Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Familia is a large Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, it is also a UNESCO site.  Construction started on this church in 1882 and it was not clear when construction will complete.  But I like this aspect of the church, what I saw during my visit will be different next time I have the opportunity to visit. When I showed up, the line to get in wrapped half way around the block on the north east side of the church.  The time waiting in line was just over 20 minutes, not as bad as it looked.  When I showed up it was also cloudy outside, but when I turned the corner and got closer to the ticket office the clouds cleared, it was nice.
 You pass through the ticket booth and enter the church from the north west facing wall of the structure, lets just call this face of the building the front.  As you enter the basilica, you pass by a series of statues that are themed on the Passion of Christ.
 The interior of the church is amazing, it's breathtaking when you first enter the basilica.  Most people are standing around looking up, but this is something you don't notice as you enter because you are looking up too.
 The interior of the church was more or less completed in 2010, this is also the year Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed it a basilica. Around the right side of the alter is a video of him blessing the alter, pouring oil all over it.
 Above the alter is a crucifix hanging from the arches above.
 You can pass through the interior of the church and pop out on the back side.  The back side is a naivety scene.  Turtle sculptures help to hold this side of the church up.
This is one of the more dramatic nativities scenes that I have seen, to the left (east) are the three wise men.
 Center is the nativity.
 Stepping back makes it easier to see the entire nativity and tree of life in the center.
 Another view of the ceiling.
 Officially the interior is complete, but I don't think it really is.  Many windows are just clear glass, I think the final plan is to install stain glass in all windows but I guess we will have to wait and see.
Returning to the front of the church, you can see more of the passion.
 I like this blocky style of statue.
 This was the pope on the day he visited the church.
 Another view of the back of the church looking up, you can see cranes working on the roof.
Ignoring the religious aspect of this building, whenever I see structures like this it reminds me how awesome engineering is.   The basic drawings for this building and concept to make it was developed back in the late 1800's but it's still a rational that those designs are still being used today to complete this building.