Sagrada Familia

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Barcelona is well known for its buildings designed by Antoni Gaudi i Cornet.  Sagrada Familia (the temple for the Sacred Family) was Gaudi's last project.  He was leaving the construction of Sagrada Familia in 1926 to go on his usual ritual - to pray at a nearby church. My brother said that his architecture professor at UC Berkeley told him that as Gaudi was leaving, he walked slowly backward to look at the unfinished temple.  As he backed up further and further, he was ran over by a tram unsuspectedly.  He was poor when he died. Thus, his suit, although made with good fabric, was old and soiled.  He had nothing on him except for some dried fruit and nuts in one of his jacket pocket.  Since there was no identification, they took him to a hospital where they usually bring the homeless or unclaimed bodies.  It wasn't until he was dead did they realized who he was.  Gaudi was 73 and would have turned 74 within a month.

Gaudi built all of his buildings without any actual drafts or plans.  He generally drew a picture of the end product and supervised all details of the construction.  Like his other works, Sagrada Familia also did not have any plans.  It remained unfinished until recent years when new technologies help people understand how Gaudi built what he had.  People in Barcelona are trying to finish Gaudi's work, and hope to be done before his 200th anniversay.

Tommy, Kendall, Brooks and I visited Sagrada Familia first out of all of his buildings.  The temple was only a 10 minute walk from our hotel.  As we walked, the temple slowly came into view.  It was one of the most magnificent view I had ever seen.  When I saw the temple, I had the same reaction as I did when I first saw Yosemite or the Grand Canyon.  It was truly amazing.  The three of us took some pictures of the east facade (the original side that Gaudi had built) and proceeded to climb up the hundreds of steps into the towers of the temple.  The steps were narrow and steep, and walking down the stairs was particularily difficult.  We had to stop and stretch out a few times.

(Note:  Some photos are not the original print.  I have played with a few of them and erased the cranes and construction things from the pictures)
     
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The floor plan of Sagrada Familia

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About Sagrada Familia
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A cad drawing of the temple
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The way Gaudi design Sagrada Familia - he hung weighs on strings and placed a mirror underneath to see what the end result would look like.
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Here are Brooks, Winnie and Kendall admiring the temple

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Sagrada Familia before construction continued

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The back side of everyone with their mouths opened
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East facade with sculptures by J.M. Subirachs

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The nativity facade
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Side view of the church

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Close-up of the facade
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The back side