One of the most famous building sites in the world is that of the Sagrada Familia, the Guadi designed church raising up from the centre of Barcelona. Work started in 1892, and Gaudi was involved from the following year, the completion of the building is estimated to be some 15 years or so away. Construction has been stop start over the years, with fund raising being the key issue, however n the 1930s anarchists destroyed the plans and models prepared by Gaudi prior to his death in 1926. During his life, when asked about the length of time the project would take, Gaudi replied "My client is not in a hurry".
Although still unfinished the church was consecrated in 2010, following the completion of the roof over the main body of the church, and despite the huge scale Sagrada Familia is a church rather than a cathedral.
The building has been open to the public for many years, with visitors entrance fees helping to speed up the construction process. I remember visiting back in 1994 and again with Mark in 2004, and the changes over that period are noticeable. Unfortunately for us the towers were closed to visitors, apparently due to bad weather, that did seem somewhat hard to understand as it was a clear sunny day. However we will just have to come back on another day!
|The Nativity Facade was the first one completed, and had the most direct influence from Gaudi.|
|Round the side the scale of construction is obvious|
|The passion facade, was the work of Josep Maria Subirachs, and was started in 1954|
Gaudi was often inspired by nature in his designs, and at the Sagrada Familia this is clearly apparent. The columns supporting the building branch off at seemingly impossible directions, these were planned to resemble the branches of trees, and the dappled effects from the stained glass to imitate the dappled light from a forest canopy.
Although not a garden we felt the organic style of this beautiful building justified another deviation from our usual themes on our blog.
|The intricate detail to the vaulted ceiling is exquisite, and feels incredibly organic.|
On our city breaks in Europe we have often visited medieval cathedrals, and unlike many similar sized buildings Gaudi's church is so much brighter, yes the stone work is new and clean, but the size and volume of the windows seems to be on a much grander scale. Light was another of the key interests he held, so its little wonder that the Sagrada Familia is so bright.