A Bird’s Eye View – Barcelona, Spain Trip #3

September 30, 2011 at 1:05 am | Posted in itchy backside | 2 Comments
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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.

We went to the queue here but were led to the one at the Nativity façade.
 there were two lifts

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….

Our queue formed all the way behind this beautiful rosary door…This was
finished in 1899


The carvings on the door…So beautiful…


Admiring these artworks made the waiting less boring…

Actually the queue moved quite fast. About 10 or 15 minutes later, we were
already moving to the front…That’s the lift we would be taking…oooo…
so modern…was expecting something older…hahah 

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…

The bridge between the two towers. Here we had our first bird’s eye view
around the church…

Can you see the shadow cast by Sagrada Família? Cute huh… :p

Could see this large cucumber-shaped building! Hahah…Some people said
it looked like maize, some said looked like bullet…hahah…

Both were man-made, but it was beauty versus the beast in this case…

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

But it still looked like Christmas Tree to me…hahah

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.

Whose foot was this dangling in the air…So dangerous! Hahah…

Heee…these people looked so tiny….

The stairs we walked down were so narrow…If you were any fatter and
you would have some problem turning around… 

Some areas were also quite dark…

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??

The ugly scaffolding

Looked like a big tunnel…

We walked around the stairs…

Could see the church’s interior its trunk-like pillars

The spires

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 museum showed the history and progress of the building of Sagrada Família,
with many models exhibited

A lot of thoughts and details went into the model making stage as it would
be too costly to experiment on the actual building itself 

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.”

An original sketch from Gaudí, with his signature on the bottom right.
There were a few other sketches but the light was a bit too dim to see
them clearly, let alone taking a good picture 

An old photo of the church’s work-in-progress

Photographic blow up of a pencil drawing on tracing paper by another
architect, Lluis Bonet i Gari

Workshop for model making

Study of an apostle with the effigy of Gaudí by Josep Maria Subirachs, the
Catalan sculptor and painter who did the works on the Passion Facade 

Oh, I found out that this is called, “Facade of the Passion Pleasure:
The flagellation of Jesus at the pillar”

The soldiers

Sketch of the Passion Facade

Gaudí, by Josep Maria Subirachs

Photo showing the tomb of Gaudí in the Carme Chapel in the crypt of 
Sagrada Família

Photo of Gaudí’s tomb. Found out that the price of admission includes 
entrance to the crypt

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!

Also see related posts:
> Inside the Construction Site – Barcelona, Spain Trip #2
> The World’s Most Beautiful Construction Site – Barcelona, Spain Trip #1 



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  1. I LOVE Sagrada Familia, it is one of my favourite places in the world, thank you for sharing your photographs, I enjoyed them so much.

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