Sagrada Familia

I was such a happy human a few weeks ago, when I finally managed to see this magical architecture with my own eyes. Sagrada Familia, we finally met!

First things first. I will not bother you by Gaudi‘s life, even though it was pretty fascinating, however, I will just focus on my feelings when confronted by his amazing building.

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When I exited the tube station and walked up the stairs, I definitely didn’t expect what I saw. I was immediately face to face with the huge church, proudly standing in the middle of a busy crossroads. It must have looked completely different in the 19th century…

A quick walk around revealed all the hidden corners and I couldn’t wait to get inside. But before I could enter, I definitely had to enjoy the exterior some more. It was interesting to see the new and old parts, which are easily recognizable. Maybe it looks even a bit too contemporary? Well, I do realize it is, but the color of the material feels strange, as there is no patina and it looks really fresh. But at the same time you can see more of the important details than in the old parts.

And all these details take you to a dream world. It is not just magnificent, but pure magic. The temple’s exterior is so special, you really can’t see it anywhere else (in that size, not regarding Gaudi’s other works). This extraordinary architecture is being built by contributions and donations, which is following the God’s word about sacrifice. Yes, Gaudi was a bit of a fanatic, actually. And what struck me the most was that the church doesn’t feel like a religious building, even though it feels sacred, but because it is such an important work of art. This temple of light and nature does not have a Christian feel at first look, but when you start studying it, a completely new world opens up in front of you. Every feature has a meaning, related to the gospels. But the details could just as easily come from a Disney movie. Surreal, really.

Gaudi took a new take on a traditional design of a Latin cross and he sort of kept this tloris. The inside is more like a big hall, a temple (now you understand why they call it like that) and not much as a basilica. The traditional floor plan is not obvious, the cross is quite concealed. Interior looks so simple at first glance, minimal, yet so powerful. It is a complete opposite of (maybe) tacky exterior. Still, it is very colorful, bringing the joy and divinity into the air. Delicate aesthetics, delicate lithurgy, there you have it. I felt a much more open feeling, than in any other churches I’ve visited, whatever that means.

God and his word is mantained continuously, sometimes it might even feel a bit forced (yes, we know it’s a church/a place of worship..or do we?). Gaudi wanted to serve God through architecture and he managed to design something worthy of God. However, isn’t it a bit too magical to convince everyone of the actual divine contemplation? Is this too hidden in a way?

The interior represents the forest, the great tree that brings people together and the facade is a hymn to life with realistic sculptures. Every element in and on the temple is structural and symbolic at the same time. And the photos really don’t do it justice!And there is so much to look at as in a real forest. The builders even used different stones for columns, chosen by their cinstruction properties. It can actually become a bit overwhelming (in a good way) when the light shines through the windows and the whole interior strats glowing in rainbow colours. It is like being on an acid trip in the Wonderland. Amazing.

I could literally sit there the whole day and gather the positive energy. I can easily say that this temple is a symbol of fainth in everything. Regardless the prominent Christian motives, the glorification gives a pagan feeling, connecting it to everyone and everything.

I’ve always wondered if this is actually a contemporary building or Gaudi’s. Everything is still being made by his guidelines, using recent advances in technology, coyping his way of working.The spirit of the work is preserved, it is a fruit of labour of many generations. A temple, built by the people for the people, showing that Gaudi’s dream is coming true. They want to finish it by 2026, on the year of a centenary of Gaudi’s death. We will see if they manage that. When I was walking around the church, I had an old man in mind, a local, who grew up close to it and can now still see it develop and built. It must be an amazing experience. However, I ask myself, what will happen when they actually finish this divine artwork? Will it lose it’s charm and the intrigue surrounding it?

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LIST OF PHOTOGRAPHS:

  1. featured image: Veltra (2017) Sagrada Familia. Available at: https://www.veltra.com/en/europe/spain/barcelona/a/100845 ⌈Downloaded: 11 November 2017⌋.
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