Casa Milà, better known as La Pedrera, is one of the most iconic modernist buildings of the early 20th century in Barcelona. Antoni Gaudí, in his naturalist phase, designed it between 1906 and 1912. The Milà family, affluent at the time, commissioned it, wanting to move their residence to Passeig de Gràcia, like many other wealthy families of the early 20th century.

Listed as a World Heritage Site in 1984, along with Park Güell and Palau Güell, it was one of the first industrial era sites to be recognized as exceptional.

Gaudí, at the peak of his creative powers, drew inspiration from nature’s organic forms, creating undulating shapes devoid of rigidity. The innovative design features curved planes formed by straight lines, typical of Gaudí’s work.

The building, organized around two interior courtyards, comprises a basement, ground floor, main floor, 4 stories, attic, and rooftop. Its undulating and lively forms evoke the sea and vegetal motifs. The sinuous waves give an exceptional movement to the stone façade, representing the sea.

Marine elements permeate the interior decoration: ceilings with movement, carved stone columns, and modern furniture designed by Gaudí.

Some speculate that Gaudí drew inspiration from the nearby Montserrat mountains for La Pedrera’s design.

La Casa Milà, an unconventional building.

The building, though housing 16 apartments for affluent families of the time, was not conventional. Gaudí aimed to create dynamic living spaces adaptable to each tenant’s needs.

A novelty of the time was the installation of individual-use elevators for each resident, providing direct access to their apartments. The staircases served as auxiliary and service access.

The basement served as a garage for carriages and automobiles.

Crowning the building is the rooftop, adorned with a group of 7 chimneys covered in lime, white “trencadís” (mosaic), and glass. These sculptural chimneys represent the heads of 7 mythological warriors overlooking the city from this almost surreal landscape.

Why is it called La Pedrera?

The nickname “La Pedrera” (meaning quarry in Catalan) derives from its external appearance, mainly constructed with stone for the façade and balconies. Initially coined by some mocking Barcelonans due to its extravagant and eerie appearance, La Pedrera has become one of Barcelona’s beloved landmarks.

The unique structure that is the Casa Milà (La Pedrera) and the relationship between the building’s architect (Antoni Gaudí) and its owner (Pere Milà) became the object of ridicule for the people of Barcelona and many humorous publications of the time.

satira de la pedrera

Some lesser-known facts about La Pedrera:

  1. Antoni Gaudí only designed 3 residential buildings: Casa Calvet, Casa Batlló, and La Casa Milà (La Pedrera).
  2. Gaudí did not finish La Pedrera according to his original vision due to disagreements with the Milà family, neighbors, and the City Council. He initially wanted to include a large sculpture of the Virgin Mary atop the building, a plan that did not materialize.
  3. From La Pedrera’s terrace, one can see the Sagrada Familia, offering a view of Gaudí’s most significant work.
  4. Gaudí repurposed waste glass and ceramic for decorative purposes throughout La Pedrera.
  5. La Pedrera was the first house on Passeig de Gràcia with underground parking for carriages.
  6. The structure of the building contains no load-bearing walls; instead, it relies on columns and open spaces.

What to see during your visit to La Pedrera:

The façade:

La Pedrera derives its name from its spectacular stone façade, resembling a massive wave emerging on Passeig de Gràcia. The wrought-iron railings of the 32 balconies evoke a vegetal world, perhaps an underwater scene teeming with algae.

The whale attic:

Entering Casa Milà’s attic is like stepping into a living being, breathing and embracing us. Nature is again evident, represented by 270 catenary arches reminiscent of a whale’s skeleton. This magical space also hosts the only exhibition dedicated to Gaudí and his entire oeuvre, where visitors can explore his architectural genius through audiovisuals, models, plans, objects, and designs.

The neighbors’ apartment:

Situated on the fourth floor, this apartment provides insight into the lifestyle of a bourgeois Barcelona family from the early 20th century, with period furniture and domestic equipment. Visitors can observe the interior layout and ornamental elements designed by Gaudí (doorknobs, handles, moldings, doors, floors, etc.).

terraza de los guerreros la pedrera barcelona

The warriors’ rooftop:

La Pedrera’s rooftop is an iconic Barcelona landmark offering spectacular 360-degree views of the city. The chimneys, resembling petrified warrior figures, stand as guardians of the building, while the “badalots” (staircase enclosures) emerge like elemental forces of nature: earth, water, fire, and air.

The flower patio:

The walls of the flower patio are a symphony of shapes, light, and colors contrasting with the façade’s sobriety. Murals adorned with floral motifs bring color to the space, with hundreds of flowers seemingly coming to life on the ceiling of the grand staircase leading to the main floor.

patio de las flores la pedrera

The butterfly patio:

Facing Provença Street, this space is inhabited by fantastical creatures. Named for its entrance door resembling a butterfly’s wing, it serves as the central courtyard of the building, surrounded by apartments, and offers a glimpse from the rooftop. A staircase covered by a scalloped roof evokes the back of a lizard, another nod to nature by Gaudí.

La Pedrera Café:

An experience within the experience, where visitors can enjoy a coffee or a magnificent dinner.

Cost of visiting La Pedrera:

A basic visit to La Pedrera, including an audio guide, typically takes one to one and a half hours.

Ticket prices vary depending on daytime or nighttime visits and access to different spaces. Children aged 0 to 6 enter for free, while basic entry with an audio guide costs €28 (Pedrera Essential) up to €120 for an exclusive group visit of 6 people (Pedrera Premium).

Ticket prices also vary for children aged 7 to 12, students, senior citizens, and people with disabilities, who may access reduced rates starting from €12.50.

Please note that purchasing tickets directly at the ticket office incurs a €3 surcharge.

Visiting hours for La Pedrera:

La Pedrera is open every day of the year, with opening hours subject to seasonal changes:

From March 1st to November 3rd: 9:00 to 20:30

From November 4th to February 28th: 9:00 to 18:30

How to get to La Pedrera:

Located at the corner of Carrer Provença and Passeig de Gràcia.

Metro: Diagonal (Lines L3 and L5)

FGC: Provença

La Pedrera is Barcelona’s most famous and emblematic building. A masterpiece of Catalan Modernisme. Its courtyards, the roof terrace with its original chimneys and the view of the city it offers, the original flat from the early 19th century,… are things you won’t see anywhere else. Do not hesitate, if you come to Barcelona is a basic visit.

If you want to visit Barcelona and know all its secrets in the company of a specialized guide do not miss our day tours. Since 2015 we organize guided tours in Barcelona, in small groups and private tours to visit without queues or wasting time the most important places of Barcelona.

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