Wednesday, July 6, 2011

La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain

I visited Barcelona, Spain in June, and loved the architecture. Although I have seen many cathedrals in Europe, La Sagrada Familia is the only one where it seemed that the architect was truly inspired by God to build this cathedral.

Antoni Gaudi felt that Nature was God's Art, and tried to bring natural forms into all of his designs. In La Sagrada Familia (Sacred Family), the columns are the shape of tree trunks, and they reach up into the sky with branches spreading out, so it feels you are walking in a forest, with light flooding in from the sky.
Columns and winding staircase
When you look up, the ceiling looks like stars, or flowers -
The branches are holding up the sky
The interior is light filled - Gaudi wanted it to feel light, airy and full of sunshine. It's the brightest cathedral I've ever been in.
This is a large opening to the sky, that glows with light and those triangular shapes. I found it hypnotic!
The altar is surrounded by stained glass - all colors in simple shapes - not the usual figures or bible stories. The crucifix is floating off of a circular shape with grape vines hanging off it.
The organ pipes reflect the colors of the stained glass.
Although I had seen photo's of the outside of the building, it was a surprise to see the size of the building, and how it is a small block, surrounded by office and residential buildings. Hard to believe Gaudi had the vision to start this in 1883 and worked on it until his death in 1926. It is still far from finished. While you are touring the cathedral, there are workmen moving around the building, and cranes working over head. It's still undergoing work, and may not be finished for another 25 years.

The flower forms on the top of a couple of the spires.
This little building is the school that Gaudi designed for the children of the people who worked on La Sagrada Familia. It's all waves and curves and fun angles.

Just a taste of the amazing forms and ideas that Gaudi was able to design - and figure out how to build. I'll post about a few more Barcelona sights soon. If you can be lucky enough to visit Barcelona - don't miss any of them!


  1. Wow, Jeanne. This is truly amazing. I have toured many cathedrals in Europe but never seen anything like this. That it was begun in 1883 makes it even more amazing.

  2. Hi Jeanne,
    We have been toying with a short trip to Barcelona for several years now - basically to admire Gaudi's works. I initially visited your blog after reading your comments on (I think) the Complex Cloth group as to studio renos, and then when I saw your Barcelona post, I read more! You may have put the final nail in the coffin, so to speak, and made up my mind that we MUST go soon! LOL I'd be interested to know where you stayed, if you'd recommend it, and also what else you saw and thought was a must in Barcelona.
    Judy Carpenter