Food, drink, film and other random thoughts from The Lone Star State.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

BCN: La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia is the unbelievably massive and elaborate Catholic church Gaudí designed in the late 1800's. Construction began in 1882 and is still going. Dont worry though, even after 127 years of construction, it is scheduled to be complete in 2026, a mere 100 years after Gaudí's death.

When you see the detail, both internal and external, you begin to understand why this church has taken so long to build. Looking up from the bottom floor onto the ceiling, you realize that there are no squared off intersections, everything is rounded. Everything is covered in mosiac tiles; however did they get the tiles placed so high on ceiling back in 1880 something and still make it look like cohesive artwork from the ground? Scaffolding? Pulley system? Was there alot of alcohol involved?

Sagrada Familia - Front

Sagrada Familia - Front, Closer

Sagrada Familia - Stained Glass

Sagrada Familia - Front Windows

Sagrada Familia - Ceiling Detail

Sagrada Familia - Back

Sagrada Familia - Back, Closer

Whatever you do, make sure you take the elevator to the "top" of the church so you can walk around. Walk straight past the front elevators, which will be swarming with people waiting a hour, to the back elevators which will be empty. Also, be prepared to walk sideways, since the paths in and out of the tourets will be very narrow. The views of the city and the detail at the top of the building are alone worth the rather steep $20 price of admission.

Sagrada Familia - View From Top

Sagrada Familia - Peace Pillar

Sagrada Familia - Orange Pillar

Sagrada Familia - Gold Pillar

Sagrada Familia - View To Torre Agbar

Torre Agbar, the building looking like a 30-story vibrator, is an interesting piece of architecture in itself. Its covered in 5000 windows, which open and close relative to the ambient temperature. Thats interesting but whats more fascinating is that each of the windows has an embedded LED. The whole building changes colors at night in swirling, asymmetrical patterns.

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