Barcelona is home to many of the abstract, yet brilliant works of art designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. Casa Milà, better known as La Pedrera, is one of these fantastic buildings that were constructed in the early 20th Century. With Gaudí’s unique style and vivid colors displayed throughout, it is certainly a sight worth seeing when visiting Barcelona.
The building was once the mansion of wealthy business man, Pere Milà i Camps, who commissioned Gaudí to design his family’s house in 1906. It was later nicknamed La Pedrera, meaning “the quarry”, because of its rough, open quarry-like appearance. Today La Pedrera is the headquarters of the Fundació CatalunyaCaixa and it is also used as a cultural center which organizes many events, art exhibitions and tours throughout the building itself, as well as the city of Barcelona.
Casa Milà was recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984 because of the phenomenal architectural design that can be found throughout the entire building. The roof of La Pedrera has become one of the most famous and most widely discussed areas of the house because of the unique chimneys on the top of the building. These 30 helical chimneys appear to be an army in their battle attire and they have been reproduced in various forms of art all over the world.
Casa Milà is open daily for “La Pedrera by Day”, a tour of various parts of the building including the roof, an apartment, and the two the Espai Gaudís (attics). Throughout this tour, visitors have the opportunity to see the wrought iron work and the trencadis mosaics made from pieces of broken tile, all reflecting Gaudí’s famous naturalist inspirations. By night, tours of the bright modernist building turn into a more intimate affair. “The Secret Pedrera” is a way to experience the stories that are hidden throughout the building during a guided tour in the evening hours. These tours give visitors a chance to learn about the everyday lives of the people who lived in Casa Milà around one hundred years ago.
Special Events at Casa Milà
There are continuously changing, temporary exhibition rooms on the main floor of La Pedrera which have previously featured artwork by artists such as Kandinsky, Dalí, and Goya. This fall, La Pedrera will host a variety of workshops on different topics. In October, they will hold a sign language workshop where participants can learn how to sign the Catalan language, as well as develop the skills needed to feel empathy for the deaf community.
October 29, 2012 marks the 100th year anniversary of the opening of La Pedrera. The Fundació CatalunyaCaixa will be celebrating this event by hosting a program of activities for residents of the city as well as visitors. Along with the usual daily events there will also be lectures, shows, concerts, and an exhibition commemorating the ceremony. Be sure to check the La Pedrera website for more information and a full schedule.
Daily admission to La Pedrera costs approximately 16.50€ for adults and 8.25€ for children and the building is open for tours from November to February (9.00 to 18.30) and March to October (9.00 to 20.00). Whether you´re travelling for business or pleasure, Casa Milà is a captivating historical building to visit and the architecture will definitely leave you wanting to see more of Gaudí in the beautiful city of Barcelona.
How to get to Casa Milà: By metro take L3 or L5 to the Diagonal stop. You can also take bus lines 7, 16, 17, 22, 24 or 28 to the bus stop Passeig de Gràcia.