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I'm a 30 something who loves to travel.  I have a full time job and enjoy writing (or blogging) about my travels.  I've traveled through several countries in Europe as well as Russia and Egypt.  I also enjoy domestic travel in the United States, including Disney.  My long term travel goal is to do a round the world trip.  

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sagrada Familia: Where Art and Architecture Blend Together

I'll get it out of the way at the start - this is my favorite church, EVER! 

With all the fabulous things I have seen in my life, this is one of two that stopped me dead in my tracks.  Sagrada Familia is the type of place where I could spend days just exploring the intricacies and simply being present.  In my last post about Gaudi I talked about Art and Architecture meeting - this is where it blends.  Oh, the other thing that stopped me was David in Florence, I could have stared at him for hours.

Model of the church when completed
The church has 3 facades, but only 2 are completed: Passion Facade and Nativity Facade. I thought the Passion Facade was overdone, it just has a little too much going on to appreciate the scenes. 

Nativity Facade
The Passion Facade is so dramtic and clean (it's supposed to have a boney look) that it really relays the drama of the Passion (as in Christ on the Cross - THAT passion). 
Passion Facade
But the top of the church has lots of interesting things, yes some of those things are fruit.  And the arches or butresses that hold up the church, they're supposed to look like trees, it's not just your imagination.  Guadi was very into nature, and it is a leading element of the design.

The inside of the church has a very churchlike design.  A cross layout, the alter with jesus on the cross hanging over it, choir areas, stained glass.  At first glance it's an obvious chatholic church.  But Gaudi's touches make it so unique.  There are soft flowing lines, the pillars are designed to look like trees, and the ceiling is like a conopy of leaves, that whole art blending into architecture thing!

 I thought I would be here for an hour but I was here at least 2 hours, I would have stayed longer, but I had other things on my list for the day.

Just some tips for visiting, which you MUST do if you're in Barcelona.  Go early or get tickets in advance.  I arrived at 8:30 (they open at 9:00) and there were probably already 50-100 people on line.  Also, bring cash, they don't take credit cards.  I also think that you'll need to get the audio guide, it's well done and explains the nuances of Gaudi's designs.

If you're interested in more about Barcelona or Gaudi please click the links of past blog posts.

I have tons of photos, it was hard to choose which to post and which to leave out.  I will be posting many more photos as part of the photo of the week on Mondays.

Reminder: I can be found on Twitter @Travelingiraffe