Posted by: pizzainmotion | December 29, 2008

Barcelona: Sagrada Familia

Day 2 started out oddly. Michelle nodded off at 2 am, but I couldn’t get to sleep. I started trying to sleep at 3am, but didn’t fall asleep until 5am. My alarm went off and woke both of us up at 1:30pm. Yikes!

Most of the things we wanted to see were closed on Sunday, and those that were open were closing shortly. So, essentially, we had lost the entire day. The only thing open was Sagrada Familia, a Guadi work that had yet to be completed. It wasn’t even on my original, makeshift list of things to see. To be honest, there wasn’t much on the list, we were pretty much just winging it.

So, we took the subway up to Sagrada Familia. As we came up out of the subway, we turned around to see this:


Now, I’m Catholic, but nowhere near deeply religious. I felt humbled when Michelle and I visited the Vatican a few years ago, not only by the size and architectural magnificence, but by the historical significance. I never in my life thought I would ever see something as stunning.

This was even more stunning. I turned around, uttered an expletive, and told Michelle to look. We were both speechless. For perspective, the crane in the foreground is easily 10 stories high. The towers stretch to an unbelievable 400 feet high.

Antoni Gaudi was commissioned to build this work a mere 125 years ago. As many others have said before me, the scope is so vast, it may not be completed before my death. We have so many pictures, I’ll be mixing in some pics over the next few posts so people can get a better idea of what’s being created. One of the many incredible details is the fact that Gaudi uses color in sculpture in such a vibrant way. It is truly like nothing I’ve ever seen. Here is a close-up of one of the towers:

As you can see, there’s a tremendous amount of detail, both in color and carving. There are 4 finished columns on the front, 4 in the back. Gaudi contemplated a total of 18 towers. There are still 4 towers left to represent the evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and a main tower dedicated to the Virgin Mary. I find it incredible that Gaudi could contemplate such a large work. What I find even more incredible is that he knew he couldn’t finish the work prior to his death. So, he drew and sculpted in smaller form every detail that he wanted those who came after him to know. For example, in this image, we can see how he intended the final towers to look:

I’ll close this post with two pictures of my beautiful wife at the base of the Passion facade, sculpted by Josep Subirachs. There are some great pictures of this facade that I’ll blog on in my next post.

Stay tuned for more Sagrada Familia, dinner pics, and our adventures to Ra Beach (we drive there tomorrow).

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