Tags: Architecture, Arts, Design, Religion, Spain, Travel
After spending much time admiring the interior of Sagrada Família, Itchyfingers joined the other people at the queue to take the lift up the tower.
Took a photo of our ticket in case the staff retained it or marked on it…
which he did tear…Visitors used to be able to go up the towers freely via
the staircase but this is no longer allowed, supposedly for safety reason
Actually Itchyfingers made a mistake. We should have joined the queue immediately after we entered the church, or at least do so after taking a quick look at the interior. Why? Firstly, lesser people in the queue would mean shorter waiting time. Secondly, it may also mean that we could spend more time up at the tower since we would not need to rush out to make way for others. Should have read the guidebooks for some tips…hahah…But I guess we were just too captivated by the interior and the great photographic opportunities…I mean, there aren’t that many places that you can claim to be able to have beautiful photos just with any casual snapshots! “乱乱拍都很美!” :p Hahaha….
The lift could take up to six people plus the operator. We were told that we would be going up to 55 metre here at the Nativity façade. Found out later that the lift at the Passion façade could bring you up to 65 metre…
At the top of the Tree of Life was a red Tau cross with an ‘X’ representing
Christ’s name and a dove representing the Holy Spirit
As I said, we couldn’t stay too long as there were other people behind us and more coming up from the lift. So we could only stay at one point for a short while. There were two windows where we could go out to the balconies to take photos.
Graffiti on the wall of the tower! These people should really slap themselves
for being so disrespectful of a religious building and a work of art! How
did they get the time to do the scribbling and get away with it when there were
people behind them all the time??
We walked around the stairs…
Soon, we found ourselves reaching this flight of staircase, which looked like it would bring us all the way down….
Does this remind you of the nautilus shell? Actually a bit scary to walk cos
it was so dark and narrow here. Only the right hand side had a railing fixed to
the wall while the left hand side sloped downwards. Gotta walk slowly to
prevent falling or missing a step! But with people behind, you just couldn’t
afford to take your very own sweet time…hahah. People with tendencies of
vertigo spells should try to avoid this…
It’s kinda strange if safety was the reason for not letting people climb up the stairs but walking down was allowed. But I guess it was just a way to collect some fees for the church construction cost, which was a justifiable reason.
Finally out! When I walked down, I kept looking down the spiral to see
how much more to go…hahah…Should have counted the number of steps!
This iron gate felt so heavy! :p Was glad to be out in the light! 😀
Itchyfingers were preparing to leave when we realised that we nearly missed the museum in the crypt! Not sure if the signs were not prominent enough or we were just too distracted. Luckily we saw people walking in, or else we would really have missed it! But I think if you were one of those with audio guides, you would probably be led to look for the museum.
The hanging model was a highly innovative method designed by Gaudí between
1889 and 1908. “With the model inverted, a very lightweight masonry brick
structure was developed. The hanging model is based on the theory of the
‘reversion of the catenary.’ A chain suspended from two points will hang
spontaneously in the shape of a so-called ‘catenary’. Only tension forces can
exist in the chain. The form of the catenary upside down gives a perfect shape
for an arch of stone masonry, and in such an arch only reversed forces of tension,
being compression, will occur.”
Antoni Gaudí (25 June 1852 – 10 June 1926)
Itchyfingers strongly recommend paying Sagrada Família a visit if you are in Barcelona. You would be amazed by the genius of Gaudí and the beauty of the church!
Tags: Architecture, Arts, Design, Photography, Religion, Spain, Travel
Itchyfingers entered the Sagrada Família via the entrance at the Passion façade on our third visit to the grand Catholic Church. First things I noticed were these line works on the floor…but few seemed to be interested at it and most just walked past…
You would soon understand why most people were just so eager to see the interior of the church…
I think if you were to take photos of the visitors gawking at the church, chances are you would have be capturing images of people with neck long-stretched, eyes fixed to the top and their jaws wide open…and that would have included Itchyfingers… hahah… :p
Once you stepped inside, your eyes would be automatically drawn to follow
these unusual pillars to the beautiful ceiling..
I thought the ceiling looked like blooming sunflowers….On the pillars
were the horoscope signs…
The high ceiling made the already spacious interior looked even bigger and grander. Then our attention turned to the right…
The figure of Jesus Christ was hung under an umbrella shaped canopy which
made them looked like they were descending from above…According to the
explanatory sign,“Gaudi placed the high altar with the cross and the image
of the crucified Jesus at the central point, which was the part with the most light.”
There were benches for visitors to spend some quiet time in prayer. Although
there were a lot of visitors inside, everyone was respectful and spoke
softly…Dun remember seeing any kids around but I am sure they would also
behave themselves in a religious building
The columns of the interior are a unique Gaudi design in that many of these
pillars are “double twisted.” This means that the column can begin at the base
with a regular or starred polygon with straight sides. As the column rises, it
transforms into different sections with an increasing number of vertices, until
it reaches the top. “Geometrically it is the intersection of two helicoidal columns
with the same base, but with opposite twists. All the branching columns are
double twisted, but with different polygons at the base. With this type of column
Gaudí achieved the continuity of arrises and surfaces between one column and
the ones above or beneath it.”
Then we were distracted by more beautiful stained glass on our left….
My goodness! The stained glass on the windows were already very nice by,
themselves, but the designer had also introduced these intermittent lighting
effects…Felt like we were in heaven looking at celestial lights…hahahah
Believe me, the effect was not cheesy at all, as the lighting effect changed very
slowly and subtly…gradually to different hues of colours…in fact I felt it
complemented the colours of the stained glass quite nicely…
More…Actually these stained glass windows have some symbolical meaning
behind, which you may like to read from this site here
Then I saw many visitors looking down to the crypt…I asked the volunteer
and was told that Gaudí was buried here! She said it would be opened to public
for religious service at 6pm. I had wanted to stay back to take a look but
changed my mind later as we were getting tired and hungry…
Actually the death of Gaudí was quite tragic, especially for a man of his talent. Gaudí was so devoted to his project at Sagrada Família that he lived an almost secluded life in the church itself in his last years. On 7 June 1926, Gaudí was knocked down by a tram while walking and passed out. Due to his neglected appearance, worn-out clothes and lack of identity documents, he was assumed to be a beggar and was left unattended for some time, until a policemen took him to the hospital. He was only recognised the next day but it was already too late. Gaudí died on 10 June 1926, at the age of 73, at the height of his career. 😦
Some people feel that the unfinished church should be left as it is to remain true to Gaudí’s original design. Construction of the church started in 1882, and when Gaudí took over the project in 1883, he transformed the original design radically with his architectural and engineering style, and was said to change and alter his design during construction. When Gaudí died, the church was only between 15 to 25 percent complete. Unfortunately, parts of the unfinished building and Gaudí’s models were destroyed during the Spanish Civil War and a fire. People are now concern if the eventual completed work would bear little resemblance to Gaudí’s original vision as those entrusted with finishing off the church are putting their own stamp on it instead of faithfully following the original ideas; thus making it impossible to tell “where Gaudí’s work begins and ends”, I think especially so to the untrained eyes of most visitors. Hmmm…Actually when I first heard of this church, I was really surprised that it was still under construction after so many years, and always wondered when it would be finally done? Would the contrast be very glaring as the old section would look so run down compared to the newly built parts. Looking at it now I would prefer it to be left alone and all the unsightly cranes removed…who knows how much longer it would take to complete the project as construction relied heavily on public donation and admission fees.
Columns and spiral staircase
If you can spare the time, Itchyfingers highly recommend spending at least
half a day at the church. Take the time to sit down and admire the building’s
interior and facade, and see how the change in lighting condition during
different time of the day affects the look…
Late afternoon light casting beautiful shadow through the windows
Also see related post:
> The Most Beautiful Construction Site – Barcelona, Spain Trip #1
Tags: Architecture, Arts, Design, Religion, Spain, Travel
Itchyfingers have seen this church on posters, calendars or books many times. But nothing beats seeing the real thing for ourselves. When Itchyfingers stepped out of the adjacent train station (with the same name as the church) on our first day in Barcelona, we were kinda surprised that the church was just in front of us, sitting next to a busy road. Couldn’t help but let out a “wow”. It was huge. Much bigger than I had expected.
Hola! Welcome to Sagrada Família, the world famous Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, Spain. Designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí (1852 – 1926), it is perhaps most well-known as a yet-to-be-finished, work-in-progress structure; with construction commencing more than a century ago, it is expected to take a few more decades before it can be fully completed. Why did it take so long to complete? Well, Gaudí was said to have remarked, “My client is not in a hurry.” When Gaudí died in 1926, Sagrada Família was only between 15 and 25 per cent complete. I think Gaudí must be quite a perfectionist to want to have things done to his satisfaction rather than rushing it out to meet deadlines.
The reason we were wowed, besides the impressive and sheer size of the building, was that we were also taken back by the number of tower cranes and scaffolds hanging over and around its spires. I don’t think I saw these on any of those glossy prints…The photographers could have avoided the ugly sight when they took the photos during the long interruption periods in construction, or they could have been digitally removed.
Built between 1908 and 1909, this was a provisional building destined to
be a school for the sons of the bricklayers working in the church. One of the
features of this small building is the undulation of both its walls and roof.
This allows thin wall to become stiffer and achieves the effect of dispersing
rain water down the sides
A check on the admission information. It costs 12.50€ (about S$21.50) per
adult and an additional 2.50€ (S$4.30) for the lift charge. Or you can pay
16.50€ for entrance with an audio guide. Do try to go early in the morning
as queues can be quite long
We didn’t gain admission into the church interior on our first visit as it was already late afternoon. With only about two hours before closing time at 6 pm, it would be a waste of money and too rush for us to appreciate the church. The next morning we went early only to find out that the lift was not operating due to the light drizzling. It was really a very light drizzle so we were quite disappointed. Itchyfingers finally visited Sagrada Familia on our third day in Barcelona…
The Tree of Life. Looked like Christmas Tree huh? :p Originally, Gaudí
intended for this façade, and every statue and figure to be painted with a
wide array of colours. But I think I much prefer them this way…Otherwise
the colours may be a bit jarring…
Or the harsher side of life. Not sure if this scene came from biblical stories…
But I dun quite like the use of copper on the sculptures as they looked so
out-of-place. But I guess it was chosen so that it would not break off easily
with the passing of time
At the base of each of the two large columns separating the three porticos
was a big tortoise. “One tortoise represents the land and the other the sea;
each are symbols of time as something set in stone and unchangeable.”
According to Wiki, “Gaudí chose this façade to embody the structure and decoration of the whole church. He was well aware that he would not finish the church and that he would need to set an artistic and architectural example for others to follow. He also chose for this façade to be the first on which to begin construction and for it to be, in his opinion, the most attractive and accessible to the public. He believed that if he had begun construction with the Passion Façade, one that would be hard and bare (as if made of bones), before the Nativity Façade, people would have withdrawn at the sight of it.”
You would understand why Gaudí said that when you walked over to the West side of the church…
It was plain and simple, with harsh, angular straight lines carved
onto the stones. I would say it looked more modern…
“Construction began in 1954, following the drawings and instructions left by
Gaudí for future architects and sculptors. The towers were completed in 1976,
and in 1987 a team of sculptors, headed by Josep Maria Subirachs, began
work sculpting the various scenes and details of the façade.”
Gaudí intended for this façade to “strike fear into the onlooker.” The use of
“dark angular shadows contrasted by harsh rigid light was to further show
the severity and brutality of Christ’s sacrifice.” The warrior figure on the
left could also be seen on his other works
It was here where Itchyfingers finally entered the grand church on our third visit. So how does it look like inside? Do follow Itchyfingers on our next post to find out more!