Sagrada Familia

I found Gaudi’s most impressive architectural piece to be the famous Sagrada Familia Church.

The intricacy of the figures, carvings, and towers is truly spectacular. You could spend hours reading the story of Christ’s birth on the Nativity Facade, with detailed statues and images that make up just the East side of the church.

Each side of the church represents a different aspect of Christ’s life. There’s the Nativity façade to the East, the Passion façade to the West, and the Glory façade to the South (this side has yet to be completed).

Looking at it from below, it is a awe-inspiring yet strange looking church, done in true Gaudi style. Though the church is already an impressive height, it’s not even close to being finished- Gaudi’s beloved Sagrada Familia, which he devoted much of the second half of his life to, isn’t expected to be completed until at least 2030, probably much later.

Part of my fascination with Sagrada Familia lies in Gaudi’s complete devotion to it.  Single-minded and devoutly Catholic,  he never left the construction site of his church, except to go to mass across the street. Ironically enough, that is how he died; crossing the street to attend mass, he was hit by a trolley.

Never one for wealth or excess, Gaudi didn’t dress like a famous modern artist of his time. In fact, he was quiet unkempt and dirty, which is why the trolley driver, rather than call for an ambulance or help, simply dragged him to the side of the road, thinking him to be a drunk homeless man, whose life was of no importance.

When his friends finally discovered him days later in a run-down hospital for the poor and destitute, they tried to bring him to a better hospital, but he claimed that if this was how the poor and beloved of God died, he wanted to die here as well. And he did.

Gaudi was determined to make a masterpiece of a church to glorify God. It already is an impressive structure, and I hope one day I can see it finished in all its magnificence. Rarely in recent days does faith go hand in hand with artistry. As an artistically-inclined individual myself, it was inspiring to see Gaudi’s faith combined with his creative skills and ambition. Someday Gaudi might even become a saint, as some have already claimed to have had miracles performed by his spirit (one of the requirements for sainthood is proven, documented miracles).

Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia is a wonder that is a must-see in Barcelona!

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