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Discover Many Educational Displays of Barcelona Architecture.

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In the ultra-fashionable district along the Passeig de Gracia, stands one of the strangest examples of Barcelona design - or anyplace else in the world: Casa Mila, or else known as La Pedrera. The first name is drawn from the patron who commissioned the celebrated designer Antonio Gaudi in 1906 designed and constructed an apartment complex. The work began with the sponsorship of Pedro Mila among Barcelona's wealthy citizens.

At first, the residence was intended to have an obvious religious theme, but anti-clerical riots the previous year had motivated the owner to ask Gaudi to be more subtle. The end result is anything but subtle. In architectural terms, both the outside and inside, upon its 1910 completion, the locals looked in stunned amazement, affronted or otherwise surprise as they called it (La Pedrera) 'The Stone Quarry'.

It is an unfair name to be sure. But Casa Mila is different. It doesn't bear any likeness to a stone quarry or to any other Barcelona architecture . That would mean it would have all sharp angles. Gaudi's creation, but on the other hand, is a flowing sequence of curves that roll while wrapping around the street corner, on which the structure stands. But the theme of natural shapes doesn't stop there.

The balconies wind around the exterior of the building and they're full of sea shapes. Even the balconies are wavelike, while the building and objects it supports take on the same appearance. Wrought iron railings resembling seaweed (itself the work of sculptor Josep Jujol) wrap around minaret-like overheads of deferring heights. The top of the building houses chimneys, which are only an extension of the whole theme twisting upward like, a soft-ice cream cone, the orange shade of stone is shaped to give a sense of motion and desire - an everyday theme in much of Gaudi's work. They're nicknamed espantabruxes (witch-scarers) by critics of the day.

The inside of the building contain design elements that are matched to the facade and overall shape. The ground floor is a real courtyard filled with identifiable Gaudi elements: natural shapes, brilliant colors and sumptuous vegetation. Here, seasonal concerts and art displays are held. One of the residences on the top floor is decorated in furniture and objects from the period. This provides a look at what the inhabitants may have owned at that time. The other residences are still private. Moving up further inside the building in the attic is a small museum space faithful to Gaudi's work called the Espai Gaudi (Gaudi Space). Visitors and holidaymakers will discover many educational displays of Barcelona architecture.

There is also an odd upside-down model of Sagrada Familia demonstrating numerous structural ideas of the architect. In any case, the space itself is a work of art too. In a glowing orange atmosphere, and a hush provided by the low curved ceiling, no stop over at Casa Mila will ever be finished until you view the district. Visitors can also enjoy the delightful series of gardens laid out in the only straight lines set among the unusual chimneys on the excellent rooftop. The rooftop and as well give a stunning view of sunny Barcelona with the sweeping vista below.

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