Friday, November 8, 2013


The second Gaudi structure I toured is considered to be his crowning glory even though it isn't yet finished and won't be completed until 2126.  A very religious man, Gaudi devoted the last several years of his life to this magnificent Bascilica and Expiatory Temple of the Holy Family.  Construction was begun in 1882, but the church was only one quarter complete at the time of Gaudi's death in 1926,

Here's a look at it with the cranes digitally removed.  

The construction of the church has been slow because it relied on private donations and then was halted during the Spanish Civil War.  Even though it's incompete, it's already been declared a UNESCO Heritage site.  Gaudi combined Gothic and curvilinear Art Nouveau forms to create a church unlike any other in Europe.

The facades display a collection of stories from the Bible.  There is part of the Nativity Facade. 

Scenes from the life of Jesus as a you see him preaching at the temple while Mary and Joseph gaze up at him, and also working as a carpenter.

And here is Joseph and the child Jesus.

The Passion Facade depicts the crucification.

Inside the church you see Gaudi's signature use of shapes from nature and color and light.  The columns resemble stately trees branching off to a ceiling of leaves above.

Doesn't this have the feeling of a forest?

There are spiral staircases that wind up to the four towers.

Who would think of putting a tortoise at the base of a column?

The stained glass work is spectacular.

The crucifix suspended over the altar is a work of art.

Looking toward the altar from the opposite end...about 250 feet.

I can't convey in pictures the feeling of this church.  It was filled with tourists and there's a constant waiting line of at least 200 people.  But inside there is respectful silence.  While you can hardly take a photo without people in it, you can be silently awed by Gaudi's magnificent tribute to God.

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