Sagrada Famila

Bye-bye, Barcelona

So this is the last of my Barcelona batch. Gotta end it with night shots of Sagrada Famila, the one spot that got me so into Barcelona in the first place. Ever since college, I might add.

So adiós for now, Barcelona. You are still at the top of my list of cities I want to move to. Hopefully someday in the future, when all is well at your part of the world, we’ll bump into each other again.

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Getting close to the end

I am almost done with my Barcelona shots! And dang, did I go crazy with taking pictures over there. I thought it was never going to end…

These don’t really have a theme to them. They were just random urban shots in color. I liked them, so yay.

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Inside Sagrada Famila

The inside of Sagrada Familia is all Gaudí and no other artist or architect.

Nature and religion are the two biggest influence of his work and you can see it here in the surroundings. The colorful lights are all natural lighting from the stain glass. The pillars were all inspired by trees, branching out to the ceiling.  It’s quite spectacular. Seeing this place had always been a dream of mine. I even got to climb up to the towers (they got elevators, so ha).

Now I can’t say I know much about Gaudí. I know he was somewhat of an introvert. He always kept to himself to the point where people often mistook him for a blunt, arrogant and anti-social man,  but his closest friends described him as faithful, friendly and kind. It kind of paints a picture of some people I know. He once portrayed himself as a new-moneyish type of guy where he tried to show off how well off he was during his early successes, but later lived a more humble, frugal lifestyle in his later years to his death. Humility was something he lived by. He intended for Sagrada Familia to reach nearly the heights of the Montjuïc mountains, the highest point of Barcelona, only to be short by one meter because he believed that nothing man-made should ever be higher than God’s work. When La Sagrada Familia is completed, it will have 18 towers. 12 of the towers will represent the apostles, four of them will represent the evangelists, one will be designated for the Virgin Mary, and of course the last one, the highest one in the middle, will represent Jesus Christ. However, right now there are only eight towers.

Gaudí passed away in 1926, a few days after being struck by a tram. Because of his humble, meager appearance, no one recognized him as the architect behind the most renowned structure in Barcelona. He is now buried in the crypt of Sagrada Familia.

There is more I would like to say about Gaudí as he is the most central figure in Barcelona, but hey, his works are all over Barcelona and I’ve got three more posts about it. But as I’ve said before, this is his most signature work so yeah… look at it!

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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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