Casa Milà

Pere Milà Camps was a lawyer, industrialist and politician of Barcelona. His father was a textile industrialist and had been a partner of Mr. Batlló. In 1905, Pere Milà married Roser Segimon, widow of Josep Guardiola, a wealthy nouveau riche who had left behind a great fortune in his inheritance.

When Josep Batlló commissioned Antoni Gaudí to build his house, Pere Milà realized that everyone was talking about him in Barcelona. They did, however, criticize his decision. And that was exactly what Mr. Milan needed. In Barcelona everybody used to talk about his wife and his fortune, not about him.

For this reason, he also decided to commission Gaudí to build the house where he and his wife should live.

As soon as the neighbors heard about it, they complained arguing that a building designed by Gaudí would lower the price of land in the area and that’s why they stopped greeting it.

Build improvising

Antoni Gaudí didn’t use plans for his projects. He designed everything with models to better reflect the three dimensions he was working with. In addition, he often changed his projects while they were being built.

Often his projects far exceeded the original budget and he wasn’t too strict with municipal regulations. During the construction of Casa Milà, the building exceeded the legal volume; the attic and the roof overpassed the maximum permissible height and one of the pillars occupied the sidewalk.

When Gaudí knew that a City Council inspector informed them of the column on the street, he said that if they had to cut the column, he would put a plaque on it that read, “The missing piece of column was cut off by order of the ‘Town hall”.

In 1909 the Eixample Commission certified that the building was monumental in nature and did not strictly adhere to municipal ordinances, so it could remain as it was. However, they had to pay a fine of 10,000 pesetas.

There was also a conflict with Gaudí’s fees. The Milà didn’t want to pay what the architect requested, and Gaudí brought them to court. He won the trial and in order to pay him, Mr Milà had to mortgage. However, Gaudí  donated to a convent of nuns.

La Pedrera

Casa Milà was completed in 1910 and could be inhabited in 1911.In 1925, the building is described as a quarry in the newspaper En Patufet, and thus it will be called the citizens of Barcelona La Pedrera, the Stone Quarry.

When the Civil War began, Mr and Mrs Milà were on vacation outside of Barcelona. The building was occupied by PSUC, and Milà family fled to Franco’s area. Only with the entry of the National troops into Barcelona they were able to return home.

Pere Milà died in 1940. His wife, Roser Segimon, continued to live alone on the main floor of 1323 m2. When she died, in 1946, the flat was divided into 4 apartments. A total of 20 apartments were rented throughout the building.

Since 1984, Casa Milà has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The current owner is Fundación La Pedrera and is one of the most visited buildings in Barcelona.

We will explain you much more about the history of Casa Mila and its architecture on our tours. You can discover it on our visit Discovering Barcelona, From Passeig de Gracia to Park Güell.

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