After four days of internal meeting and Congress, my two-day vacation has finally begun. Our first stop was La Sagrada Familia, the “Unfinished Church”.
La Sagrada Familia
La Sagrada Familia is one of the most visited monuments in the world. It has become an unofficial emblem of Barcelona despite still being a work in progress. The neo-Gothic church started by Villar in 1882 began to change radically when 31-year old Gaudi took charge a year later.
This monumental church became the central project to Gaudi, who moved into the workshop shortly before his death in 1926. Gaudi is buried in the crypt of this unique church, later consecrated as a basilica by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010.
There are two facades to the church – Nativity (the pictures above that tell the story of the Nativity and depicts events from the life of Christ) and Passion (the picture below, the statue of Judas Betrayal of Jesus and Christ on the Cross).
The interior of the church with dappled light filters through skylights in the ceiling and stained-glass windows designed by Joan Vila-Grau.
We climbed up the Passion Tower for a view of the church exterior and the city. The spiral staircase is very narrow and steep and could be hazardous with two persons on the same step. I almost lost my balance trying to provide space for another gentleman to walk. Be super careful especially if you are trying to take pictures or selfie.
To have the full impact of the scale of the church, we walked several blocks away from the church to a park and took this picture across the pond. It is an awesome looking church, I called it “The Unfinished Church”.
Next stop, Park Guell. In 1902, Eusebi Guell entrusted Antoni Gaudi the plan to create an estate for well-off families in a large property that Guell had acquired in the zone known popularly as the Muntanya Pelada (bare mountain). Guell wanted to recreate the selective British residential estates, and that was why he used the English form “Park” in the name.
Eusebi Guell chose to halt the work in 1914 due to various factors including lack of transportation viability. Upon his death, his heirs offered it to the Barcelona City Council, which decided to acquire it in 1922 and then opened it as public park four years later. It is currently a much-treasured leisure area for the people of Barcelona and an attraction for visitors from all around the world. The UNESCO declared it a Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 1984.
Museu Nacional D’Art De Catalunya
After a day of visiting Gaudi’s brilliant work, we spent the evening at the Museu Nacional D’Art De Catalunya. As it was close to closing hours of the museum, we sat on the steps outside the museum to enjoy the surrounding and view of the city. The feeling was surreal, to watch the evening went by after the past four days of meetings after meetings. Always good to slow down and appreciate our surroundings, people and things in life.
From the museum, we took the metro to capture pictures of the changing colour of the “bullet building”. The Torre Agbar is a 38-story tower located between Avinguda Diagonal and Carrer Badajoz, near Plaça de Les Glòries Catalanes, which marks the gateway to the new technological district of Barcelona. It was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel in association with the Spanish firm and built by Dragados. It is named after its owners, the Agbar Group, a holding company whose interests include the Barcelona water company.
According to Jean Nouvel, Torre Agbar is intended to recall the shape of a geyser rising into the air. It was inspired by Montserrat, a mountain near Barcelona. It opened in June 2005 and was officially opened by King Juan Carlos I on 16 September 2005.
It was great that we managed to cover so many places within a day though, by the end of the day, I was exhausted and knocked out when I got back to the hotel.
This trip was in November 2014. Stay tuned to my next post on my experience watching a live football match at Camp Nou.
Thank you for stopping by and Happy Living for Experiences!