Temple de la Sagrada Família

Like all great European cathedrals, Gaudi's Sagrada Familia won't be finished until long after his death (and ours). Gaudi had suggested that the timeline wasn't a big issue since his client wasn't in a hurry. When completed, it will likely be seen as his single greatest work. It was a shame that the day was so dreary when we visited; the photos seem pretty disappointing in the colors. But I gather it is a pretty tough place to capture in even the best of weather.

The sculptural work was integral to what Gaudi accomplished. The sculpture(s) were designed and built by J. Busquets and the rather Avant Garde artist Josep María Subirachs. In contrast with the other European cathedrals we've visited, this artwork seemed so alive. The scriptural passages were depicted in ways that forced the casual visitor to leave behind some of their mental images.

I never did get a full explanation of why Adam and Eve were posing next to a Sudoku puzzle. Maybe the serpent tried to tempt them with the puzzle before resorting to fruit.

Visiting Sagrada Familia is stimulating not only as a work of art/architecture/design/beauty/inspiration (choose one), but it also stands as a working museum of Gaudi's construction techniques and engineering. While waiting to go up the spires you can watch the work progress. Or you can visit the two on-site museums showing how Gaudi's complex forms built on parabolic and hyberbolic forms are made and used to acheive such impressive effects.

Thirty years ago a famous Japanese filmmaker visited the construction site and captured the way things looked then. The changes since the 1970s seemed amazing to us as the sanctuary has since gained a ceiling, the towers have been scrubbed, and elevators have been installed.

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