On our trip there have been quite a few places that have stopped me in my tracks. The Basilica de la Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is one of them. The children are almost numb to anything church or cathedral – they were kept in the dark of today’s trip because they would have revolted. Honestly, I didn’t think we could see another cathedral that was really all that different from what we have already seen. I was wrong. This place cannot be missed. The outside is surreal but the real show stopper is the interior.
The architect is Antoni Gaudi – a famous architect of Barcelona who specialized in the Modernisme style. This style doesn’t look like anything we’ve seen anywhere. The guidebooks and information describe his buildings as cakes in the rain or melting ice cream. Those descriptions are quite accurate. There are a number of buildings in the city of his and others of the style – but you have to pay about $20 per person to view the interiors. We decided that our money would best be spent on Gaudi’s end-of life masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia (The Holy Family).
The outside definitely has the characteristics of melted ice cream but it is covered with sculptures. There are three entrances and each has it’s own style and story. We could have spent hours just looking at the exteriors. The nativity side was completed during Gaudi’s lifetime while the Passion entrance has only recently been completed. Work has been continuing on this goliath since the end of the 19th century. The HOPE to have it completed by 2026 in time for the 100th anniversary of Gaudi’s death.
The interior is like something out of Willy Wonka if there had been a church service scene. The columns were made to branch like trees into a canopy and the like shines in in a multitude of colors. No other church has ever captured light in such a striking manner. THere are no gold ornamentation, statues or wood carvings – it’s just cement. Guadi employed geometry to design his pieces. Frank Lloyd Wright employed geometry as well but Gaudi took it up a notch and started incorporating calculus, his designs included parabolas, hyperboloids and helicoids. I didn’t know what helicoids were before today. How he did this without super computers is simply amazing.
Maybe one day the children can return to see the finished project. According to Brent, at least it will be done before Crazy Horse.