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21 Jan 2007: Barcelona



A picture

La Sagrada Familia 1

On our first night in Barcelona we went a-hunting for Antoni Gaudi's still-incomplete hyper-ambitious church, La Sagrada Familia (Church of the Holy Family).

Now one of the first things you realise is that Gaudi detests straight lines and there is something organic in most of his work. He spent the final years of his life trying to get his masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia, built. The building is so ambitious and expensive that they are still building it, simplifying parts of his designs as they go along. Gaudi was often on hand during construction of his projects, giving direct assistance to builders on how to translate his bold Art Nouveau concepts into feasible reality, so God only knows how they cope these days.

In the case of La Sagrada Familia, he pulled out all the stops. And the effect is... creepy.

Our guidebook showed it being lit up at night, but when we found it, there were no lights. It was a gripping black silhouette against an overcast night sky. Its gargantuan dark spires gave it the appearence of some sleeping beast, or perhaps just pretending to sleep, watching us as we edged around it. This sounds like a lot of hyperbole but I kid you not I found that thing threatening in the dead of night.

On the other side, weak illumination revealed the Passion Facade, which we were able to take a picture of. It's just so goddarned creepy you know.