On Exploring Sagrada

It is not the beauty of a building you should look at; it’s the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time. (David Allan Coe, musician)

He who has seen one cathedral ten times has seen something; he who has seen ten cathedrals once has seen but little; and he who has spent half an hour in each of a hundred cathedrals has seen nothing at all. (Sinclair Lewis, novelist)

The haunting of history is ever-present in Barcelona. I see cities as organisms, as living creatures. To me, Madrid is a man and Barcelona is a woman. And it’s a woman who’s extremely vain. (Carlos Ruiz Zafon, novelist)

On inspection, Gaudi’s architecture isn’t whimsical at all. (P. J. O’Rourke, comedian)

In the Sagrada Familia, everything is providential. (Antoni Gaudi, architect)

Construction of Antoni Gaudi’s Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family, commonly known as Sagrada Familia, started in 1882. Gaudi died in 1926 with his project less than 25% complete. Although incomplete, Sagrada is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Enjoy the video that the current structure and computer animations of the projected construction.

For those desiring to see more, this second video is an outstanding 9-plus-minute video captured by a tourist, then set it to music.

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65 thoughts on “On Exploring Sagrada

  1. In reading this morning about the Sagrada Família in Barcelona, Spain, I noted that the architect of the cathedral, Antoni Gaudi, when asked about the extremely long construction period (the basilica was started in 1882 and was between 15 and 25 percent complete when Gaudi died in 1926), is said to have remarked: “My client is not in a hurry.”

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  2. I spent two weeks in Barcelona a few years ago, Frank and went to many of the Antoni Gaudi buildings – La Pedrera, Parc Guell, Casa Batilo and of course, The Sagrada Familia. Gaudi was truly a genious and the Sagrada is one of the most beautiful structures in the world in my opinion. Thank you so much for sharing this post. I loved the first video of the projected completions. Honestly, while it wasn’t complete when I was there (still isn’t) it was exciting to see it being constructed – to watch the love and care of the craftspeople and the organic nature of the place as it grows.

    Apparently, this is not unusual for great cathedrals, as their construction has often taken centuries and many generations to build. The Sagrada has not only been one of the most beautiful but also the only one to have been built in our lifetime. For me, it helps me understand the dedication and devotion of a community to create such a thing.

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    • Cathy,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts of visiting this architectural marvel. Most of us here haven’t seen it, so I appreciate your perspective.

      Even in this country, isn’t National Cathedral (in DC) unfinished? I also recall a church in NYC just south of Columbia University … beautiful … but unfinished.

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    • Calvin,
      At least you’ve known about this cathedral for some time …. and I see the irony you mention. At the same time, tourist can be an awe of the place and from within themselves. Thanks for the link as it brought a smile and chuckle.

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  3. Indeed, the Sagrada Familia is breathtakingly beautiful, as are many other cathedrals and churches around the world. The computer-generated projections are also amazing.

    Please forgive me for this discordant note, but I can’t help thinking about the expense involved and the sources of that funding. Is this the best use of that money? Would Jesus approve, he of the parable about wealth? In terms of motivation to create such a thing of architectural beauty, is there a parallel between the Sagrada Familia and the Burj Khalifa?

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    • Jim,
      Truly a beautiful structure … and interesting how the long the work has gone on …. and the expense must be astronomical – … and yes … the money could be better used elsewhere.

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  4. This was beautiful, Frank.

    I am not a religious or a particularly spiritual person. But when I enter a cathedral, I fully understand people who are. (And I will never forget being in Notre Dame, and explaining confessionals to Jacob. He immediately sat me down and started confessing every sin from first grade …)

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  5. Beautiful, Frank! I lived in Madrid in ’92 finishing up my bachelor’s degree, and visited this cathedral as well as the Toledo Cathedral, which brought me to tears. They are sights and experiences I will never forget. Thanks for sharing – brought back wonderful memories 🙂

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  6. Gosh, Frank, Sara and I have LONG wanted to visit Barcelona! Thank you for sharing the videos. Maybe one day we will get there. Sorry to have been so out of the loop, but are you all in Spain? I know, I’ve been away for a long while. Forgive me.

    And just so you know. This summer I’m going on two-month RV trip with my nearing-ninety Godmother and her cat Pepe le Mew. I leave for the US in a week. The RV is huge, 37-feet. My Godmother will be driving and towing an SUV the entire way. She was a Flamenco dancer during her entire professional life. I’m going to try to blog about our trip and write a book about the 64 beautiful years she and my Godfather, a Venezuelan movie star (I kid you not!), were married, until Raul died last fall one month shy of his 97th birthday.

    Hope you are well. Again, I’m sorry to have been away so long!

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

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    • Kathy!!!!
      Woo hoo … you are still out there! 🙂

      Nope …. not in Spain, … Explore is something I do on Saturday’s featuring a person, place, or thing, which includes a wonderful video.

      Wow … a long road trip with your Godmother has the potential to be a real adventure. Yes … blog about it.

      Meanwhile, hope all is well with your Ecuadorian life.

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  7. Such a fascinating man and structure! I learned about it for the first time watching 60 Minutes a few years ago. Prior to that I didn’t know a thing about it. I think I would love to see it in person. It must be an amazing experience!

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  8. One of my favorite jobs was with a company that had a home office in Barcelona – where the Spanish language book printing industry is centered. Everyone said the town was so walkable and people strolled every nights from one end to the other. This cathedral/architecture is a wonder. Someday I want to visit it. Been in many in Southern Spain ( many with Moorish influence as the countries battled back and forth for territory. There’s something about walking into one of those old giant spaces. All created to make a person feel small and insignificant amid the grandeur of a powerful all knowing God. And those places do give a sense of the people – one who built it, ones who live with it.
    The buildings are expensive to build and maintain, but are a massive job programs for locals/all sorts of tradesmen, though, as well as status for the towns – these drew tourists for years even as they were built (money for local economy) just like they do now. An early multipurpose building project? And of course there were those trying to honor family with donations, atone for bad deeds, a recruiting tool as well as a center focus for the community. Someone could /probably has done a massive study on how cathedrals impact society.
    Great post.
    (Been wandering around blogland today. You are right so many are MIA now. It’s summer, but somehow it seems more than that usual pausing.)

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    • Mouse,
      I’ve heard nothing but good things about Barcelona. I’ve only been to Madrid, thus not Barcelona nor the south. I’m sure I would enjoy seeing the Moorish influence in architecture. Someday … hopefully someday!

      In terms of the MIA bloggers, as we know, summer seems to be a natural lull, but I was thinking about those who haven’t been very visible in the last 6-18 months. Which to me means, it’s time to reach out.

      Thanks for sharing your Spain perspective.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: On My Wow Moment | A Frank Angle

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