So before we leave the subject of Barcelona entirely, I thought I’d post a few pictures of various Gaudí sites we visited during our time there. I think his architecture adds so much unique character to the city – it is fantastic that many of their famous attractions were imagined by a single innovative and brilliant individual.
I love the exterior – it reminds me of a drip sand castle. I also love that from far away, due to the general uniformity of color, it is difficult to distinguish all of the intricate carvings and figures, making it endlessly interesting to examine. I love the turkey and chicken scenes, which were located under the pedestals (in many cathedrals, this is a place typically reserved for saints and cherubim). I also loved the holy family, in the bottom right corner above – it is one of the saintliest looking Marys and the most beautiful and realistic Jesus I have ever seen.
In comparison to the outside, the interior of the basilica is a burst of brightly colored stained glass and mosaics. Gaudí used trees as his inspiration for the columns, giving the interior a feel not unlike a forest. The contrast between the dull brown of the exterior and the bright interior reminds me much of the natural world – the basilica felt almost like a geode, or a kiwi, or any number of examples found in nature in which the exterior belies the beauty inside an object. This seems to speak to many spiritual truths as well.
I think what was so evident in all of Gaudí’s work that we saw is that he was not only an architect, but a poet as well. His forms are based heavily in metaphor and mimicry of the natural world, the “book of Nature,” as he called it. Jonathan and I both loved those aspects of his work. Seeing the Sagrada Familia, as well as Park Güell, made me really enthused about the possibilities of architecture. Sagrada Familia almost feels like an illustration realised – as though one is stepping into a cathedral imagined by a child or writer of fairy tales. I wish more buildings like it existed, for visiting it truly elevates the soul.
“The great book, always open and which we should make an effort to read, is that of Nature.” – Antoni Gaudí