Friday, December 4, 2015
Bob isn’t sure he wants to visit yet another church but I insist that we visit Antoni Guadi’s Sagrada Familia. This basilica is so huge it is really difficult to get a good photo. These photos are from the Wikipedia information of the Sagrada Familia. This is the Passion Façade……and here is the Nativity Façade. We purchased our tickets yesterday so we won’t have to wait in line, but we arrive a bit early so we walk around the exterior of the Cathedral until it is time for our entry. I must warn you that I took 458 photos today!! I am doing my best to only pick a few for today’s post but it is a difficult job. The first stone was laid for this church in 1882 and it is scheduled to be completed in 2026! Construction is now funded by the tourists who come to visit.
Here are only a few of the sculptural details we saw as we walked around the church.There is so much history and information about this amazing church. This Sagrada Familia site has lots of information. The ‘History and Architecture’ and ‘The Basilica’ sections are presented in a simple format with lots of great pictures. The ‘Symbolic Visit’ in the Basilica Section gives great close up photos of the façade with brief descriptions and be sure to check out what the Sagrada Familia will look like when it is finally finished.
We arrived late morning, entering through the Passion Facade and the sun was shining through the green, blue and purple stained glass windows on the East side of the Church. Our first view inside the Sagrada Familia was breathtaking.
We had booked a time to climb up the Nativity Tower so that was our first priority. There is an elevator up to the top of the tower which gave wonderful views of some of the other towers…
…and the City of Barcelona. When Gaudi was asked why he lavished so much care on the tops of the spires, where they are not easily seen, he answered: ‘The angels will see them.’
We had a choice of taking the elevator or the stone staircase down. So, of course we chose the staircase! At first the stairs spiral around the open centre of the tower but then they change into a narrow spiral staircase of 370 stone steps!
We find a place outside to eat our lunch and then visit the museum in the basement before continuing our visit inside the church. This was an excellent decision as we learned so much about the construction and history of this incredible building. There were many working models ranging from small to very large. Can you spot me in the reflection?
Models continue to be built and used daily as the church is still under construction. There were people on the scaffolding working on this one earlier.Back upstairs and the sun has now moved around to the west side and it spills into the church in a riot of colour. These photos have not been colour enhanced, and they do not even begin to compare with actually standing in the church and being bathed in a rainbow of colour.The pillars are meant to look like trees in a forest and the light to appear like dappled sunlight, but it is so much more than just that.
Looking up, there is so much to see here wherever we look.
This view looks down the main aisle to the altar.
The ceiling is not to be believed, and..
the doors are incredible too. These are the Nativity Façade doors…
and the Passion Façade doors.We spent the entire day here, only leaving once it was starting to get dark outside. I wanted to see the church with its inside lights on, but it was not nearly as spectacular as it was with the sun streaming through the stained glass windows. I feel a bit sorry for all the people who are only now entering the church for their visit. Although it is still very beautiful, they will never know what they have missed. Compare these photos with similar ones taken when the sun is shining.
This model of the Sagrada Familia shows the finished views from all sides. It is scheduled to be completed in 2026 and we would love to be able to return to Barcelona to see it in all its splendour. Who knows?
If you didn’t see this on the Sagrada Familia link provided earlier, you really must take a couple minutes to watch this video to see a computer simulation of the Sagrada Familia when all its towers are completed in 2026. It is phenomenal!