The Must-See Gaudi Architecture in Barcelona (Part II), Spain
After spending the morning at Park Güell, we both had a better understanding and appreciation for Gaudi’s work and were looking forward to visiting La Sagrada Familia. We bought tickets for mid afternoon, as we read that it gets really crowded and busy in the morning. The entrance to the Sagrada Familia starts on the oldest side of the building, the nativity facade. This side of the basilica was the first wall that was built during the design phase of Gaudi. As you can see, it looks very similar to his many other works.
To the left of the facade, you can see how old meets new just by the color change. As they continued to build upon the older facade, the newer stone has a brighter color to it compared to the older stone.
I didn’t know what to expect before walking in but it took me by surprise just as much as the first time I saw the building from the outside. It was amazing!
After having just come from Italy and seeing so many traditional Roman Catholic churches, Tiff was loving this basilica. The bright colors and non-traditional elements was such a breath of fresh air! I’ll let the pictures do all the talking.
Just staring up in amazement, you can see this is definitely a work of Gaudi’s.
The stained glass color is a gradiant rainbow on each side which adds a really playful and whimsical effect to the interior of the basilica.
Every single tiny detail of the basilica has some sort of design element to it. Even the door handles are so stylish yet functional where it’s made so you can slide for fingers to open the door.
You can’t take a bad picture inside this place. Every angle looks unique and amazing.
Walking straight through from the nativity facade through the basilica to the other side, you’ll reach the passion facade. It shows the 14 Stages of the Cross in a more modern rendition. A large portion of this side was still under construction when we visited.
The basement of the church had some really interesting exhibits about the design and conception of the Sagrada Familia. It also holds their 3D model workshop which they use to model their ongoing construction after.
There was also an exhibition which showcases how Gaudi interpreted forms of nature into his architecture. It’s quite technical and poetic at the same time. Gaudi studied things in nature like tree trunks, leaves, honeycombs, etc to understand the mathematics and physical aspects behind how they are constructed. He interpreted these elements of nature, which have built in functional structural design in them, as beautiful gifts from God. The knowledge he gained from studying these natural elements, were incorporated into the columns, roofs, and framework of the basilica. That is why Gaudi designed the inside to feel as if you are in a forest, being protected by natural elements, or in other words, Mother Nature. It’s all very full circle and made the whole experience even that much more amazing. Mind blown.
In 2010, Pope Benedict consecrated La Sagrada Familia and the building is set to be finished in 2026 with 2 additional facades erected and towers on each side.
This picture gives you an idea of the scale of this basilica and how it was meant to hold massive crowds of people inside comfortably
Gaudi’s work had a great impression on Catalonian architecture and the city of Barcelona. He dedicated almost half his life to the Sagrada Familia, and would not be alive today to see the completed project. His innovative and creative work was extremely ahead of his time, and will leave anyone who enters the basilica awestruck. This is without a doubt Gaudi’s best work and we hope to be able to return one day to visit it when it’s completely finished!