Casa Mila aka La Pedrera

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When we arrived in Barcelona we took a train from the airport and then the metro to the Passeig de Gracia stop. We emerged, got our bearings and started walking toward our hotel. I knew that we turned left one block after La Pedrera. So as I was looking for it, I was disappointed to see that it was undergoing a major renovation. Oh well, what can you do? We could see tourists on the roof, so we knew they were still open for business, we just weren’t going to get any cool pictures of the facade.

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When you first enter La Pedrera, you are at the center light-well/courtyard. From what I understand, these light-wells sound like a great idea for having natural light in an apartment. From the audio guide, I understood that people still live in La Pedrera. For the tour, one takes an elevator to the roof. Then one takes some stairs to the attic, where there are informational displays about Gaudi and his architecture. Then one goes to the apartment that is furnished in the style of the time of Gaudi. And lastly,  one ends in the gift shop.

Rooftop, La Pedrera

The rooftop is one of the highlights of La Pedrera. The distinctive chimneys and view of Barcelona make it very captivating. As we walked around, my sister asked me how comfortable I’d be without the fencing and to imagine it as it was before tourists. The fencing does take away from the beauty, but I’d be extremely uncomfortable without it.

Chimneys, La Pedrera

The attic was cool, literally and figuratively. There were films and models explaining Gaudi’s architecture. As a math teacher, I’ll be looking up the catenary curve to learn about the mathematics of it. The arches in Gaudi’s work are made up of them. Think of holding the two ends of a piece of string. When you turn that curve upside down, you get your catenary curve – something like that.

Arches, La Pedrera

The apartment was next. The attention to detail is quite extraordinary. Straight lines were definitely not Gaudi’s thing. Look at the doorways and fixtures…

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After the apartment you make your way through a couple of gift shops. As with all of the Gaudi sites, the admission fee is steep. With an audio guide you’re spending just over 20 euro per ticket. But the work of Antoni Gaudi is one of the main attractions of Barcelona and what makes it such a cool city. My recommendation is to allow for the sites in your travel budget.

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