Yesterday was my day to visit the various architectural works of Gaudi in Barcelona. The centrepiece is his Cathedral – Sagrada Familia – that was started in 1890 and is still unfinished, though now in use. It is so hard to describe. It is stunning, awesome, marvellous, breathtaking, amazing, unbelievable…….what a mind he must have had!
Two of the three facades are now complete – the Nativity and Passion facades. Each facade is/will be crowned by four towers: one for each of the apostles. Most of my photos are of the Nativity facade, and indeed this is the classic image of the Sagrade Familia usually seen.
If the outside is stunning in its detail and depiction of the Holy Family and the birth of Christ then the inside is simply magnificent. What strikes you first is the immense scale and height of the space – inside it soars to the heavens in the manner of medieval Gothic Cathedrals (I’ve included some photos with people in the foreground to try show this). Apparently he designed it to seat 13,000 people!
Then there is the light. Gaudi designed the stained glass and light wells in the structure(remember this was 1890) to deliver light into the space. Sometimes the air itself seems to be coloured and translucent.
I would seem that he never saw a straight line that he was the least interested in. He is reputed to have stated that there are “no straight lines in nature”.
His strong faith led him to absolutely devote the latter stage of his life to his work on the Cathedral. Most people know that his life was cut short when he walked under a tram in 1926. Nearly 100 years later the Barcelanos are still trying to complete his visión.
The tragedy was that he was on his way to mass – a daily ritual – when he was killed. Wearing ragged clothes and with nothing in his pockets, he wasn’t recognised and was sent to a pauper’s ward where he died two days later.
This is a magnificent building. For now I’ll just add some of the photos I took.
Photos of the Exterior Sagrada Familia (Scroll Down for larger images)
Interior Photos (Scroll Down for larger images)