The mysterious rooftop of Casa Mila both charms and haunts visitors. The glorious October sky above frames the organic forms, each sculpted face watching as I creep up and down the rolling ramps.
Children can't resist playing here, and fortunately there are now fences all around. In my mind, I erase all of those pesky safety features to envision the smooth sculptures growing towards the sky from a scrolling sandy field.
Once a site for a scene from Star Wars, the rooftop is now a destination for lovers of Barcelona and Antoni Guadi's "Modernisma" style. When you visit, you'll learn the secret behind those long vertical faces rising up above the mystical rooftop.
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Get Your Gaudi On
Antoni Gaudi's famed Casa Mila is often just a drive-by viewing. The inside is also fabulous, creative, bold and inventive. Worth the admission (the Barcelona Museum Card is recommended), Casa Mila will enchant you.
Visits begin with the colorful organic forms of the ground floor courtyard (pictured). Next you are whisked by elevator to the rooftop, a wonder of ingenious, otherworldly sculpture that merely facilitate ventilation and the many chimneys for the home.
Interior floors are also open, including an attic setting that explores the life work of Gaudi and his ingenious eco-friendly insulation and ventilation. A top floor apartment has been filled with turn of the century household items, furniture and artwork. A rare chance to peek into the interior world of a family living one hundred years ago.
If Gaudi's grand cathedral Sagrada Familia takes you to new heights of grandeur, Casa Mila brings it all home.
We put together our own tour of Gaudi buildings in Barcelona, and probably spent the most time, proportionately, on the roof of Casa Milà, the apartment building known as La Pedrera. The reasons? It feels like you've climbed through the looking glass into an architectural Wonderland; the view--it takes in most of Barcelona; and the strange sense of having been here before, via the rooftop scenes in Michelangelo Antonioni's 1975 film "The Passenger." The building is located at Passeig de Gràcia, 92, and is open daily from 9 am to 6:30 pm, November through February, and 9 am to 8 pm, March through October.
One of the many roof sculptures on Gaudi's La Pedrera. Although the price to visit this tourist destination during the day is a bit pricey, they also have night concerts during the summer which might justify the price.
Gaudí's work always amazes me. It's hard to believe and remember sometimes that most of his work was actually done in the 1800s! It looks so modern, or what I think of as modern! I was really impressed by the rooftop of La Pedrera! I felt like every and any picture I took there looked incredible. For some reason this building really reminded me of some of the architecture/dwellings in Eastern Turkey and other parts of the Middle East. These structures almost remind me of the fairy chimneys, and the walls of this building also somewhat remind me of something like the dwellings in Mardin. Gaudí uses so many different elements from different cultures/styles, and from nature. Almost everything he has done is somehow based in nature. This building itself looks incredible, but when touring the museum I was shocked to see how many models Gaudí had made. The models themselve seem impossible, and that they would take a lifetime, and yet he made so many....and he of course made the life size scale of his visions as well! I was and will be forever impressed by the work of Gaudí.
This is a beautiful sunset on the rooftop of Casa Mila (also known as La Pedrera), one of the many buildings by Antoni Gaudí in Barcelona. It was said that the ventilation towers inspired some designs for the movie Star Wars.
Antoni Gaudi was a aware of light and knew how to use it and how to help it reach places that are usually overlooked or deemed unimportant. He used creative design to let the light into this building which he then topped with chimneys that look like ancient warriors.
Massive in scale, intimidating in appearance and yet oddly comforting the roof of Casa Mila houses a small army of terracotta colored soldiers. The flowing organic design that Gaudi is known for permeates the interior of the building and feels calm and makes one want to linger a bit longer.
Casa Milà in Barcelona served as our first introduction to architect Antoni Gaudi’s work.
A few examples of the Catalan architect’s brilliance become evident as you circle the apartment complex, which is also called La Pedrera because of its resemblance to a stone quarry.
Each dwelling is built around a courtyard that allows natural light to fill each room. Whether looking up from the courtyard, down a hallway or into a room, light is your guide.
There are no load-bearing walls within each of the apartments, providing tenants the freedom to create spaces to fit their lifestyles. Even the doorknobs are designed to comfortably fit in a hand.
When in Barcelona, prepare to be delighted by everything Gaudi you visit.
We've seen several Gaudi buildings in Barcelona, and this was one of the best, because the tour provides a comprehensive and intimate view of the great man's work and attention to detail. While the rooftop chimney caps get lots of attention, there's a lot more, and as in all Gaudi works, pay attention to every detail. He even designed some of the furniture. On the tour you get to see one of the apartments as it was when built, all sinuous lines and decoration wherever you look.
Buy your ticket at https://www.lapedrera.com/en/buy-your-ticket and skip the lines.