Usually referred to as "La Pedrera" (the Stone Quarry), this building, with its wavy, curving stone facade undulating around the corner of the block, is one of Gaudí's most celebrated yet initially reviled designs. Topped by chimneys so eerie they were nicknamed espantabruxes (witch scarers), the Casa Milà was unveiled in 1910 to the horror of local residents. The exterior has no straight lines; the curlicues and wrought-iron foliage of the balconies, sculpted by Josep Maria Jujol, and the rippling, undressed stone, made you feel, as one critic put it, "as though you are on board a ship in an angry sea."
Gaudí's rooftop chimney park, alternately interpreted as veiled Saharan women or helmeted warriors, is as spectacular as anything in Barcelona, especially in late afternoon, when the sunlight slants over the city into the Mediterranean. Inside, the handsome Espai Gaudí (Gaudí Space) in the attic has excellent critical displays of Gaudí's works from all over Spain,
as well as explanations of his theories and techniques. Notice the upside-down model of the Güell family crypt at Santa Coloma, made of weighted hanging strings—an ingenious way of rendering the structural capacity of the building's catenary arches, long before the days of computer-aided design. The Pis de la Pedrera apartment is an interesting look into the life of a family that lived in La Pedrera in the early 20th century. People still live in the other apartments.
In the summer high season the lines of visitors waiting to see the Pedrera can stretch a block or more; if you can, sign up for the "Gaudi's Pedrera: The Origins" tour of the building by night, with a spectacular son et lumière projection, daily March–October 9 pm–11 pm, November–February Wednesday–Saturday 7–19. Bookings are essential: call 902/202138 or reserve online by emailing reserves@lapedreracom. There are also guided tours in various languages, weekdays at 6 pm, weekends at 11 am; call 902/202138 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for bookings and information. On Nits Màgiques (aka Nits d'Estiu–Summer nights–Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, June through September) the Espai Gaudí and the roof terrace are open for drinks and jazz concerts; the doors open at 9:45 pm and concerts begin at 10:30. Admission is €29.