When I started my blog I wanted to use it as a tool to connect with people and share my experiences of life through images. My newest and some could say most challenging, moving to Barcelona during a pandemic (link to that post here). Mostly I still feel like a tourist, trying to blend with the local life will take time. It’s a total change of life, from the different language to adapting to their cultures and customs and finding my way around an unfamiliar city.
A few weekends ago, I managed to obtain a ticket to visit Sagrada Familiar. For those who aren’t sure what this is, it’s Barcelona’s iconic monument. A Roman Catholic church designed by the famous Antoni Gaudi. In Barcelona, Gaudi has built many beautiful structures, his unique style sets the bench mark for all things Barcelona, from decorate buildings and iron gates to the paving on the footpaths. Gaudi is some what of a God here in Barcelona.
Sagrada Familiar’s construction started back in 1882, but its original design was by architect Francisco de Paula del Villar but Gaudi took over the following year until his death in 1926. He is buried in the underground level of the cathedral and people can visit his tomb.
During the Spanish Civil War it was vandalised and the plans and photographs were burnt and the plaster models were smashed. Fortunately the work could continue thanks to the material that could be saved from Gaudi’s workshop and some published plans and photographs. Today more than 135 years later, and watched by 5 generations, construction continues and is expected to be completed in 2026.
My original plans for visiting this beautiful monument was to go late afternoon when the sun is low and streams in through the ornate coloured stain glass which is it’s main feature. Gaudi designed it so the light would filter through and dance around the cathedral like an aurora of spectral colour. But unfortunately with all the new Covid restrictions time slots, visitors were limited to weekends and only between 9am to 3pm. So I wasn’t going to see that beautiful low light and to make things worse it was an overcast day. And another set back was when I arrived, the staff were striking for better pay so visitors were only allowed access to the main floor and were not able to climb the towers or visit the museum. I was bummed, seriously bummed, especially that I had paid 26 Euros for my ticket. And as in Spain the chances of you getting your money back is ‘buckleys!!’
So, I entered anyway, knowing I can always visit again as that is the beauty of living in this city. Once I stepped inside my eyes were stunned and I think my jaw dropped a little as well. It is breathtaking. The ornate ceilings seriously took my breath away. After my visit I had such a bad neck from looking up. The detail is so amazing you don’t know where to look first. It’s so overwhelming.
When completed there will be three facades, the Nativity facade to the east, which is considered to have the most direct influence of Gaudi, The Passion facade to the west and the Glory facade to the south which is still to be completed as well as boasting 18 Towers, representing the 12 Apostles, the 4 evangelists, one for the Virgin Mary and the highest one in the middle representing Jesus Christ. It truly is such a wonder. You can see now why I was so bummed about not being able to see it all. But there’s always next time!
I won’t rave much more about the grand design as I’m not an architectural critic, but hopefully some of my images will help you appreciate its wonder. Here’s to the next adventure and hoping it runs more smoothly!