Love and Food in the Big D

Monday, September 26, 2011

Barcelona, Spain Day 2 - POST Siesta :)

Part 2 of Day #2 in Barcelona took us to Antoni Gaudi's most famous work of art...the Sagrada Familia.  

Taken from Wikipedia :  Though construction of Sagrada Família had commenced in 1882, Gaudí became involved in 1883, taking over the project and transforming it with his architectural and engineering style—combining Gothic and curvilinear, Art Nouveau forms with ambitious structural columns and arches.  Gaudí devoted his last years to the project and at the time of his death in 1926, less than a quarter of the project was complete. Sagrada Família's construction progressed slowly as it relied on private donations and was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War—only to resume intermittent progress in the 1950s. Construction passed the mid-point in 2010 with some of the project's greatest challenges remaining and an anticipated completion date of 2026—the centennial of Gaudí's death. The basílica has a long history of dividing the citizens of Barcelona—over the initial possibility it might compete with Barcelona's cathedral, over Gaudí's design itself, over the possibility that work after Gaudí's death disregarded his design,and the recent possibility that an underground tunnel of Spain's high-speed train could disturb its stability.


Gaudí's original design calls for a total of eighteen spires, representing in ascending order of height the Twelve Apostles, the four Evangelists, the Virgin Mary and, tallest of all, Jesus Christ. Eight spires have been built as of 2010, corresponding to four apostles at the Nativity façade and four apostles at the Passion façade.
According to the 2005 Works Report of the project's official website, drawings signed by Gaudí and recently found in the Municipal Archives, indicate that the spire of the Virgin was in fact intended by Gaudí to be shorter than those of the evangelists. The spire height will follow Gaudí's intention, which according to the Works Report will work with the existing foundation.
The Evangelists' spires will be surmounted by sculptures of their traditional symbols: a bull (St Luke), a winged man (St Matthew), an eagle (St John), and a lion (St Mark). The central spire of Jesus Christ is to be surmounted by a giant cross; the spire's total height (170 metres (560 ft)) will be one metre less than that of Montjuïc hill in Barcelona. The lower spires are surmounted by communion hosts with sheaves of wheat and chalices with bunches of grapes, representing the Eucharist.
The completion of the spires will make Sagrada Família the tallest church building in the world


The Church will have three grand façades: the Nativity façade to the East, the Passion façade to the West, and the Glory façade to the South (yet to be completed). The Nativity Façade was built before work was interrupted in 1935 and bears the most direct Gaudí influence. The Passion façade is especially striking for its spare, gaunt, tormented characters, including emaciated figures of Christ being scourged at the pillar; and Christ on the Cross 

The church plan is that of a Latin cross with five aisles. The central nave vaults reach forty-five metres while the side nave vaults reach thirty metres. The transept has three aisles. The columns are on a 7.5 metre grid. However, the columns of the apse, resting on del Villar's foundation, do not adhere to the grid, requiring a section of columns of the ambulatory to transition to the grid thus creating a horseshoe pattern to the layout of those columns. The crossing rests on the four central columns of porphyry supporting a great hyperboloid surrounded by two rings of twelve hyperboloids (currently under construction). The central vault reaches sixty meters.

The columns of the interior are a unique Gaudí design. Besides branching to support their load, their ever-changing surfaces are the result of the intersection of various geometric forms. The simplest example is that of a square base evolving into an octagon as the column rises, then a sixteen-sided form, and eventually to a circle. This effect is the result of a three-dimensional intersection of helicoidal columns (for example a square cross-section column twisting clockwise and a similar one twisting counter-clockwise).

Essentially none of the interior surfaces are flat; the ornamentation is comprehensive and rich, consisting in large part of abstract shapes which combine smooth curves and jagged points. Even detail-level work such as the iron railings for balconies and stairways are full of curvaceous elaboration 

Jenny Penny taking a rest... :)

Chad, looking mighty confused... perhaps trying to figure Mr. Gaudi out?? ;)

As we waited for our scheduled time to head up the spires of the Church, we decided to go check out the exhibits and "museum" in the basement

I actually bought this sketch back in 2001 :) 

The look on Chad's face says it all.... 
In line to go up the towers of the Sagrada Familia
As you might have guessed, my love isn't very fond of heights... 

First view town from one of the bridges off the spires :)

Spectacular views from the top

Couldn't decide which one I liked best.. lol.

So I just posted them ALL!

Doing well...but holding on for dear life.. breathe... breathe.. :)

Brent and Chad's look of pure fear.  ;)  He was actually kidding around by this point, he did GREAT!


AAAAANNND our way down... yup, crazy little spiral stairs!

Got down right as the sun set.  

After a tasty little dinner across the way, we came back for night time shots

After all was said and done at the Sagrada had been taken, feet aching like mad from climbing those darn stairs...we headed to Bar International off the Ramblas for some tasty spirits and to wind down for the evening.  :)

Christine, Brent and Jenn lost in conversation.. 

Smiley pretty :)

All the way from different parts of Texas to meet up in Barcelona!  Love these guys :)
Cheers to great friends, and an amazing trip!  

LOOK!  It's Frodo Baggins (our funny bartender in the middle who we quickly found out was sportin' a Lord of The Rings necklace).  Apparently, according to him, Chad and Brent were his two friends , Sam and  Funny little Spaniard.  :)

Aaaaaaannnnnnnndddd He's OUT!  

Stay tuned for Day 3 :)  

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