Wednesday, September 17, 2014

We Went to Church on Sunday

We visited the re-nowned Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s lifetime masterpiece, that is still under construction after 122 years ~ and will, perhaps, never be finished..........It is truly an experience, as those of you who’ve been there can attest.  It is not a concept that we can easily relate to, in the US, building for decades and decades and decades to complete one man's vision.

It is so ugly from the outside!   Gaudi’s greatest work, while impressive in stature, is plain and “earthy” in appearance on the exterior, as was his intent.   
I guess it makes more sense when you read that it was his style to try to imitate nature (and natural materials) in his buildings.   Only 8 of the 12 spires are completed, they will ultimately represent the 12 apostles.  The nave is still under construction, and the Central Tower is still to come.  The only facades that are completed as of this date are the Nativity Facade and this more bleak and most photographed Passion Facade.


Ahhhhh, but the interior is another story.  Beauty upon beauty upon beauty, light and color on white, flowing contours and stunning stained glass and spiral staircases.   

My Mr. C tells me when he visited Barcelona in 2004 or so (when daughter Tina was attending college here), that the interior was still scaffolding and workmen and artisians and such.  I believe this portion was finished and they started holding services here in 2010. 
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 It pays to take time to sit and wonder at these marvels.  Ultra-modern even by today’s standards, it makes me wonder what it seemed like to them when it was started back in the 1800's !  


 Truly this man’s creative mind knew no bounds.  


We took the tower tour on the Nativity Tower side.  It was really interesting, with the little pop-outs they have every so often for you to step out onto a tiny balcony on the front of the fa├žade and, fighting verdigo, take in the city view.  Or, if you dare, to look down to the very distant ground below.  
  


The spiral 
staircases are 
steep, 
over 400 
dizzying 
steps 
top to bottom.
   

I read somewhere that this church is a reflection of Barcelona’s determination to be viewed as individualistic.  I believe they have succeeded.

5 comments:

  1. Well, I have been following all your adventures... just enjoying but not commenting... Nice presentation... i would expect nothing less but wonderful pictures and info from you...Great job... Makes me want to see Spain.
    Keep them coming...
    Candy

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  2. So nice to hear from you, Candy! Have you not been to Spain? I thought you & Tim have been most everywhere! You guys would love the food here ~ they have such a great climate for fresh produce, and they also have the best of both land and sea ~ the pork, rabbit, quail, etc. ~ and the fresh fish & seafood, all great quality. So the tapas thing is great fun, 'cause you get to order a wide variety of dishes, instead of getting stuck with one entree' plate that you may or may not be thrilled with. You would love it!

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  3. Incredible information about this church! Wonderful pictures!

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    Replies
    1. I think it's amazing that you can see this Cathedral when visiting Barcelona and then, 10 or 20 years later, visit it again for an entirely new experience! Makes me want to go back ~ I'm going to check in periodically to watch the progress (finished the nave, started the main tower, etc). Very interesting!

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  4. Love the pictures...La Sagrada Familia is coming along (slowly)! It is amazing the time spent on that amazing church. I would love to attend a service there. That just gives me a reason to return!!

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