Saturday, November 12, 2011

Viva La Espana ~ Barcelona ~ Sagrada Família

Viva La Espana ~ Barcelona
~ Sagrada Família

The most significant Gaudi work and the main attraction of Barcelona has to be the Sagrada Familia, formally known as Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família (Church of the Holy Family). The Sagrada Familia is a large Roman Catholic church which until present day, still incomplete, the church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and in November 2010 was consecrated and proclaimed a minor basilica by Pope Benedict XVI.
Although the construction of Sagrada Família commenced in 1882, Gaudí became involved only in 1883, and subsequently taking over the project and transforming it with his unqiue style, a combination of Gothic and Art Nouveau, changing the church completely. The Sagrada Familia is this seen as the highlight of Gaudi's life works, hence it is not hard to see many familiar icons from his previous works replicated onto the church.
Gaudi once remarked that the customer was in no hurry, hence the construction progressed slowly until the time of his death. Subsequently, the construction was stalled during the Spanish Civil War. When the construction was resumed, the funding came from the donations and now the visitors to the church.

Getting to Sagrada Familia is easy via Metro to the Sagrada Familia Station. Note that the queue starts extremely early and is always long. It is advisable to buy the pass online and jump to a way much shorter queue. The caveat is that the passes have a validity duration, which means that you cannot be late or too early. We bought our tickets online and were the first few to enter the church before the main queue starts to purchase tickets. Throughout the rest of the day, the church is packed with hordes of tourists coming by the buses.

 Sagrada Familia (cranes digitally removed)

Gaudi had envisioned the church to be a magical forest.
Hence, if you take a closer observation, you can visualize the various elements of a forest, such as tall tree trunks and animal medallions. Other Gaudi styles can be seen as well such as the various organic forms as well as the ingenious use of windows in the ceiling to illuminate the interior of the church.

You can choose to buy an additional lift pass to take the elevator up to the link bridge between the tall spires, where you can get a breathtaking view of the city from above.

 The facade of the church are decorated with many symbols related to Christianity, such as the above representation of the holy bread.

Inside one of the many bell towers, making our way down.

 Facades that represent the fruits given to Earth by the Holy Spirits.

Sanctus markings seen on the external walls.

Remember the seashell that we have seen in other post?
This is how Gaudi has replicated this form in the Sagrada Familia.
It takes a keen eye to spot this!

Light passing through the stained glass, cast colourful lights into the church.

 The tall ceiling decorated with symbols.

 Bronze characters on the door. Can you spot Jesus's name?

 The Nativity Facade is the first to be completed during the construction of the church and was used to showcase the potential of the completed church.

 It can be clearly seen which are the older part of the church from the newer construction.
With modern technology, will we be able to see the completed church in our lifetime?

To view all the pictures of Sagrada Família, visit Complete Sagrada Família Album here:

Photography by WiFi
©2011 a day in the life of a bearbrick

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