The building was accepted as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984 as part of an overall collection of projects delivered by Gaudi in Barcelona. They all remain protected today and rank as some of the highlights to those visiting these particularly cultural city. The dreamy facade was controversial at the time of the building's completion but is now both much loved and also seen as the signature style of it's creator, with it being continued in many of his other architectural designs. This approach is termed Catalan Modernism, a movement in which Gaudi was the most famous member, joined by others including Lluís Domènech i Montaner, Josep Puig i Cadafalch and Josep Maria Jujol i Gibert. Additional to this, the Catalan region has also gifted us the likes of Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró, Joaquín Sorolla and Antoni Tàpies.
The free-standing nature of the stone facade was a technical breakthrough but there was also much to see inside the building that you would only be aware of if you take the time to visit this popular venue. In the present day it is run and owned by a foundation who ensure its preservation as well as providing educational and cultural sessions that aim to continue to spread knowledge about Gaudi's career, with a particular focus on the Casa Milà. It is called the Fundació Catalunya La Pedrera. The nickname of La Pedrera was given to the building by critics upon its unveiling, with it translating as The stone quarry. The same term is used today but without the same negative intention.
Pere Milà commissioned this building for himself and his wife, Roser Segimón, to live in. It would be the final private commission completed by Gaudi. Pere was known to live a fairly extravagant and colourful life, with the unique and creative approach of this architect being a natural match. He would never wish to commission a project that delivered a relatively normal building that followed conventional rules, for he did not see his own self in this bracket. Upon the initial agreement, Gaudi set about completed a large number of planning drawings which went into detail on the overall structure of the facade as well as some of the accompanying features, including sculptures, that would be installed both on the interior and exterior of the house. Pere was actually a developer in his professional career, so was very knowledgeable about the entire process as well as the available options that were open to him when selecting the most appropriate architect for the project. With it being his own residence he would clearly have taken a particularly strong interest on the progress of the contruction as well as the initial planning.
The married couple were given permission by the local council to move into the property in 1911 and a year later the entire building was signed off as complete and ready for habitation on each and every floor. The building was intially treated with disdain by some of the city's residents, who were not ready for setting an architectural style. In the modern day, however, Antoni Gaudi is a much loved part of the city's history and Casa Milà remains a significant part of the Gaudi trail which takes you on a cultural journey around the streets of Barcelona. Other highlights from his career include La Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló and Gaudí House Museum. It is rare to find an artist as famous as this whose work remains so predominantly in one location and this is one of the benefits of the legacy of an architect, as opposed to a sculptor or painter whose artworks can end up being spread right across the world over an extended period of time. It also helps to keep the city of Barcelona as one of the most vibrant and culturally appealing cities in the world.
Tickets for Casa Milà
The Casa Milà is well catered for ticket-wise, and part of the Barcelona Pass which opens up a number of different tourist spots for a single price. The venue is open all year round, other than perhaps Christmas Day, but it is always worth checking ahead of a visit to ensure its opening hours. The train station of La Pedrera will take you close to the venue, but there are also options via underground and bus to get here. Others prefer to walk in order to enjoy the other merits of the city and it is also a part of the Gaudi trail, which wanders around the streets of Barcelona in search of highlights from the architect's career. Tickets are available online as well as at the house itself, and foreign visitors may want to purchase access before arriving in order to avoid the added stress of queueing and communicating on the day.
There is a range of experiences available for your visit, including standard entry as well as a guided tour or audio guide. Special events are also available, such as nightime light shows and other audio visual displays. Those wishing to avoid the queues can do so, but expect to pay a small premuim for the priviledge. Most organising a trip to Barcelona months in advance will consider this a price worth paying in order to avoid some of the organisational stresses that can occur when visiting a city or country that you are not entirely familiar with.
Reviews of Casa Milà
Those looking to visit this venue should check out some of the reviews below from several tourists. These were left on Tripadvisor, which features over a thousand different reviews in total and also currently has the house rated at four stars out of five. It is one of Gaudi's most highly rated and frequently visited buildings.
"...This was my favourite Gaudi built house. It had the Gaudi treatment, but a little less intense. The histrorical information of Gaudi's work was very interesting as it also gave an insight of how he formed his ideas for shapes..."
"...One of the premier attractions in Barcelona which attracts a lot of visitors so worth booking ahead, worth it for the undulating rooftop views and the unique chimneys , the street view is also photo worthy but in my opinion Casa Battlo is the better of the 2 Gaudi masterpieces on the Passeig de Gracia if you had only time to do one..."
"...Situated along the Passeig de Gracia (very close to Casa Batllo) lies another of Gaudi's amazing architectures. The place right now is used as an office however some of the floors are used as a museum like experience. The housing estate was rented out before as a residence to affluent families in Barcelona and it's nice to see how they lived in the early 19th century. Best part is the rooftop where the best architectural designs are laid bare and is the best place to walk around. Book tickets in advance as lines get long especially in the afternoon and is best paired with the Casa Batllo visit which is a few blocks away..."
"...Dinner and La Pedrera Night Experience - Beautiful experience went for the evening dinner and tour with my husband and watched the light show on the roof it’s a must do in Barcelona we loved every moment including the champagne toast at the end it was incredible from beginning to end Gaudi is a genius and this tour was phenomenal. Loved the dinner before in the beautiful restaurant it was all really a five star event!..."