Saturday, November 16, 2013

56. Sagrada Familia - a walk around the outside


Today was an early start in the Metro for a visit to the Sagrada Familia … to give it its proper title - the Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família ( Expiatory Temple of the Holy Family) … and nothing quite prepares you for the grandeur of this building – both outside and inside - awesome is one word that springs to mind …  
 
Coming up the escalator out of the subway – you know there is something amazing happening at the street level because everyone gets to the top, turns around and freezes there with wondrous looks on their faces – so the first crowd gathers at the top of the escalator !!! … and I was no exception … 
 
 
 
The sight that greets you is extraordinary … this huge towering piece of Art Nouveau sculpture dwarfing everything around it ……

 
I arrived at the queue at 8.30 with about 40 people in front of me … by the time the doors opened at 9am the line had grown considerably – as it does every single day of the year … 

 
 
The history of this building goes way back to 1882 during the industrial revolution in Catalonia, when the people of Barcelona laid the foundation for this amazing church. Construction works started that same year and probably won't be finished before 2025 or even later.  
 
 
This long period of time isn't surprising if you consider that the basilica is financed totally by donations – the bulk of which is generated by the huge number of tourists who visit the site each day – entry fee is 13 Euro ( about A$20. ) - and you have to remember that some of the greatest cathedrals in Europe took several centuries to build.  
 
 
 
 
Antoni Gaudí was assigned the project in 1883, and it became his work of a lifetime until he died in 1926. His designs are full of fanciful ornaments and shapes, influenced by Cubism and Art Nouveau and by his view of the divine character of natural shapes. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Computer-aided design technology has been used to accelerate construction of the building, which had previously been expected to last for several hundred years, based on building techniques available in the early 20th century. Current technology allows stone to be shaped off-site by milling machines, whereas in the 20th century, the stone was carved by hand.
 

  
 
 
… by the time I left the Sagrada Familia the queue outside had extended two blocks from the front entrance !!! … That’ll pay for a few more blocks of stone.

... and next post I'll take you inside this amazing building ...