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Don’t Judge a Book By Its……

I stood across the park. Spires loomed along the tree line. Stone erections rising from a skeleton, decorated with cranes.

I always hated the Sagrada Familia. Every photograph I saw was vomit from the mind of a mad man. Last time I was in Barcelona, I refused to go.

Why bother seeing something I could dismiss with a photo?

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This time, I confronted the spectacle of weird shapes. Bizarre angles. I craned my neck at the suicidal statue on one face, wondering if he was as disoriented as I was.

Still determined to stick to my opinion, I bought my ticket. Wandered through words.

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I studied the light. Listened to sound bounce off tree-like columns and sun bursts of stone. I watched cares drain from faces, as everyone frolicked in colors and shapes, music and wonder.

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Buildings are layers of experience. Just like books. Or people.

I was wrong about Sagrada Familia.

What else am I wrong about when I dismiss an experience with a glance or two?

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56 Comments Post a comment
  1. This is a very nice series of shots

    January 23, 2014
  2. I’m glad you went for it…..there’s a real joy in his work….if that’s madness then I’m a friend of folly:)

    January 23, 2014
  3. I like Gaudi’s work, I’d love to visit it one day.

    January 23, 2014
  4. Wow. Fantastic photos Andra 🙂

    January 23, 2014
  5. Interesting. A cathedral? A tomb? An asylum?

    January 23, 2014
    • All three. It is an active church. Gaudi is buried there. There was a card on him that called him God’s architect. Mighty big statement.

      January 23, 2014
  6. hihohiho #

    Those photos are amazing!!! I can hear the children squealing in glee on the bridges as if I were there.

    January 23, 2014
  7. The photos are amazing. Was he an early innovator in acoustics? I’ve always found that kind of design a little crazy/mad too, but beautiful.

    January 23, 2014
    • He was an early innovator in the use of stone for building odd shapes. He used these string and sand bag contraptions that were really quite beautiful.

      January 23, 2014
  8. Cool pictures! Thanks for sharing

    January 23, 2014
  9. omtatjuan #

    Educate me…. When is the completion date expected and when was it started?

    January 23, 2014
    • Completion date is projected at 2050. It is behind schedule, but they decided to use modern materials (concrete and steel under stone) versus Gaudi’s material specs (just stone), so that may catch them back up. The building was started in the late 1800’s.

      January 23, 2014
      • My gosh, I had no idea this had been under construction for so long. Good for you, Andra, for taking the plunge and going in, in spite of your feelings. Your photos are breathtaking.

        January 23, 2014
  10. thanks for sharing these. Really cool!

    January 23, 2014
  11. Changing your mind is a very useful survival trait. Cobble that together with a whacky sense of humor and there is a lifetime of material.

    January 23, 2014
  12. I love the Sagrada. I do wonder if it or St John the Divine will be completed first…

    January 23, 2014
    • I bet on the Sagrada. I don’t think St John will ever be finished, and in a way, that’s kind of cool. I love the interior just the way it is right now.

      January 23, 2014
  13. I love these. This is the kind of stuff I look at for story ideas sometimes. Wait, what does that say about me?

    January 23, 2014
    • I do the same thing, Jon. I think that says good things about you.

      January 24, 2014
  14. Gorgeous shots! I’ve seen other photos of parts of the outside and thought the Sagrada looked weird. But I’ve never seen a photo inside. Incredible!!!

    January 23, 2014
    • I’ve found a couple of inside photos on Pinterest, but never ones that did it justice. I don’t know whether these do it justice, either, but I like them. Thanks, Linda.

      January 24, 2014
  15. Amazing photos. Thanks.

    January 23, 2014
  16. tarakianwarrior #

    Beautiful. Wow. I have been gazing at the photos for quite a bit now. Just lovely Andra, lovely.

    January 23, 2014
    • I was pleased with the way a few turned out. Thanks, Lori.

      January 24, 2014
  17. I think I lived the inside much more than the outside. Possibly because the cranes ruined my exterior pics on both visits. It is an architectural wonder, that’s for sure.

    January 23, 2014
    • Cranes everywhere on my visit, too. I figure they’re just part of the design right now.

      January 24, 2014
      • What is it with me hitting the “i” instead of the “o” when I’m typing on my phone? Happens all the damned time. People probably think I’m illiterate. Grrr.

        January 24, 2014
  18. I’ve seen this place on Globe Trekker and it looks pretty unusual (understatement) for a cathedral. Almost… alien in a way. My money is on it taking off for the stars once that last bit is done…

    January 23, 2014
    • Wouldn’t that be funny? It really does look otherworldly.

      January 24, 2014
  19. I have, many times, been guilty of forming “instant opinions” that cause me to later eat crow. It’s a hard habit to break.

    Your photos are thought provoking and very dramatic, and the tale of this place reminded me of my Mom’s stories about the National Cathedral in Washington, DC.

    When I was a child she used to talk about visiting there many times as a high school student living in DC, and then wonder aloud whether it’s construction would EVER be completed. Now I wonder if she realized when the “final finial” was placed in 1990. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_National_Cathedral I don’t remember if she ever mentioned that fact.

    January 23, 2014
    • I wonder if she realized it. Cathedrals have always been long-term projects. Some of the medieval ones took hundreds of years to complete.

      January 24, 2014
  20. What wonderful photos! I like the one that looks like the inside of a skeleton. I visited Barcelona with PF over a weekend. We walked our feet off and they throbbed all night for two nights. A man danced outside our hotel room on the pavement with a pair of maracas at 4 am. It was magic. I loved everything I saw of Gaudi’s work except…. (fill in the blanks). But I didn’t go in – next time (if I get one) I’ll go inside and revise my opinion with a thought for you.

    January 23, 2014
    • I think Barcelona is a magical place. I thought of you when I was there, just up the coast a ways. We stayed with MTM’s friend Miguel. His and Mercedes’ place was a gorgeous apartment in the Eixample. We got to stay in the pavilion in the back garden…….which was also in the middle of a city block in the Eixample…….which made going to the bathroom at 3am feel like wandering through an arena, with everyone’s windows facing down at me. I’d do it again tomorrow, though, because it was wonderful. Every bit of it was wonderful.

      January 24, 2014
  21. Andra ~ I know you have a LOT on your writing plate right now, but thought this might interest you: http://writingcareer.com/

    Among other things, Simon & Schuster is starting a Sci-Fi imprint and Penumbra Magazine wants Super Hero stories. And the Fog Horn is paying $1000 a story (for 1200-8500 words).

    January 23, 2014
  22. Love this…and you are so right. What are we missing?

    January 23, 2014
  23. this is really cool, i’ve never seen it before – glad you jumped in )

    January 23, 2014
  24. I followed the story of this amazing architectural feat with a short piece on “60 Minutes” and I was blown away. It really does fascinate me. I think the important thing in life is that if we are prone to making quick decisions or forming opinions based on partial knowledge, then embrace the option to change our minds. You certainly did that here–good for you!

    January 24, 2014
    • I hope I’m more open-minded than I used to be. I’m still working on it.

      January 24, 2014
  25. What struck me about the place was the combination of a busy building style but a great peacefulness inside

    January 24, 2014
    • Even with all the people inside, it was very peaceful. You’re right, Jim.

      January 24, 2014
  26. Stunning place, Andra. And beautiful pictures.

    January 25, 2014
  27. I can see why you dismissed it . . . I’m not quite sure what I’m looking at in most of these photos – but they’re pretty sweet!

    January 30, 2014
  28. I am so jealous.

    January 31, 2014
  29. Wow, how crazy. You always have such fascinating photos around here, it’s a continual education!

    February 7, 2014

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