La Sagrada Família

La Sagrada Família: the gorgeous ceiling of the nave

La Sagrada Família: the gorgeous ceiling of the nave

During our last visit to Barcelona in early 2015, I had neglected to secure tickets to the Sagrada Família, and when our tour bus got to it, we chose not to get off as the lines to purchase tickets were enormous. As we had limited time, we chose to spend it by doing things other than standing in line. Coincidentally, a couple of days after we had returned home, there was a documentary about the cathedral on television, and I regretted not having seen its inside. I vowed that I would not miss it during my next Barcelona trip.

The opportunity presented itself a few months later, in May of 2016, when we met Eric and Lake in Barcelona. This time, we purchased tickets on-line ahead of time and reserved the earliest possible time to get in, 9 a.m. As we got there early, there was an opportunity to take some exterior shots before the doors opened. The history of the Sagrada Família is fascinating, but there is no reason to write about it here because you can read up on it on this page; suffice it to say that the new kind of column Antoni Gaudí invented means that the inside of this cathedral is a great deal more luminous than any I've ever seen. Hopefully, the images on this page manage to show this at least to some extent.

Click on any image to see a larger (2100 x 1400 pixel) version!


La Sagrada Família seen from the Plaça de Gaudi... ...and reflected in the Plaça de Gaudi pond.

La Sagrada Família seen from the Plaça de Gaudi...

...and reflected in the Plaça de Gaudi pond.


The Passion façade The Nativity façade

The Passion façade

The Nativity façade


Detail of the Nativity façade Detail of the Nativity façade

Detail of the Nativity façade

Detail of the Nativity façade

As our guide explained to us, Gaudi was not a sculptor, he was an architect, so any sculpture he had a hand in was actually created by making a mold of the real thing. For example, to create the donkey sculpture shown above, he borrowed a real donkey from a gypsy and shaved it completely because he feared the animal would find removing the plaster mold painful otherwise. This is how Margaret the donkey came to be immortalized on the Nativity façade. And baby Jesus? Gaudi simply made a mold of the infant daughter of people he knew.


The southwestern side of the Basilica The southwestern side of the Basilica

The southwestern side of the Basilica

The southwestern side of the Basilica


The northeastern side of the Basilica The northeastern side of the Basilica

The northeastern side of the Basilica

The northeastern side of the Basilica


Looking northwest along the nave Detail view Looking southeast along the nave

Looking northwest along the nave

Detail view

Looking southeast along the nave


The colors range from fiery hot... ...to a deep, icy cold.

The colors range from fiery hot...

...to a deep, icy cold.


Reflections The gallery on the northeastern side

Reflections

The gallery on the northeastern side


The columns are made to resemble trees Stained glass window by the entrance Reflections

The columns are made to resemble trees

Stained glass window by the entrance

Reflections


Above the northeastern entrance Above the southwestern entrance Gaudi's forest

Above the northeastern entrance

Above the southwestern entrance

Gaudi's forest


The ceiling Detail of the northeastern side of the Basilica

The ceiling

Detail of the northeastern side of the Basilica


Canopy and crucifix above the high altar Tourists admiring the Sagrada Família

Canopy and crucifix above the high altar

Tourists admiring the Sagrada Família


Gaudi's columns are thin, so there is more light in the Basilica Ceiling detail

Gaudi's columns are thin, so there is more light in the Basilica

Ceiling detail


Detail of the southwestern side of the Basilica Stained glass window Detail of the northeastern side of the Basilica

Detail of the southwestern side of the Basilica

Stained glass window

Detail of the northeastern side of the Basilica


The top gallery In the nave The apse of the Sagrada Família

The top gallery

In the nave

The apse of the Sagrada Família


The northeastern side The ceiling The southwestern side

The northeastern side

The ceiling

The southwestern side


Stained glass windows No other Basilica has light like this!

Stained glass windows

No other Basilica has light like this!


Detail of the Nativity façade Detail of the Passion façade

Detail of the Nativity façade

Detail of the Passion façade


Part of the Passion façade The Magic Square

Part of the Passion façade

The Magic Square


Part of the Nativity façade Alpha and Omega Part of the Passion façade

Part of the Nativity façade

Alpha and Omega

Part of the Passion façade


The photos on this page were taken on May 14, 2016.
They may also be viewed in a gallery or slide show.




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