people told us to save La Sagrada Família for the last day, because it’s so beautiful that other churches and buildings wouldn’t compare… that’s a pretty bold statement, considering the church is NOT even finished (they’ve been building for the last 130 years, and it’s not going to be finished until around 2026).
well, we went to visit on the second to last day in Barcelona… and i think it was a good decision.
we got there a little late, because we left the house at 10, instead of 9 as planned. the long line had already formed outside of the church. but it was okay, because the view from the street was already quite mind-blowing. the structure is huuuge, especially since there is no other tall buildings in Barcelona. i remember seeing this church from the roof of La Pedrera in plain view. no obstructions.
but seriously, the visitors are kept pouring. there was even a looooong line to pick up the audio-guide.
we started from the left side of the church that bares the Passion facade. the facade felt cold and enormous with simplified, oversized decorations. the figures are a little bigger than life-size, but unlike most decorations on gothic churches, their features were simplified, almost cubical… there were huge leaning columns that look like gigantic bones supporting the structure of the church.
we entered through the left transept, since the main entrance of the church was closed and still unfinished. the large door was full of writings…
and once we entered, our jaws dropped… it felt like we were standing in a different world… some kind of majestic fantasy world.
the intricate design on the ceiling of the crossing is magical.
once we entered, aina insisted to pray in there… it’s interesting that the audio-guide just explained that the space is designed to evoke the urge to pray. well, i guess it worked. aina went to thank for the opportunity to “see the very pretty church”… i sorta wished she could attend a mass there, but oh well. to this day (the time this entry is written), aina still thinks that visiting La Sagrada Família was the most memorable moment of the trip. i think so too.
Gaudi has given all his wealth to finance the project, and fell into poverty. He was living in that church, as he tried to complete his masterpiece. when he died, he was buried in the crypt located underneath the apse. the ambulatory was partly open and there is windows where you can peek into the chapel underneath.
the design of La Sagrada Família is not exactly symmetrical. the design of the left and the right is very different.
we exit from the right side of the church, the Nativy Facade. while the left side (Passion facade), where we entered was all big and angular, supposedly representing the Death of Christ, the right side was all decorated with intricate details. crazy details. this side was supposed to tell the story of the Birth of Jesus. so everything was very ornate and flowery here.
supposedly, this facade was the first to finish, while Gaudi was still alive. he knew that he won’t be able to complete the church in his lifetime, so he chose the hardest facade.
we didn’t go up the tower, because it turns out that they only allowed 6 years old and above to go up. aina was sad and disappointed, but we told her that we will try to visit Barcelona again after she turns 6 (note: no specific date ^^) so that we all can go up to the tower.
we visited the small museum at the church that shows the building effort.
there was a playground right outside of the church, and aina had been eyeing it since we arrived. so we bought some sandwiches and nuggets and sat at the park to eat our lunch in front of the church. after lunch, aina went straight to the playground, while we sat on the bench enjoying the view and the (super nice) weather.
anyways, as i said earlier, La Sagrada Família is not yet finished and takes over 100 years to build so far. i found this picture on the Barcelona To Do website, and i thought it’s pretty cool…
i cant wait to see the finished building… some people in Barcelona said they’ll never finish it, because the charm comes from its incompleteness. according to Gaudi’s plan, the central dome will have the highest spire, which will make La Sagrada Família the tallest church building in the world. it will be about 1 meter lower than the tallest peak in the city, Montjuic, because he believes that his creation should not surpass God’s 🙂
C/ Mallorca, 401