top, the towers of the terrace look like giant gardians of stones, there to watch and protect the Casa Milà.
My opinion? I was blown away by the immensity of the terrace, the different spaces with different levels ans inspirations, and all the symbols we could find. It is beautiful to see under a blue sky, and we have a unique view on the heart of Barcelona!
The inside of the Pedrera
If the outside of the Casa Milà is very refined and could almost be modern, the inside makes no doubt: this is a house from the beginning of the 20th century! Wooden waxed floor, textured windows, old furnitures and paintings, the rooms of the Casa Milà allow us to immerge fully in the beginning of the century and the lives of the inhabitants of the residence. I really appreciated to have this historical insight!
But before reaching the individual flats, you have to go through the attic, located right under the terrace. This last one is also a key feature of the architecture of the house, as it is built with catenary arches, a shape Gaudí had already used building the vault of the Güell colony and the Sagrada Familia. The whole makes you think you are inside a huge whale, with the orange light that filter through the thin windows… Currently, you can discover in the attic the construction techniques of Gaudí as wall as his sources of inspiration.
My opinion: if the inside allows us to better understand the motivations of Gaudí behind his works, I admit I preferred visiting the outside and the hall that were more impressive!
Relevant informations to visit The Casa Milà
Entrance fees: 22€ online for a simple visit / 25€ there
HOWEVER, if you live in Catalunya, and that you can prove it (with the empadronamiento, or a housing bill…), you only pay 12€! I personally showed my NIE and it worked that way!