Sagrada Familia

So this is the structure that started my fascination with gothic architecture. It’s not quite the traditional kind. It is, after all, fairly new, following along the lines of Catalan modernism, but definitely heavy with gothic influence.

As I mentioned before, I was first introduced to Sagrada Família from an architecture book I came across while working at the campus library during my college years. It was one of those photographs where I had to do a double take. At first quick glance, it was just another one of those typical cathedrals, until I started noticing all the unusual details about it. There was definitely nothing traditional about it. On one side, it was ornate and over-the-top, the other was sharp and simple. I was intrigued.

From what I’ve read back then, Sagrada Família is the largest unfinished church in the world. Construction started in 1882 and is still ongoing. There are three planned facades based on the life of Christ (or the three original mysteries, if you’re Catholic), two of which are already constructed. One is the Nativity and the other is the Passion, both designed by two completely different artists, an architect and a sculptor, separated by two generations.

The original architect, Antoni Gaudí, died from an accident in 1926, just after the crypt, apse and part of the Nativity facade were completed. The sculptor who designed the Passion facade, Josep Maria Subirachs, was a bit more controversial as his sharp, angular designs were a huge contrast to Gaudí’s designs. I’m sure this bothers some people, as it does interferes with the continuity in the designs, but Gaudí had intended the Passion facade to be more on the simpler side. And considering the differences between the two narratives, I thought it was kind of fitting. Opulent and ornate for birth of Christ, sharp and cutting for the crucifixion. Very fitting.

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Near Culloden is the city of Inverness. This was where we stayed at when we visited the areas around Culloden. It’s an old city, very picturesque and pretty. The one-way streets, though, are rather strange and kinda stressful. I don’t know how to describe it. They’re one-way, but used as a two-way, but you have to wait your turn. I don’t know…

Anyway, we took a stroll around the area the day we left and climbed up to the hill where the Inverness Castle stood. The castle is, unfortunately, not open to the public and is actually currently being used as a courthouse.

One thing I noticed, most of the building and houses in Scotland were built with stone walls or tiny-pebbled roughcast, very different from England where most of the houses and buildings were built with bricks. I likes.

Also worth mentioning, the Scots were some of the  friendliest, most helpful and welcoming people I’ve ever came across, very similar to the Irish. Despite the constant gloomy weather, we haven’t came across anyone grumpy or unpleasant. Very refreshing.


Wesminster Abbey

Been a while since I last posted. Got a lotta catching up to do.

Anyways, didn’t get as much shots of the Westminster Abbey as I wanted to. Wasn’t allowed to take pictures inside in the first place, plus the dreary weather didn’t allow too many good shots outside. And like all the churches I’d gone to, the inside’s always better. These are the best I could take.

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    Hard to believe this was the site of the royal wedding two years ago. It was actually much smaller than I had imagined it to be, but still pretty.