Saturday, 22 March 2014

Going to La Sagrada Familia

The four main towers at La Sagrada Familia.
I still can't believe that La Sagrada Familia has not been finished yet, I mean it's been under construction for like fifty years now. The amount of work, detail and effort that has been put in to Antoni Gaudi's magnum opus is ridiculous. I heard that one of the reasons why it's taking so long is that the construction fund depends on donations only. This place is so amazing and just so weird. I can't believe that building something this complicated and detailed is possible. 

One thing that annoys me about La Sagrada Familia is that it's seen as Gaudi's work, but in actual fact he was one half of the architect team. The other half was this other guy, that no one knows the name of because everyone thinks it's just Gaudi. I can't even remember the name of this architect. You'll have to Google it. It's slightly confusing to me, I'm not particularly sure of who came up with the idea, the design etc, but by looking at the building itself you can see distinct differences between parts of the buildings where the two architects have shown off their work. Gaudi's style is very natural, with motifs from Mother Nature and there's lots of intricacy. Whilst the other architects work is more angular, smooth and contains lots of shapes.

There's a roof window that lets the sun shine directly on the pew.
The inside is so beautiful and peaceful, so be quiet, it's a place of worship. When we were lining up, waiting for the gates to open, there was a few old Spanish men and women that went inside for Sunday mass. There's lots of stained glass windows and the main foyer looks like a futuristic forest. There are all these pillars that look like trees made out of marble and all the flower looking motifs look like angular foliage on the ceiling. It's so beautiful.

If you're planning to visit here, which I highly recommend, here's a few tips/facts:
  1. You'll have to get off at La Sagrada Familia station which is just next to the building.
  2. Buy tickets beforehand, to jump the queue.
  3. If you're not buying tickets beforehand, line up super early in the morning, before they open the gates.
  4. Go there super early anyway, because the line is terribly long.
  5. The area around Sagrada Familia will be super busy and filled with tourists.
    • Don't get lost, stick together.
    • There are a lot of group tours that move in long and thick crowds, which are hard to get through.
    • Keep your belongings safe etc.
  6. Buy an admission ticket and a ticket to climb the towers, the view of Barcelona will take your breath away! Don't worry, you only have to climb downwards, an elevator will take you to the top.
Oh, and there are cute little market stalls that are opened across the street. They sell Spanish souvenirs, like fans, pashmina scarves and patterned cloths.

The view of Barcelona from the towers. It's hard to see from this photo but, the buildings in Barcelona are laid out in squares.

One of the many balconies on the tower. They look slightly unstable and unsafe, but it's not really.