La Pedrera

Visit the sinuous Casa Milà

Visit the Casa Mila or La Pedrera in Barcelona!

Opening hours: 9 - 20:30 h
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The city of Barcelona is famous and loved for a wide variety of reasons: The beach, the food, the nightlife and its very special charm - and the unique architecture of the city contributes a lot to that charm. Barcelona is the main scenario of the architectural style known as Catalan Modernisme, a style that saw its golden age in the beginning of the 20th century and whose maximum exponent was famous architect Antoni Gaudí. One of Gaudí's masterpieces is La Pedrera, which is one of the most visited landmarks of Barcelona, together with the Park Güell and the Sagrada Familia - also by Gaudí!

La Pedrera is located in Passeig de Gràcia, the most elegant (and expensive!) avenue of Barcelona, which makes it the perfect location for stablishing your headquarters during your visit to this beautiful Mediterranean city. Keep reading to learn all about this incredible monument: its history, many interesting facts as well as practical information, including where to get La Pedrera online tickets!

La Pedrera: A little bit of history

La Pedrera receives around a million visitors a year, and it is the most visited civil building by Antoni Gaudí. La Pedrera is its go-to name, but this beautiful and unique building located in Passeig de Gràcia is reall called Casa Milà (Milà House), which was the surname of the bourgeois that commanded its construction.

In fact, the construction of the façade of La Pedrera responded to a usual procedure in the beginning of the 20th century in Barcelona, which took place with many of other well-known buildings of the city, most of them of Modernisme architectural style. This is mostly due to the time coincidence between this and the golden age of Modernisme - but let's take a closer look, shall we?

At the beginning of the 20th century, the district of L'Eixample had already formed the city of Barcelona as we know it today. L'Eixample unified the old town (the city centre and the neighbourhoods closest to the seaside) with the upper neighbourhoods of Barcelona, which were independent towns until the end of the 19th century. L'Eixample became the one of the main activity centres of Barcelona, and during that time, many rich Catalan bourgeois and entrepreneurs bought properties there and hired architects of more or less recognition to redesign their new buildings. That was exactly what happened with la Pedrera: Pere Milà i Camps, son of a famous textile businessman, asked Antoni Gaudí to design the façade of the building, located in the corner of Passeig de Gràcia and Carrer Provença, close to the Avinguda Diagonal. He intended to locate his private residence there and to rent the other apartments, as well as place different boutiques in the lower floor.

La Pedrera was built between 1906 and 1910 in the midst of several controversies. Milà had to pay several fines because the building was larger than what the city council allowed at the time, which contributed to the downfall of the relationship between the owner and Gaudí. Finally, the city council allowed several concessions and exceptions due to the artistic value of the building. Gaudí signed the document that certified the end of its construction in 1912, but the controversy didn't finish there. As it happens sometimes with wonderful art pieces, La Pedrera wasn't understood by its contemporaries as it broke with the neoclassical aesthetics of the rest of the buildings in the area, and it was object to mocking and criticism. However, as you can see when you walk around Passeig de Gràcia, Modernist buildings are not an exception anymore - and they are very well liked and appreciated!

La Pedrera has had an interesting life. During the Spanish Civil war, some of it was used as the headquarters of the Economy department of the resisting Generalitat de Catalunya, and it even had a bunker underground for bombing protection. It has been the scenario of flea markets, government department offices, hostels, bingos and dating pubs, and, as you will see if you continue reading, it has some interesting functions nowadays too! By the way - did you know that there are still people living there?

In 1984, the UNESCO declared the building as a World Heritage Site, together with other works by Gaudí, such as the Park Güell, the Palau Güell and the Church of Colònia Güell, one of the few works by Gaudí that are located outside the city of Barcelona. As for La Pedrera's ownership, the beautiful building changed hands on several occasions. After Milà's death, his wife sold it to a real estate agency, and it was finally acquired by Caixa de Catalunya. Nowadays, it is a property of the Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera.

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