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10 unknown Casa Mila facts that you must know

Casa Milà, also known as La Pedrera (stone quarry), is one of Antoni Gaudí’s most iconic and last civil works.

It was one of the first places of the industrial era to be included on the World Heritage List in 1984, along with Park Guell and Palau Guell.

While its stunning architecture and unique design are well-known, there are many hidden gems about La Pedrera that many visitors may not be aware of.

Here are 10 of the most interesting things you didn’t know about Casa Mila:

1. Antoni Gaudi was the architect

One of the popular landmarks in Barcelona was built by a famous architect of the time, Antoni Gaudi.

Known for his unique architectural designs, Gaudi’s most iconic work is Casa Mila.

Commissioned by a wealthy couple, Pere Mila I Camps and his wife, they chose Gaudi as they wanted a unique house structure.

Gaudi took six years to complete this incredible architecture with a curtain facade and an Art Nouveau style.

2. Casa Mila has a natural ventilation system

Everything about Casa Mila is spectacular, like a breath of fresh air.

Gaudi tried something new: a natural ventilation system for residents.

He chose unique colors and shapes inspired by nature, giving it an extraordinary look from the outside.

You can see the systems on the roof in the form of chimneys, fans, and skylights.

Antoni used an amalgamation of broken marble, bricks, and glass while using the same method in sculptures.

3. Gaudi was heavily criticized for the Casa’s design

Despite its iconic status, Casa Milà was once heavily criticized by the public.

Several people thought it was ugly because the facade resembled a quarry, and the balconies were wrought iron.

His design was featured in satirical magazines, only to be criticized for its form.

One critic, Joan Junceda, even baked a cake inspired by Casa Milà to mock its appearance.

Another critic, Joaquim Garcia, made fun of the wrought iron balconies in his magazines.

Even the homeowners around Barcelona were unhappy with Casa Milà. They felt that the building’s unusual design lowered the value of their land and homes. 

Also, due to its quarry resemblance and unusual design, the Casa got its nickname, La Pedrera.

Despite the criticism, Casa Milà was a critical and commercial success.

Gaudí was praised for his innovative design and his use of new materials and construction techniques.

Today, Casa Milà is one of Barcelona’s most popular tourist attractions. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a testament to Gaudí’s genius.

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4. Casa Mila was supposed to be a religious symbol

Antoni Gaudi initially planned to make Casa Mila a religious symbol for Barcelona.

As a firm Catholic believer, he always sought to put religious symbolism into his architectural styles.

However, he was not able to add many religious structures to the Casa due to opposition from the locals, which in turn influenced the Milas.

But you can still find sculptures and statues of religious symbolism, like the statues of archangels Saint Michael and Saint Gabriel, inside it.

At the entrance, you can also find a statue of the Virgin Mary without the rosary excerpt.

5. The attraction was going to be abandoned

The criticism and opposition were not enough. Gaudi faced another obstacle: a law passed by the local government.

The law dictated the heights of the buildings in Barcelona, and anyone who surpassed the limit was set for demolition.

Casa Mila just happened to be one of those buildings.

The Milas had to pay a fine for the breach, thus ruling out the inclusion of religious symbols in the house.

Construction was paused for a while when one pillar of the Casa extended to the sidewalk, violating the alignment of the facade.

Gaudi was unhappy about these new developments and rules and stepped back to reconsider this project.

But later, a priest convinced him to return to the project, which eventually led to the creation of a masterpiece.

Read our article on the architecture of Casa Mila to learn about it in detail.

6. The house was designed to have lifts

One unique feature Casa Mila has is its elevators.

Gaudi made them intentionally on the second floor to encourage tenants to interact with each other.

With the lifts, which gave direct access to the apartments, the staircase was used as the service entry.

7. Casa Mila’s roof is its main highlight

The primary highlight of Casa Mila is its roof, which you will recognize as the place where the night tour starts.

Using his brilliant imagination, Gaudi redefined a unique set of styles by incorporating different shapes and sizes.

He included 28 chimneys and 12 natural ventilation systems on the roof in the most clever way he could.

You will find six different skylights on the roof, which act as the exit station.

Antoni actually designed the staircase after being inspired by the snails as they double up into water tanks.

His designs motivated a poet to write a poem about chimneys, depicting them as garden warriors.

This was true, as the chimney had to go under restoration a couple of times and had to be replaced by television antennas.

👜Insider Tip

Hourly visits to Casa Milà are capped. This means that a limited number of tickets are available for each hour of the day.

If you show up at Casa Milà expecting to buy tickets on-site, you may have to wait for a later time slot.

8. Casa Mila has no right angles

One of Casa Mila’s exciting facts is that it has no right angles.

You read it right. Gaudi was strongly influenced by the natural world and believed buildings should be harmonious with their surroundings.

Due to this, he incorporated several elements into the casa, like the curtain facade, waving balconies, and curved walls, into his designs.

The lack of right angles gave the building an illusion of fluidity and movement, breaking its weight and giving it a visual appeal.

9. It is a famous film star

Another fact about Casa Mila is that the attraction has been used as a backdrop in several films, as its breathtaking designs make it a filmmaker’s favorite set-up.

It has starred in shows and movies like:

Vicky Cristina Barcelona: used as the apartment for Juan Antonio’s character.

The Good Shepherd: used as the CIA safehouse

The iconic architecture and its relation to Antoni Gaudi make Casa Mila even more famous among filmmakers.

Quick facts about Casa Mila

  • Construction of La Pedrera began in 1906 and took four years to complete. It was Gaudi’s last project before the Sagrada Familia.
  • An attractive interior design fact is that the facade is made of natural stone. While the upper edge is covered with white ceramic tiles.
  • The two halls in the central apartment have polychromatic plaster surfaces and enchanting oil paintings.
  • When you buy a ticket to Casa Mila, you can access the apartment’s attic, rooftop, and top floor.
  • Another exciting fact about Casa Mila is that its main floor was the residence of the Milas.

    The floor was later turned into an exhibition hall in 1992, where thousands of exhibitions were conducted to celebrate local and international artists.
  • A Casa Mila interior design fact is that the attic comprises 270 parabolic brick arches of different heights.
  • A room in the Mila is dedicated to Antonio Gaudi’s life.
  • Besides the museum and public areas, people live and work in other parts of the Casa.
  • The balconies are built with iron bars that look like ocean waves if you view them from a distance.
  • Josep Maria Jujol was behind these designs and helped Gaudi with his previous works, like Park Guell and Casa Batllo.
  • Another fact about Casa Mila is that if you buy its tickets online, you won’t have to pay $3 extra as the window surcharge. Also, you won’t have to wait in line.

FAQs

What is special about Casa Mila?

Casa Mila, or La Pedrera, is regarded as one of Antoni Gaudi’s most iconic works.

The civic architecture’s constructional and functional innovations and ornamental and decorative solutions make it unique.

Such a revolutionary design broke all architectural stereotypes in its day.

Why was the Casa Mila built?

Pere Milà and Roser Segimon married. 

They were drawn to the fame of Passeig de Gràcia, a prestigious boulevard in Barcelona, and purchased a detached house with a garden situated on a plot measuring 1,835 square meters. 

They commissioned the renowned architect Antoni Gaudí to build their new property.

What inspired Gaudí in the design of Casa Mila?

Gaudi was heavily influenced by nature in his design of Casa Mila. He was a keen observer of nature and often used organic forms and materials in his work. 

The stone façade of Casa Milà is said to be inspired by the waves of the sea, while the wrought iron balconies resemble seaweed.

Who was Casa Mila built for?

Casa Milà was built for Pere Milà and Roser Segimon, a wealthy couple who commissioned Antoni Gaudí to design their new home in 1905. 

The building was completed in 1912 and became a controversial landmark. 

Who lives in Casa Milà now?

Casa Milà is no longer a private residence. It is now a museum and cultural center. 

There are still a few apartments in the building that are rented out to tenants, but most of the building is open to the public.

Featured Image: Tripadvisor.in

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