Sunday, March 18, 2012

Antoni Gaudi's Sagrada Familia (Part 1)

If you have only one day to spent in Barcelona, then Antoni Gaudi's Sagrada Familia is the one place to visit. Didn't quite expect to see it so soon when I alighted at Sagrada Famila metro station and walked up the steps. There it was, a spectacle of a sight. A mammoth structure which first struck me as an candle overflowing with wax, an undefined mass or at least what it appears to be at first look. On closer examination, there were carvings and sculptures embedded in its folds making it a truly amazing masterpiece. Antoni Gaudi commenced work on the Sagrada Familia in 1883 but he died in 1926 on site in a tram accident and never got around to finish the job. Till today, construction is still going on with completion targeted for 2026. Though many artists and architects have contributed to its construction along the way, I 'm sure it must have been difficult trying to keep to the vision of Gaudi.  

Though visiting time was over , I 'm glad I came to see it in the night as the Sagrada Familia evoke a different feel and look from the day. Noticed that there were some people entering a side door at the church for mass and my Catholic friend beckoned me to join in. Why not ? I may not be able to take pictures but it will be wonderful to see how services are conducted within the church in real life. They were playing rousing and spiritual music when I entered, arranged in a very up tempo, contemporary way and the congregation was obviously enjoying it. The service wasn't held at the main hall which was upstairs but I will come back again for a day visit.

The Nativity facade (facing the east) was completed by Gaudí himself and ornamented with motifs of animals, plants and sculptures on the birth of Christ.

The Passion facade (facing the west ) featuring the crucification of Christ

Sculptures featuring the crucification of Christ was added in 1987 to the passion facade, causing a storm of criticisms

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