Thursday, 7 January 2010

the Sagrada

We went to Barcelona in Catalonia on our recent holidays at Christmas. Naturally we visited the Sagrada.

sagradaFrontFirstly let me say that no pictures can do justice to this structure.

It is simply the most intense combination of architecture and sculpture that I have ever seen.

Wikipedia has a brief history of the project (as it is still incomplete).

looking carefully at the oldest section of the Sagrada you can see that its not simply decorated with ornaments and statues but it is like an entire organic composite of artworks.

As it happens with a lot of sculpture the sculptor has decided that it needs to be looked at from directly below, rather than from across the street in this example.

Moving in closer totally changes the perspective on the art. So standing up there on the top of the stairs gives this perspective, with the statues looking more natural.


Things aren't only restricted to the iconography of christianity, with many things being represented, such as this hge snail element, one of a repeating sequence (all different).

Around the front, the sculpture is quite different (well it is some century later)


with a more modern look to it.


Getting into the Sagrada was a bit confronting, with the queue going around the block. However before abandoning this I asked someone at the head of the line how long it had been and it was only an hour. Fukit I thought ... its only an hour ... I spent as much getting OUT of Italy.


Getting in was so well worth it. The interior is simply stunning.

The central support columns are enormous and branch in a quite interesting manner. Looking at this image you can just see some people there on the yellow fence in the left hand side at the bottom for some scale. Looking up from that fence the ceiling is quite magnificent, with one portion nearly completed to give an idea of what the interior will be like.


Zooming in for more detail again you can see the glitter in the ceiling is from golden tiles.


there are fantastic repeating (almost fractal like) elements of the crucifix symbol and what can only be described as a spine.

Its hard to envisage the completed interior, but this image of one section near the entry (the one pictured above) shows a hint of the colours in the ceiling above and the stained glass.

Not all of the windows are fitted yet with the stained glasses (well, it is still a construction site). You can see some of the elements such as the spiral stair cases and balconies.

One very important note: don't stop at the chruch (construction site) interior, once you have looked enough there, there is a museum down below. This is well worth a visit and explains the architecture and how he designed the load bearing members (as well as heaps of stuff about the art). These include some great models to help you get the bigger picture until it is completed.



if you're in Barcelona, its a must see in my view.

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