In residence with Gaudi – pt.3

Last but not least … Casa Milà, aka La Pedrera. La Pedrera means stone quarry – the building supposedly and quite believably got its alternative name from the rock faces at Montserrat. When I visited, restoration work was in progress, with much of the facade under disguised wraps.

I didn’t start in the attic, with its beautiful, fine (as in thin) supporting parabolic arches, but that would have been the best place to do so. There is a display there which gives an excellent overview of La Pedrera. The terrace plan shows the two light wells and how irregularly shaped the rooms are in each apartment. Finding and placing furniture must be a nightmare!

The attic display includes a model of Casa Batlló, showing the blue tiling deepening from bottom to top, and information about other Gaudi works. I was particularly fascinated by some hanging chains. A mirror underneath (also showing the tops, in reverse, of the parabolic arches) shows (in another poor photo) how the inverted chains inspired the vaults and structure of the church at Colonia Güell (which I didn’t visit).

Out on the rooftop it was up and down stairs in a figure of eight, going around the two light wells. The chimneys here remind me of some of the weird shapes I later saw in the Capadoccian landscape in Turkey.

Of course, there are the rooftop views, including the obelisk that has a chequered career as a monument to several different, mostly, political events (currently celebrating nothing, if reports are to be believed) and the back wall of a possibly lovely upper floor church (potential in those stained glass windows!).

Of the different Gaudi places I visited, even including the museum house at Park Güell, La Pedrera is the one that is most fully, authentically furnished.

And no matter how many doors you go through, the last one always leads to the gift shop!

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