Monday, October 12, 2015

Gaudi’s Astonishing Cathedral in Barcelona

Seventeen years ago at our very first MFME when Shawni was the only one married and Max was a one-year-old, Saren, Shawni, Saydi, Charity and I took a week of crazy travel time together in Europe. It was before GPS, and we often got lost, and had a few fights but we had a splendid time! One of our favorite stops was at the Sagrada Familia (Cathedral of the Sacred Family) created by Gaudi in Barcelona and we were WOWED!

With his brilliant mind Gaudi created a Cathedral like no other in the world. Building began in 1882 and Gaudi took over the design of the Cathedral in 1883. Although he created many amazing structures in Barcelona, this was his crowning glory. His plans were carefully laid out and he began the long arduous task of building something beyond anyone’s wildest imaginations!

By 1926, only the first five towers were finished when, sadly, Gaudi, one of the world’s greatest genius minds of architecture and design was hit by a trolley car on his walk to the Cathedral when he was 73 years old. Even though Gaudi had dressed like “a dandy” in his youth, now completely engrossed in his projects, he cared not one whit about how he looked as he grew older. Because people thought he was a vagrant when he was hit by the trolley car, not much attention was paid to him. By the time they got him to a hospital it was too late. A great bright light in the world of architecture and design had passed away.

Luckily he left his plans for his unfinished Cathedral and those who appreciated his genius have been working ever since to finish the Cathedral. Only those first few towers were there when we saw it seventeen years ago and we marveled at the inside as well as the outside as we wandered through. It is still a work in progress! Cranes and huge equipment bedeck the Cathedral as they work to finish the work by 2026, one hundred years after Gaudi’s death.

On our way to Zurich via Barcelona after visiting Jonah and Aja, I insisted on going back to see the progress. The sight was astounding! It’s like nothing you have ever seen before or will see again. The design is described as Spanish Late Gothic, Catalan Modernism and Art Nouveau. See what you think:






This is the back:









Two more towers, almost twice as high as these spires are due to be built in the next ten years! Even though there were many naysayers, claiming that Gaudi was crazy, this structure is  Barcelona’s greatest treasure and certainly its biggest tourist attraction. There was no way we could get inside unless we had bought tickets far in advance!

A short walk (by European standards) from the Cathedral, we loved seeing two other apartment buildings that he created. Google them for the history if you’re interested. They were fascinating!




This one is known as the “Skeleton House”. Not sure why, but people are paying a fortune to live here! thumb_IMG_3070_1024




What a man! What a mind! Wild! It makes me think I should be more creative…to be more aware of different ways of doing things. Incredible! 

1 comment:

Becky Morgan said...

Loved your post. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would go to Barcelona nor would I learn to love the Sagrada Familia. I was in awe when I went to visit and can't wait to go back again. Though I'm not the blogger that you and your wonderful daughters are, I made an attempt and still love to read about my experience at S.F. ( Loved reading your books as a young mom and love keeping up with you and yours through your blogs.