La Sagrada Familia

Friday, 18 September 2009

La Sagrada Familia is the most fascinating structure I've witnessed thus far in my travels. The church in the center of the Old City of Barcelona, this building began and will be completed as a testament to Christ's life. There are facades surrounding the building that depict his immaculate conception, his birth, his studies, his miracles, his death and resurrection.

The building began in 1872 when a wealthy Barcelonian returned from a trip to Italy with the idea that his city needed a fantastic church dedicated to the Holy Family. He purchased the land and started the foundation. In 1883, Antoni Gaudi (at age 31) was hired to design and complete the church. Gaudi worked on it for the next 43 years and died while crossing a street to go to work. He was hit by a tram.

The detail work is amazing with even the staircases designed like the inside of a shell. Gaudi drew much of his inspiration from nature.

Perhaps one of Gaudi's most noticeable design trends was his fantastic mosaic work. It is imperfect but makes use of all products, even those with edges that are not straight. Also worth noting is the detailing of the many angles in even a final like this. The object is "3d" for the early 1900s.

The spirals that shoot up from La Sagrada Familia (there will be a total of 18 when it is completed in 2030) represent small, spindly pine trees.

The inside of the cathedral area is absolutely amazing. The columns reach toward the ceiling and morph from a round form, to octagonal, to square and end in "branches" which anchor the ceiling.

The facade outside of Christ on the cross has drawn attention from architects all over the world. Gaudi designed the statues using a more block effect and depicted Jesus as thin like a skeleton when he was crucified.

The detail work is something else. When Gaudi designed this massive building, he used strings and weighted bags as his blue prints. The amount of stone work he imagined was impossible to show on a blueprint so he used the modern method of designing in three dimensions.

Even while we were there viewing the church, hundreds of workers were there straining to complete the project. The hope is to open for worship in 2010 with Gaudi's vision completed in 2030.


Anonymous said...

1872-2030, I guess this project has gone waaay over budget. But it is gorgeous. Great pics, hon.


Jinjajam said...

Amazing...just the sort of thing Dan Brown could use for his next many signs and tokens?????????
Love you both

Anonymous said...

Temple de la Sagrada Familia is one of a kind, certainly nothing like some of the ostentatious, OTT buildings dotted around the world. Didnt you just love the curious donkey at the manager in the nativity scene? Excellent photo capture of the shell in monochrome. Worth another visit.

Denae said...

I DID see the donkey and was amazed by it. His animals were amazing.

Anonymous said...

its the most amazing building ever pook x

Ted Stryk said...

Great shots! We didn't get to go in when we were in Barcelona (the wait was 4 hours, and that wasn't worth it). For Brunelleschi maybe, but not for Gaudi.