Friday, November 10, 2023

Incomparable Sagrada Família


Sagrada Família Church in Barcelona, Gaudí's masterpiece

 The one thing my wife wanted to see this trip to Barcelona was the Basilica Sagrada Família. But, the third week of October while we were there, it was almost impossible to find tickets. Tickets from the official site, which cost 26 to 40 euros, were sold out. We visited Julia's Tours across the street and fortunately Melanie was able to get one ticket for the next day's tour. 

Before going to the church, she arranged to visit Park Güell, a wonderland created by Antoni Gaudí, the principal architect of Sagrada Família. "Once I visited the park," she said, "I was better able to understand Gaudí, and his love for God, family, and nature, all of which are portrayed in his work."

The Sagrada Família, probably the most renowned church in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, is an ongoing construction project and the largest incomplete Catholic church globally. Originally commenced in 1882 by architect Francisco de Paula del Villar, Antoni Gaudí took over in 1883, infusing his unique blend of Gothic and Art Nouveau styles. Gaudí dedicated his life to the project and is interred in its crypt, yet by the time of his passing in 1926, only a fraction of the structure was finished.

Funded solely by private donations, the construction faced setbacks during the Spanish Civil War when anarchists damaged portions of Gaudí's original plans. Resuming progress post-war, advancements in technology accelerated the construction, but significant challenges, including the addition of ten spires representing Biblical figures, persisted. Originally projected for completion by 2026, the centenary of Gaudí's death, the COVID-19 pandemic caused delays, pushing the potential conclusion to certain aspects of the project to around 2040.

Critics have lauded the Sagrada Família for its unprecedented design. Rainer Zerbst remarked that finding anything akin to this church in the history of art is nearly impossible, while Paul Goldberger hailed it as the most remarkable personal interpretation of Gothic architecture since medieval times.

 Source: Wikipedia; Photos by Melanie Fisher

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