WHAT IS CASA MILA (LA PEDRERA)?
Casa Mila (commonly known as La Pedrera) is a modernist building – another of masterpiece works done by Antoni Gaudi.
As all of the works done by the famous architect, this one is quite special and unique too.
It’s unofficial name – La Pedrera = the stone quarry, explains how it was perceived back in the day due to it’s unconventional appearance.
The façade is composed of large blocks of limestone, shaped to resemble the sensation of movement of the ocean waves.
Iron railings on the windows and balconies are made from recycled scarp iron and, even though they follow the same concept and treatment, they are all different and have unique shape and design.
Looking from the street level, you can even see the sculptures on the roof terrace due to their size.
The building was commissioned by the family Mila (Pere Mila and his wife Roser Segimon) who bought the land in the most prestige neighborhood in Barcelona – Passeig de Gracia.
They wanted Gaudi (who was just finishing the reconstruction of the nearby Casa Batllo) to create a unique and artistic building that would stand out among other prestige buildings of the neighborhood.
So Gaudi, (aged 54 at that moment) started to work at his last civil work and the one that rose maybe the most critics and controversies.
Rocky façade, abstract design, functional and aesthetic liberty led by creativity at it’s best, made Casa Mila one of the most critiqued works of the famous architect.
And the critics were, in many cases, strongly negative.
There were cartoons and comics published depicting La Pedrera as a parking for airships, a bunker, a cave or even a house after an earthquake.
The press was full of negative comments and jokes on the architect and it’s latest work.
It seems that society was not prepared for such a radical work and daring constructive and decorative ideas.
Despite this initial lack of comprehension, Casa Mila (La Pedrera) became one of the most recognizable and appreciated landmarks in the city.
Now, we can only admire this brave monumental architectonic sculpture and learn about the big, bright mind of it’s creator.
As a visitor, you can get inside and explore the house, floor by floor imagining how huge and radical was it’s appearance in Barcelona 1912… how huge and radical is even today… but just imagine it in the year 1912.
Due to it’s outstanding universal value it was declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as the Monument of National Historical and Artistic Interest.
WHAT THERE IS INSIDE?
- Gaudi’s Room – Former Garage
This space was projected as a service area, storage rooms, heating machine room and garage.
- The Butterfly Courtyard
Here, you can see a patio well that rises up from the ground floor to the roof.
The patio walls are perforated with almost 200 windows that gets larger in size as they get lower down to make the most of the light that comes into the patio.
The circular silhouette of this interior patio is one of the most recognizable pictures of La Pedrera as it never fails to fascinate visitors.
From this point the stairs lead to the upper floors but the tourist visit is designed in a way that, from the patio, you go (by elevator) straight to the roof terrace and then, visit the rest of the house coming down floor by floor.
So, from the patio the elevator will bring you to the Rooftop Terrace known also as the Warrior Rooftop.
This terrace is the highlight of the house and, also, one of the recognizable landmarks of Barcelona.
- Rooftop Terrace
The terrace space gives an impression of an unique universe of shapes and textures with it’s famous chimneys, ventilation towers and stairwells that go far beyond their initial purpose.
The architect gave a higher, artistic and symbolic purpose to the objects that were, normally, not given any additional attention and were not serving any other than their functional purpose.
Chimneys and ventilation towers are not just robust object that should be hidden of the sight and do their work in silence, but are turned into the main stars of the show.
They become warriors, building guardians, brilliant sculptures that are raising from the roof of the building.
Where else could you admire the beauty of the chimney or ventilation tower?
Some of the sculptures and forms can be seen from the street level thanks to their size.
Chimneys on the terrace (sculptured in a form of warriors) are among Gaudi’s most admired designs – there are twenty eight chimneys in several groupings in the roof terrace.
The terrace roof is known also as “the garden of warriors” because of the chimneys that resembles warriors and their symbolic guardian role.
One of the chimneys is decorated with glass pieces.
Apparently, after the inauguration of the building, Gaudi himself collected the glass bottles after the celebration and decorated one of the chimneys with the broken glass pieces.
You can spend quite some time just walking around and enjoying the panoramic views of Passeig de Gracia neighborhood.
From here, you continue your visit going down, to the attic.
- The Whale Attic
The attic is composed of 270 catenary arches recalling the skeleton of a whale.
Originally, the attic was a laundry area.
Today, it hosts the “Gaudi Exhibition” – a unique display devoted to Gaudi’s life and work, especially on the Casa Mila, with all the models, plans and designs, photographs and videos documenting the work on the project of La Pedrera.
- The Tenants’ Apartments
On the forth floor you can see the original apartment showing the life of a bourgeois family in early 20th century.
The original ambience is recreated using furniture and household equipment of the time. Here, you can also see the decorative objects that Gaudi designed such as knobs, doors, floor surfaces and handles.
Here you can also see a video about the transformation and modernization of the city of Barcelona during the first quarter of the 20th century.
- Mila Family’s Apartment – Art Exhibition
On the main floor was the residence of the Mila family.
Only few original elements of this flat are preserved. It hosts temporary exhibitions so if there is some happening at the moment of your visit, you can visit this part too.
Free Audio Guide
Adapted Visit (wheelchair access, Information in Braille)
Hand sanitizers distributed at several points within the property
FOOD & DRINK
Vending machine with water and snacks at the entrance hall (in front of elevator).
If you come at 18.30 they offer free class of cava (Catalan sparkling wine) at the rooftop * (this might be only a temporary offer, not sure).
TIME FOR VISIT
Visiting time is unlimited (within the opening hours, of course) so you can take your time and enjoy it at your own pace.
Normally, one hour – hour and a half, should be enough to see it all.
Currently (September 2020) there are no crowds (actually very few persons visiting) so it’s a good opportunity to enjoy it in peace without rush.
There are four different options and rates:
- La Pedrera Essential
(Audio guide included + glass of Cava from 6.30p.m)
General ticket – 24 eur
General ticket for Catalonian Residents – 12 eur
Children (7-12 years) – 12 eur
Children Catalonian Residents – 6 eur
Children (0-6 years) – Free
Student – 18,50 eur
Disabled – 18,50 eur
Senior (+65 years) – 18,50 eur
* Accessible for wheal-chair users
- La Pedrera Night Experience
(Guided tour – small groups, Show on the Rooftop, Audio-visual screenings + Glass of Cava)
General ticket – 34 eur
General for Catalonian Residents – 20 eur
Children (7-12 years) – 17 eur
Children (7-12 years)Catalonian residents – 10 eur
Children (0-6) – Free
* Partially accessible for wheal-chair users
- La Pedrera Premium
(Open date, Premium admission, Audio guide included + Exclusive visual guide)
General ticket – 31 eur
Children (7-12 years) – 12 eur
Children (0-6 years) – Free
* Wheal-chair accessible
- La Pedrera Essential & Night Experience
(Audio guide included + Guided night tour + Night-time show + Glass of Cava)
General ticket – 43 eur
Children (7-12 years) – 21,50 eur
Children (0-6 years)
** These tickets are if buying online. If you are buying at the ticket office, above mentioned prices are +3 euros.
***There is option of buying the parking space (when you are buying the ticket online you will have the option of buying a parking space for 2 hours) which costs 5 euros.
*For more accurate information on rates and current offers, visit the official web page – La Pedrera – tickets
*For more information about tours’ details – check the web site – Fares and Information
Occasionally, there are special events happening such as: music nights, temporary exhibitions, workshops..
To check the current events in La Pedrera check the official web page – La Pedrera – Calendar of activities and exhibitions
From Monday to Friday: 9AM – 7PM (for day visits)
Night visits in Spanish at 10 PM, in English at 8.40 PM
LOCATION & HOW TO GET THERE
Casa Mila (La Pedrera) is located at Passeig de Gracia, close to Casa Batllo.
Metro – L2, L3, L4, L5
Train – R1, R2N, R2S, R4, S2
Bus – 22, 24, 34, 6, 7, B24, H10, H12
If you enjoy architecture, and especially work of Antoni Gaudi (I bet you do), it’s a good opportunity to visit the nearby Casa Batllo which is also located in Passeig de Gracia.
Not far away is another of Gaudi’s works as well (actually, his first bigger work)- Casa Vicens.
And, if you are looking for best places in Barcelona to taste delicious Spanish and Catalan cuisine – check out our guide on Best Tapas Bars in Barcelona.