Segrada Familia

My highlight of the year (so far)

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So I have finally done it (after two failed attempts) – I have been into Gaudi’s amazing Segrada Familia. I expected it to be stunning, but was not prepared for quite how stunning! I will admit to being a bit of an architectural bore (my family we confirm this) so my expectations were high – but the scale of the building and the use of light and colour just takes your breath away!

I took rather a lot of photos which I will upload on my return to the UK – the attached are from my iPhone so are not the best, but give an idea of the interior. The reason for the failed attempts was going at the end of the day only to find the lift tickets (to go up the towers) were sold out – so a morning visit was called for – 8.30 did it (luckily we are 5 minutes walk away).

Tickets obtained (with timed lift passes – very sensible) we entered the building. Even my wife who if honest is not keen on the exterior was rather complementary about Gaudis interior!

What is so impressive is the space formed by the huge pillars that spread into ‘branches’ as they soar into the roof.

The use of so many curves and lots of windows – both clear and coloured, also creates a feeling of light and space. Yes it is huge, but it is not an intimidating space like an old style cathedral, it’s actually rather friendly!

Wherever you look there is something that draws your eye – curved balconies with iron work, spiral staircases, pillars (so many) and then the stained glass which is modern and beautiful casting coloured patterns over the stonework.

The myriad curves also allow the light to cause various shades and shadows across the walls, it really is one of those places that photos really don’t do justice to – a visit in the flesh is really called for.

Going up one of the towers is also an excellent way to get close to the features on the tops of the towers – vividly coloured fruits and sculptures, all stunning in their size and colour. A lift takes you to the top, but it’s stairs all the way down, this offers great views of the building and it’s environment.

The target for completion is 2026 – the 100th anniversary of Gaudi’s death, I don’t imagine for a moment that they will hit that target as there is still a huge amount to finish. But, I do hope it is finished in my lifetime as I really would love to see the finished building.

If you come to Barcelona it is the one thing you really have to see, it really is that special!

And yes, I did like it!