Inside the Construction Site – Barcelona, Spain Trip #2

September 25, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Posted in itchy backside | Leave a comment
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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…

Couldn’t find any description to this or any information online…

Under different lighting condition, the door would present itself as even more
three-dimensional. These are words from the bible in different languages

At the far left of the entrance portal was this floor plan of the church….
No one was interested in
 it also…

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…

This should be the Capricorn?

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.”

The skylight “represents God the creator”

A closer look at Christ

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.”


There were many beautiful stained glass windows…Not sure who this figure
was…some patron saint?

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… 

So beautiful…The windows, the vaults and the skylights were all conceived
by Gaudí “to allow the light to penetrate and create an atmosphere of
seclusion and prayer.”

More…Actually these stained glass windows have some symbolical meaning
behind, which you may like to read from this site here 


Illuminated under different lighting gave it a different feel

This huge organ was added only in 2010

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. 😦

Another view

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

Take away all the colours, and it still looks interesting…

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 


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