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Casa Milà - "La Pedrera"

In the central Barcelona's Passeig de Gràcia, we find the Casa Milà or La Pedrera, a blend of fantasy and functionality make this architectural landmark a must-see visitor attraction. This is the culmination of Antoni Gaudí's career, designed as a modernista building tailored to the new social needs, without forgetting his main source of inspiration: nature and organic forms.

When Pere Milà commissioned Antoni Gaudí to build a residential block, it gave the architect the perfect opportunity to bring to fruition one of his most complete works. Built between 1906 and 1912, the Casa Milà occupies an entire corner of the Passeig de Gràcia in Barcelona's Eixample. The architect created an astonishing modernista style building, set out around two interior courtyards which provide the flats with ventilation and light. Curved, sinuous forms are the main elements inside and outside La Pedrera. The Casa Milà's façade resembles the moving sea, the waves interacting with the seaweed-motifs on the wrought-iron balcony railings. The large stone blocks are a type of skin that covers the skeleton of a building free of load-bearing walls.

La Pedrera, the Catalan for stone quarry, is actually the pejorative name given to the building by the locals who were amazed by the modern Gaudiesque forms. The Casa Milà was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. Three areas are open to the public: the dreamlike attic space, with is brick catenary arches; the rooftop, where the chimneys recall the silhouette of warriors rising up among the dunes of the desert; and finally a period apartment.

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