La Pedrera (Casa Milà)

Casa Milà—quite often referred to simply as La Pedrera, meaning “the stone quarry”—is a landmark of Modernist architecture located just up the street from Casa Batlló, Plaça de Catalunya, and La Rambla. Built between 1906 and 1912 from designs drawn up by the famed architect Antoni Gaudí, La Pedrera is acclaimed for its curved limestone façade, wrought-iron balcony railings, and rooftop terrace. Self-guided tours are how most visitors experience the attraction, though several other distinctive ticket packages are available as well.

History of La Pedrera (Casa Milà)

The popular tourist attraction known today as La Pedrera got its start as the residence of a wealthy Barcelona couple, Roser Segimón and Pere Milà. Married in 1905, the newlyweds celebrated their nuptials by purchasing a sizable property on the prominent local thoroughfare, Passeig de Gràcia. They hired Gaudí to design their new home; they intended to live on the building’s first floor and rent out the rest of the space as individual apartments. Work began on the project in February 1905, when an existing building was demolished to make way for Gaudí’s plans.

Casa Milà took approximately four years to build; it would be another two years until the interiors were finished and the entire complex was suitable for habitation. Initially upon its completion in 1912, the critical consensus surrounding the work was rather negative; many individuals scoffed at the building’s revolutionary design and the manner in which it ignored various municipal building codes. In fact, the La Pedrera nickname was itself originally meant derisively. Still, Casa Milà has stood the test of time. Now much admired, it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984.

La Pedrera (Casa Milà) Highlights

Before you even step foot inside La Pedrera, you’ll be able to enjoy one of the attraction’s major highlights—that’s because La Pedrera’s façade is among the most famous building exteriors in all of modern architecture. Even though the building consists of thousands of pounds of limestone, the stone components of its iconic façade appear almost wave-like. Toss into the mix the striking wrought-iron balcony railings and you’ve got the recipe for a quintessential Barcelona photo opportunity.

Once inside La Pedrera, there are several different ways to experience the attraction. If you select the “La Pedrera Essential” ticket option—this is the most commonly purchased experience, and the one available to anyone in possession of a Barcelona tourist pass that covers the attraction—then you’ll be able to tour La Pedrera at your own pace (two hours is typically how long it takes to explore the attraction in its entirety). Your ticket will also include an audio guide that shares some terrific insights into the design and history of this remarkable place.

Regardless of how much time you have to spend at La Pedrera, you’ll for sure not want to miss its rooftop terrace. With its long line of chimneys designed to resemble rows of stone warriors, La Pedrera’s roof is not only visually striking, it offers visitors breathtaking views of Barcelona.

More to See and Do at La Pedrera (Casa Milà)

A visit to La Pedrera can be a highlight of any trip to Barcelona. For additional information that will help ensure this is the case when you visit, continue reading below.

*The charmingly named “Whale Attic” is another fascinating piece of any trip to La Pedrera. Comprised of some 270 catenary arches (that yes, can be said to resemble a whale’s skeleton), the Whale Attic today is home to a small Gaudí museum; its exhibits feature models, drawings, and design plans that shed light on the great architect’s ideas, process, and more.

*The Tenants’ Apartment is a preserved living space that recreates what it might have been like to call Casa Milà home over a century ago. While many of the furnishings are recreations, a number of decorative features are original Gaudí designs; many visitors can find it quite powerful to observe in action the careful attention to detail Gaudí lavished on household items as simple and basic as door knobs, drawer handles, and wall trims.

*La Pedrera has two major courtyards—the Flower Courtyard and the Butterfly Courtyard—that are not to be missed. Painted in a swirling array of colors that take on different hues depending on the angle of the light, they’re a feast for the senses.

*La Pedrera sponsors a variety of special activities throughout the year, the most popular being the series of live jazz music concerts it hosts every Thursday and Friday evenings during the summer months. If you’re in the market for a truly unforgettable night on the town in Barcelona, consider checking out this concert series. Your ticket will grant you access to terrific music performed on the building’s spectacular rooftop, as well as a complimentary glass of cava.

*If you’re intrigued by the idea of making the absolute most of your visit to La Pedrera, be advised that there are several different ticket packages available here. A package like “La Pedrera Premium” comes with a guided tour and access to spaces that are otherwise off-limits, while the “La Pedrera Night Experience” is your ticket to an immersive experience that lights up Casa Milà’s rooftop in unforgettable fashion. There are also VR experiences and sunrise tours available, too.

*A quick tip. If you are willing to take the stairs at the beginning of the tour, you can skip the lengthy line for the elevator. Its 6 floors but you can take it slowly ans still reach the top much faster. You can ask someone how to take the stairs as you get your audio guide.

Why La Pedrera (Casa Milà) Should Be on Your Must-See List

Sagrada Familia tops most visitors’ lists of must-see, Gaudí-designed attractions; however, if you have time in your schedule to experience more than one of the legendary architect’s buildings, be sure and check out La Pedrera. And if you don’t, strongly consider making time! Not only is La Pedrera the work of a visionary architect at the height of his powers, its stunning rooftop provides some of the best Barcelona views this side of Park Güell or Mirador Torre Glòries.