Monday 11 July 2011

Spain: Barcelona's La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia

Barcelona. So... apart from Barcelona F.C., what else do you know about this Catalan city? :-)

You should know that Barcelona is dotted with interesting architecture. Those who love architecture would love Barcelona. It’s just different and refreshing. Or in short, refreshingly different. (Yes, I'm a genius ;-)) And for that, you should thank mainly one genius guy who’s known as the leader of Catalan Modernism...

His name is Gaudi. Antoni Gaudi.

Truthfully though, I have never heard of him until I planned a trip to Spain, haha! This famous architect, who was born in mid-19th century, has got a few of his projects declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, and one of the more famous ones among them is Sagrada Familia.

Inside the basilica

Sagrada Familia, with its full name in Spanish, the Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família (Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family) is one huge Roman Catholic basilica/ church in the middle of Barcelona. Its construction first started in 1882 and now almost 130 years later, it is still going on. And despite the fact that it is still work in progress (it is expected to be fully completed only in 2026!!), believe it or not, it has been declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Why does the construction take so long to complete? Go figure ;-) Plenty of reasons have been given though. Among them:
1. built and funded by donation only; 
2. original plan was lost after a fire; 
3. delicate projects - the place is opened to the general public while construction is still ongoing; 
4. attention to details (Gaudi apparently had said that "my client is not in a hurry.")

Visitors can travel up one of the spires either by a small lift/ elevator (additional fee - about EUR2-3 if I'm not mistaken - has to be paid) or by walking up a very narrow spiralling staircase. Going up there is definitely not advisable for claustrophobics & acrophobics. At times I can be an acrophobic but I managed to somewhat control the fear by closing my eyes while travelling inside the lift (because it has got glass walls on all 4 sides :-S), and avoiding the "railings" while on the bridge up there, lol! Actually saw some people crying and shaking - both teenagers and adults - on the way up in the lift, as well as up in the spires.

The view that you get from one of the spires after all the troubles that you have gone through to travel up here...
Do you think it's worth it? I really love the way how the city is planned and laid out.

The very narrow staircase, if one chooses to walk to go up and down the spires instead of taking the elevator.

And I opted for the stairs going down. lol! It's very narrow and has got no railings to hold on to at all. People actually have to stand sideways to give way to a passing fellow visitor.

The back side/entrance of the building, with gothic features as opposed to "modern" features at the front entrance

And oh, by the way, as mentioned before, construction of this basilica is done using donation money only, i.e. it's not supported by any government or official church sources. That is why the place is opened to visitors even though the construction is still incomplete. They use the money from tickets purchased by tourists as well as private donations to pay for the construction work... just a note in case some of you might have some reservation about that.

For other www.RambleAndWander.com blog entries on Spain, click here


Comments and feedback are always appreciated. So do leave one or two if you have the time. Thank you!

  1. I think you should be paid for 'advertising' these places in interesting ways!

  2. Tam di dam.....ti dam..... di dam...... heheheh.... macam best plak dapat comment and di-approved! ho yeah!!!!

    1. Huish! Dekat setahun baru nak komen, hehe! ;-)

  3. Anonymous11 May, 2012

    the stairs tu scary lah. kalau jatuh..tiada maaf bagi mu :-S

    siti rozina

    1. Siti, mmg quite scary. Dan rasanya kalau jatuh, mmg bergolek2 mcm tenggiling sampai ke bawah la gamaknya ;-) Sebab tu nak jalan turun tangga tu kena control macho dan ayu sikit ;-)

  4. I am still waiting for a post on Spain from you and when I checked your blog again.. walla.. here's a post on Spain. But there's this only one post! As I read this post, you didn't mention the inspiration behind such Gothic looking building. Was the designer crazy or something? hehe

    Or just plan mad? Maybe he was a vampire during those days, huh?

    Ps: refreshingly different? yeahh.. you're certainly a genius! haha!

    1. Some people say that there is a thin line between genius and crazy. Gaudi is certainly a genius for thinking wayyyy out of the box and wayyy ahead of his time (and perhaps our time too) :-)

      P/S: Yes, I know that already, thank you. ;-D

  5. Eh you captured this place too and I didn't read it until Jard RT it. Hehe. Love this place and he's a freaking genius kan.

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