The Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família
June 11, 2001 8:01 AM   Subscribe

The Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família in Barcelona is a breathtaking masterpiece. Most of the pictures are worth clicking to see the full view. (And the virtual tour with IPIX is pretty cool. Make sure you pan around.)
posted by Sean Meade (13 comments total)
Just last month I walked all the way to the top (or at least as far as they let people go, which is almost all the way). It was absolutely awesome... but my legs hurt for three days. Near the bottom, obviously, there were hundreds of people walking around and checking it out. At the top there were only four of us... each of us spoke a different language so all we could do was smile and look around. But I think we were all pretty much saying, "wow - this is cool!"
posted by spilon at 8:07 AM on June 11, 2001

I spent two weeks in Spain last Summer (as part of a European 'vacation' that has stretched into its 11th month). As Spain goes, Barcelona is OK, but a bit tourist for my tastes.

Nonetheless, I recommend that everyone who can visit at least once, if only to see the Sagrada Familia. I was speechless (in some ways even more impressed than I was by the Pyramids at Giza last week).

As spilon mentioned, a walk to the top is worth the strain, though it may be tough for those with a fear of heights. There are places along the way from which one could take a nasty fall (the narrow spiral staircases sans rails, for instance).

Thanks for the cool links and pics. Perhaps it's time for me to catch a train back to Spain...
posted by syzygy at 8:23 AM on June 11, 2001

For a while, there was some talk of making the architect, Gaudi, a saint. It seems the temple has a way of working miracles, or so some catholics seem to think.
posted by davidM at 8:24 AM on June 11, 2001

Now I know why flash is evil.
posted by skallas at 9:37 AM on June 11, 2001

funny, i thought the flash there was tasteful and well done and didn't take and hour to load and run.
posted by Sean Meade at 9:50 AM on June 11, 2001

an hour
posted by Sean Meade at 9:50 AM on June 11, 2001

Some people inaccurately derive the meaning of the word 'gaudy' from Gaudi's name because of his extremely ornamental style. In fact, gaudy dates back to the 16th century.

I spent part of a day in Barcelona on a two-week trip to Europe many years ago. I was amazed by Gaudi's works, which are all over the city. There is much more about Gaudi and his architecture here.
posted by LeiaS at 10:11 AM on June 11, 2001

That building is alive.
posted by rdc at 11:52 AM on June 11, 2001

Don't forget its spiritual sibling, Watts Towers.
posted by dhartung at 12:30 PM on June 11, 2001

As the disspiriting (and unendable) debate-slash-screech match over Tim McVeigh rages on other MeFi threads, this link came as a refreshing and welcome reminder that while it's certainly true if you look for evil, you will find evil - there are times when you look for good, and you find beauty... Thanks, Sean.
posted by m.polo at 1:28 PM on June 11, 2001

True, true. Gaudi, master of his slow craft, martyr to modern speed.

Imagine being the Barcelona tram driver who knocked down Gaudi. How could you live with that responsibility?
posted by holgate at 2:28 PM on June 11, 2001

I scored $250 round trip airfare to Barcelona in 1998. It was cheaper than visiting my brother in Denver, and so, with no prior desire to visit or knowledge of the area, I went. I'd been told to visit the churches, so I went to the Gothic Quarter and around town. It was a day or so before I found myself at Sagrada Familia. I was awestruck. The size of it. The intricate details of the Nativity Facade and the stark angles of the Passion Facade held me breathless and I returned to visit it twice more before I left Barcelona. This site gloriously reminded me of discovering that beautiful city.
posted by thc at 3:15 PM on June 11, 2001

Gaudi's work is definitely unique in the architectural field.
posted by LeafQueen at 7:55 PM on June 11, 2001

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