Chasing Gaudi to Barcelona #1: Sagrada Familia & Casa Vicens


My second mission to Barcelona (other than to study) was to see the masterpieces of Antoni Gaudi, my most favorite architect (followed by Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid in my own preference). First thing first, I went to Sagrada Familia. Like Eiffel tower, this church is a standard must-visit place as the icon of Barcelona. Designed by Gaudi in 1882, this big church is one of UNESCO World Heritage Site. Gaudi combined Gothic and curvilinear Art Nouveau style for this Roman Catholic church. This mix made this church very artistic and also exotic for its new-art touch. The design is far for extravagant of grandeur impression like some big churches have, but more on earthy impression for its ivory tone.

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I found it quite hard to capture the whole building, due to its height. I finally managed to snap the whole building from a distance across the street. This church is in long-reconstruction that we all need to be patient to enjoy its full shape. The reconstruction was begun in 2000 and is anticipated to be completed in 2026 (phew..), the centennial of Gaudi’s death. I hope I will be able to revisit this artistic church after 2026; we’ll see.
In my eyes, one important breathtaking part of this church is its facade. Sagrada Familia has three grand facade: the Nativity façade to the East, the Passion façade to the West, and the Glory façade to the South (yet to be completed). The sculptures are so sharp with high detailed carving. My deep admiration to Gaudi for his state-of-the-art workpiece, particularly for its complexity and (should be) well-calculation. Hat-off!
The most updated news on this church is that in 2010 the Spanish government began constructing an AVE (high-speed train) tunnel beneath the center of Barcelona, promising the project poses no risk to the church. I’d like to see what it will be look like.

Enough admiring the grand design of Sagrada Familia, I took the subway to the other part of Barcelona. I went to Casa Vicens. This time Gaudi design a private residence of an industrialist Manuel Vicens. Compared to ivory-toned Sagrada Familia, I found much more colors in this house. Build by rough red brick and colorful ceramics (which is the stunning point), the house is breathtaking for its color nuance and (still) detailed asymetric design with Moorish style. Unfortunately, since it is a private residence, I cannot see the interiors. But I heard that it is usually open for public in Saint Rita’s day in 22 May. I was way too late for that. I can only admire its marvelous Moorish exterior design.

Follow my stories in chasing Antoni Gaudi at these links:

Chasing Gaudi to Barcelona #2: Park Güell & Casa Batlló



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