Perhaps one of the most famous Barcelona landmarks is the Roman Catholic Sagrada Familia church, another of the Catalan architect Gaudí's œuvre. Construction of the church began in 1882, but Gaudí only became involved a year later in 1883. When Gaudí died in 1926 the church was about 15-25% complete. A hundred and thirty years later the Church is still under construction and the anticipated completion date is 2026. We shall see! This is how it looked on my visit in April 2012. Beautiful carved spires and facades towered over by cranes, and covered with scaffolding.
I visited the Sagrada Familia over twenty years ago and was intrigued to see what had changed since then. Quite a lot as it turns out. When I was there in 1989, the central nave was not completed. In 2000 the vaulting over the central nave was finished so now when you are inside the church, rather than looking up at sky, you look up at this.
The vaults of this central nave are forty-five metres high!!! When I was inside the Church I rapidly got a crick in my neck from looking up.
I confess I don't really like the inside of the Church, but there is no denying that it is extraordinary. The scale is like nothing I have ever seen before. The details...well...ditto.
What I did love was the ethereal light in the side naves (which are a mere thirty metres high). A cool, calming, blanc cassé , off white.
This spiral staircase is quite something. Not for the vertiginous.
When I walked around the side of the Sagrada Familia I peeked through some broken fencing and saw some of the 'work in progress'. It was fascinating to me to see what goes on before the carved extravagant detail ends up integrated into the structure of the Church.
I love these concrete columns with iron spaghetti emerging from the the top.
And the reinforcement is frankly a patinated delight.
Other recent Barcelona posts:
The meeting of Gaudi and Nature