Wednesday, 7 December 2011


Barcelona - brilliant sunshine, 10-15°C.

The Tolkien Facade

The Sagrada Família was designed by Antoni Gaudí, but what it looks like, is J.R.R. Tolkien and H.P. Lovecraft got drunk together in Bali. One of the facades definitely has a tentacle thing going.
Detail of the Tentacle Facade

It has fruit on its pinnacles. He persuaded the Catholic Church to build this thing?

Miranda Hats

I last visited Barcelona about 20 years ago, and at that time, I don't think you were allowed inside yet. Since then the building works have progressed very well, and the inside is absolutely enchanting - a forest of limestone, granite, basalt and porphyry-clad columns, full of dappled light.

The forest

Fifteen metres above the congregation are galleries with capacity for about 1,000 singers - you can see them clearly in the picture above. The organ was played briefly while I walked around inside - it sounded good, without annoying echoes.

The canopy is stunning:


And, looking down -

Sky Turtle holding up a pillar

- look at the little Sky Turtle!


francoise_hardy said...

Wow. I love the organic randomness yet perfect rightness of it. Most beautiful building.

Preen and Ogle said...

Bonkers but I love it.

Sir Fopling Flutter said...

Does this mean it's nearly finished? (after building started in the 1880s)

The last time I was there, the interior was a empty shell and looked like a building site. The interior photos here make it look like it's almost ready, even if they're still doing work on the exterior.

msHedgehog said...

@Sir Fop; no, there's superstructure still to go, a big dome and the main tower, and I think much more. And you can't go round the back of the altar at the moment. But the main part of the inside is perfectly usable, and it was consecrated some years ago. There are regular Masses in Catalan, Spanish and English. As far as I remember, they reckon it will be done mid-century if all goes well.