Casa Batlló and Casa Milà are the stars of Barcelona which you will find of the city centre, standing out to everyone who comes to the Catalan capital for a holiday. I have visited both La Pedrera and Casa Batlló, therefore I will give you an impartial, comparative description of both buildings. I hope that this article will help you to choose which masterpiece to visit and to open the door to the world of Gaudí.
The General Concept
Casa Batlló was a symbolic interpretation of the legend of Saint George, the patron saint of Catalonia. The facade represents the body of the dragon, the balconies the eyes and the tower its tail. Each element is connected with the general idea of the building and represents a battle between the Dragon and Saint George.
Casa Milà, also known as La Pedrera, is a perfect symbiosis between traditional and innovative, Casa Milà is inspired by Gaudí’s four passions in life: architecture, nature, his religious beliefs and his love for Catalonia.
The buildings represent two quite different concepts but to build the works Gaudí used similar construction techniques. We need to emphasise the brilliant combination of engineering and design that Gaudí developed in these buildings.
Casa Batlló has a marvellous facade full of colour and symbols. Each element of Casa Batlló has its own meaning and it’s not possible to describe the exterior in a couple of paragraphs. Casa Batlló was a pioneering work in creative architecture where Gaudí cleverly combined engineering and aesthetics. In general, it is believed that the exterior of Casa Batlló resembles the figure of a giant dragon that San Jordi stabbed in the back with his spear. The shape of the roof of Casa Batlló resembles the crest of a dragon. The smaller tower of the roof represents the spear with which the knight defeated the dragon. The upper facade of the building or roof looks like the skin of the dragon and in the columns and balconies there are the contours of the bones of its victim. As for the terrace, you won’t have a great view of the city where you can take beautiful photos.
Gaudí used natural stone to construct the facade of La Pedrera. Gaudí constructed 33 balconies with wrought iron bars which contrast with the natural stone of the facade. The curved lines symbolise the natural movements of water. The intention was for the building to look like a “sea of stone”. There are numerous windows which allow light to enter the building. You can observe Latin inscriptions of the walls of the facade which originate from the Angelus prayer and represents the greeting from Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary. The rooftop is one of the most impressive parts of La Pedrera, where you can enjoy the beautiful views over the Catalan capital and where you will feel on top of the world. The rooftop has walkways on different levels with viewpoints where you can take an amazing selfie. From the roof you can see the Sagrada Familia and the Torre Glòries.
Both buildings are unique masterpieces. You can see the facades if you come to Passeig de Gracia and enjoy these without paying anything. There are only 400 meters from one house to the other!
The interior maintains the ideology of the exterior of Casa Batlló: there are no straight lines and the architectural elements have a marine or nature theme in general. It seems that you are inside an animal (a dinosaurus?). The rooms are all different yet have a common idea: Nature. Many rooms have elements of the world of the sea and the old one of Mr. Batlló the chimney is mushroom-shaped. All the elements of the building are an excellent solution from the point of view of aesthetics and engineering. All doors are equipped with a ventilation system similar to the gills of a fish. The patio windows have different sizes which allows more light to penetrate and the building to be naturally ventilated. It is an amazing architectural solution that demonstrates Gaudí's ability to combine engineering and decorative ideas.
The weight of the stone doesn’t crush the building since there are no load-bearing walls, it is only maintained with stone pillars forming a framework. This allows for large windows on the facade and has two advantages: to facilitate the entry of light into the houses and allow free distribution of space. The attic represents the skeleton of a python, which is why each arch differs in height and explains the irregular levels and the steps on the roof. The furniture of La Pedrera was specifically designed by the genius. Gaudí wanted the furniture to be functional but would also adapt to the human form (ergonomic). In the attic you can see replicas of the chairs used in the Casa Milà apartments. In addition, you will find the rooms with the furniture and the old decorations where the Milà family once lived. For example, the living room, the study and the bedrooms.
Casa Milà and Casa Batlló are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. As for the interior, the Casa Milá looks more like the usual apartments with a modernist design and Casa Batlló has more of a museum than a dwelling style.
Casa Batlló offers a wide variety of tickets, among which we find the Fast Pass, the Magic Nights and etc. The price is from €24 and there are discounts for children, students, residents and retirees.
La Pedrera offers different tickets day and night. In addition, there are Premium tickets and guided tours. The price of tickets is from €22. Children, students, residents and retirees receive a discount.
Both Casa Batlló and La Pedrera offer a wide variety of ticket types so I'm sure you'll find an appropriate ticket for you. The prices are also quite the same.
Casa Batlló offers technology that will turn your visit into an extraordinary trip, called the Smartguide. This device is a mobile phone with a large screen and headphones. Thanks to the effect of virtual reality, you can move your device and see how people lived there. Casa Batlló has free Wi-Fi, lift and gift shop.
In La Pedrera they provide you with an audio guide and a paper map. With your ticket you can enjoy free Wi-Fi and luggage storage. The essential part of your visit to La Pedrera is the permanent exhibition located on the first floor which will help you better understand Gaudí's mind, his way of thinking and his architectural solutions.
In general, the services of the places of interest in question are quite equivalent, although in La Pedrera you will find a complete exhibition and in Casa Batlló you will be given a guide with the effect of virtual reality.
Both places of interest are on the central Passeig de Gracia, just 400 meters from each other. They are easily accessible by various types of public transport.
If you want more information about the architecture of La Pedrera and the architecture of Casa Batlló, check out these articles:
I suggest you read this Tripadvisor forum to find out what other people think and you can decide if you want to visit Casa Batlló or La Pedrera.
Everyone has a common opinion: this is a very difficult and subjective decision.
Here are some opinions and thoughts from other people:
- "... both are incredible and deserve a visit if you can afford the two do not hesitate ..." (Tunice)
- "The two houses are special, but if I have to choose, I'll stay with La Pedrera, they're very close to each other, if you buy the tickets online to avoid the queues, you can possibly see both." (AnaMJM)
My opinion ... Which work to visit?
Like Casa Batlló, Casa Mila is a jewel of Barcelona and it is very difficult to recommend just one of these wonderful buildings. I think they are very complementary since each masterpiece explains different facets of Antoni Gaudí’s art.
For example, in Casa Batlló, in my opinion, you will like the game of imagination, colours and design more. In La Pedrera you will value the architectural or engineering part that the exhibition will discover more than in Casa Batlló. There you will see the skeletons of animals which were the models for the construction of all of Gaudí's buildings.
Therefore, if you do not have time to visit both buildings, read the following two articles and try to guess which one you will like the most.
Visit La Pedrera
- La Pedrera Tickets and Tips Tips for before, during and after your visit to Casa Milà, also known as La Pedrera, in Barcelona.
Visit Casa Batlló
- Casa Batlló Tickets & Visit Tips If you admire Gaudi's genius, check out our article about one of the most famous of his creatio...