|Outside La Pedrera in November 2012|
I arrived at Barna Sants around 1,30pm & had given myself an hour to get from the station to La Pedrera. From Barna Sants you need to take either the green or blue line to Diagonal where, if you leave at the right exit you will come out by Starbucks on Passeig de Gracia (more or less opposite La Pedrera). I, of course, managed to come out at the wrong exit! Not all was lost, though, there was a lovely (& cheap) bakery and it was lunch time so I grabbed a bocadillo & walked in the direction I thought Passeig de Gracia would be in. I was, surprisingly, headed in the right direction only a block or so down from where I thought I should be.
Although I had been forewarned, it still shocked me to see La Pedrera under a huge white sheet. There is maintenance being done on the outside of the building, currently, to keep the fabulous tourist destination we all want to visit (hence me using the external pictures I took 18 months previously) the way we expect to find it. I still can't wrap my head around why they're doing the work during peak tourist season, though.
|Me outside La Pedrera in November 2012|
La Pedrera, also known as Casa Milá was built for Pere Milá. He was so impressed by the work Gaudí had done on Casa Batlló that he decided to entrust him with the project of rebuilding the three storey house he bought on Passeig de Gracia. It is architecturally innovative as it has a structure of columns and floors free of load bearing walls. The front of the building, being made from limestone, is also self- supporting. It is also where it gets it's nickname of La Pedrera, meaning "the quarry" in Catalan because of the stone appearance at the front. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984.
|A model of La Pedrera inside the museum|
The roof terrace is particularly spectacular, crowned with skylights, staircase exits, fans and chimneys. All of these elements were constructed with timbrel, coated with limestone, broken glass or marble. They have a specific architectural function but Gaudí designed them to be integrated into the building and they look like incredible sculptures. It is said that one of the chimney's topped with glass pieces was finished by Gaudí the day after the building's inauguration. He is said to have taken the champagne bottles left over from the party and used the bottom's to cover the chimney.
|Looking over the roof terrace|
La Pedrera wasn't exactly what I was expecting. It is more of a museum than Casa Batlló is. For example, Casa Batlló is all about the architecture, which I found absolutely fascinating. La Pedrera, on the other hand, has exhibits throughout of all of Gaudí's architecture not just La Pedrera. The exhibits explain how he built things and even how he planned them, including an upside down chain version of La Sagrada Familia. Inside there is also a mock up of what an apartment there would have looked like, too.
|I want one these in my house today!|
Not only were there exhibits about places we all know about, like Casa Batlló, La Sagrada Familia and Parc Guell, there are exihibits about his other works that I hadn't even heard of! I thought visiting La Pedrera would be the end of my Gaudí obsession in Barcelona, but it turns out that it's just the start. Now I'm looking for an excuse to go back and visit Casa Vicens, Palau Guell and Casa Calvet!
Our bucket lists never get shorter.
Have you visited any of the new locations I want to see? Tell me about them in the comments!