Monday, January 9, 2012

La Sagrada Família, Barcelona

The first thing you see are multicoloured towers piercing the blue sky (yes the sun was shining in November and the sky was indeed blue). You have to try and ignore the huge cranes surrounding the church. La Sagrada Familia is probably the most iconic structure in Barcelona, certainly in mind it is. The church, which is located in L'Eixample, has been a fixture in Barcelona since construction started in 1882 and continues to just grow and grow.

The church already is an incredible intricate structure. For 43 years Antoni Gaudí worked on this project and, since his death in 1926, the task to finish it has been passed on to several architects. All the architects have  respected Gaudí's vision and have made additions with his design in mind.

Impressive stained glass windows line the main room and a lift takes visitors up one of the towers to enjoy the view.(This was sadly closed when we went) Smaller rooms hold exhibits detailing the history and future of the structure. La Sagrada Familia is projected to be completed in 2026, the 100th anniversary of Gaudí's death. In the meantime, it's an incredible experience in itself to watch as this monumental, one-of-a-kind structure is constructed.

You can see work in progress in the work room but my luck was not in as it was a Saturday and they don't work weekends. But I saw the models they are constructing,and well that on it's own was amazing. I also think that the skilled craftsmen working on this project seem to get little mention, although there was a small plaque with some of the workers so I am probably wrong on that point. Gaudi in my mind designed a masterpiece but without the many skills needed to create this work it would have remained on paper.

Sadly on June 7th 1926 he was struck by a tram and as he was taken to be a beggar and had no identification papers on him, he received very little care and died 2 days later. So much for equality and if you’re in shabby clothes you’re nobody. Not much has changed then! A must see if you ever find yourself in Barcelona and watch those trams!

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