Saturday, March 30, 2019

La Sagrada Familia

 The view from our hotel room was even better in the dawn light:

Out the back side of the hotel, you can see the Mediterranean Sea:

You can also see it from the rooftop pool:

The big "mission" for this trip to Barcelona is to see some Gaudí architecture. His most famous work, his life's work, is the church La Sagrada Familia:

Started in 1882, Gaudí oversaw the project starting at age 31 and continuing for 43 years until he died in an accident involving a city tram. This church is like no other church in Europe. I looks like the kind of sandcastle you make on the beach by dribbling very wet sand into columns:

Nature is an important theme in Gaudi's work. The door on the east entrance is a brass casting made to look like living ivy. There are even "insects" lurking among the leaves:

Gaudi lived on the site for most of his time on the project. He used some of the donations to build the church to run a small school in the basement for poor children:

The church is anticipated to be finished in 2026. Construction cranes are still on site and working to erect the final towers:

We went up into one of the towers to see what we could see:

The peaks of some of the church towers are like a Carmen Miranda headdress:

The spiral staircase was a bit disconcerting:

All that aside, the interior of this church is otherworldly. Gaudi tried to make it look like you were in a forest. The stained glass on the west side is in the yellow to red range making it look like autumn inside:

The main supporting pillars are like trees. They start in tall straight "trunks" then split into "branches" near the ceiling and look like a forest canopy:

The altar and crucifix are austere and unusual:

Here you can see the continued construction:

A little way north of the church is this really beautiful hospital, not a Gaudi:

I've never seen anyone busking in a subway with a baby grand piano, haha. How did they get it down there!

This strange apartment block is a Gaudi: