I’m going to devote this post to La Sagrada Familia, which translates as the holy family, hence the Jesus,Mary and Joseph and you will soon see why I have written only about this today, if you don’t already know. This is what it looks like and I pinched this image as there is no way I could do it justice trying to take a pic myself.
What the hang were you thinking Antoni Gaudi? This is like something out of Star Wars in size and just sheer ‘out of this world’ in every way possible.
We take the metro to get there and as we come up Gilbert is trying to save GPS so we can find the metro to go home, but as I turn around I am mouth open, eyes wide and stunned. I tell him not to bother cause it’s here as I walk towards the building looking skywards. It’s probably ten times what I imagined even tho I saw pictures and read about it.
Right now I am going to firstly thank Mei and Brodie for being insistent in our need to come to Spain, if only for this, and even though I read it is the most visited Unesco site in the world I am in shock at just how huge and what…amazing? Can’t find a word that comes close to describe it really. We get in the queue and are told the wait to get a ticket is about 1.5 hrs and I start to wonder if the inside can top what I’m looking at now. It’s 12 noon and the bell towers begin to sing. Gilbert wanders off to see where the end of the line is and comes back saying it’s not worth the wait. Its miles long, but there is no way I’m walking away from this and I stand resolute. I have to see more. It’s 2.15 before we can enter so we go to the park across the road and have a bite to eat. Dropping a biscuit we watch in disbelief as a tiny tiny mouse comes out under our feet and over several goes picks up the biscuit and carefully drags it back and flicks it over the kerb into the undergrowth before nibbling some off the side and then carefully carries it away! I got it on video for the children. Not scared one bit was he. A feast for a month surely or will he gorge himself tonight and make himself sick?
This is the first thing I see as we enter. The colours of the early afternoon sun coming through the coloured glass is no mistake and the natural light in all its hues is…breathtaking. There is organ music playing in the background and people praying. A couple prostate and crying and I can see why. The experience is something else. You don’t need to be Catholic to be in awe of Gaudis achievement and the peace, serenity and beauty that he tried to convey. It’s not just that he was a clever architect breaking new ground or that it’s a church, but how he has created a building that holds some 13,000 people and makes it feel like a sanctuary. Grown up with a strong affinity to nature he tries to mimic all that he sees in nature and the pillars unusual shapes seem to replicate trees in a forest where the light filters through from the top through clear Venetian glass.
I took this pic off a video screening showing it filled to capacity during a Mass. Able to take a crowd of around 13,000 and around 1,000 choir who sit on a balcony right round the upper level. Gaudi was particular about acoustics also.
In this pic the caramel coloured bits have been completed like you saw in the pic above, and the creamy white bits are to be completed, so you can appreciate how much more there is to do.
The first stone was laid in 1882 but only a part was completed before his death in 1926. Huge destruction during civil uprising in 1936 meant much had to be rebuilt or repaired. Worse was many models and plans were lost during this time and it wasn’t until the fifties that it was begun again in earnest. It is in fact still a building site. The hope is that it will be completed in 2026 which will be the anniversary of Gaudis death.
Now if you are thinking I’ve shown and told you all you need to know, I’m afraid you are very much wrong and any trip to this area should include a visit here as I have barely touched the tip of the iceberg. As Brodie and Mei insisted this is a ‘must do’ definitely. I hope you make it someday guys. Cause it’s worth it!