Barcelona

Europe

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Santa Maria del Mar

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Casa Mila

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unfinished, but amazing

The Sagrada Familia is probably the most beautiful work in progress, it is the most amazing church that I have ever seen and it is not even half finished. Gaudi is, in fact, a genius, and the master of light. Only two of the three exterior sides are finished and the majority of the towers are missing (they built 8 out of 16 small ones, so the 4 bigger ones and the main one are still missing).

The massive interior of the church is just flooded in sunlight, throwing different shades of rays onto the columns, depending on the color of the glass-stained windows. Every detail is thought out and well-planned, its design unique and clever. What’s even more impressive is the mathematical work and mechanical methods that Gaudi used to create his masterpiece. In the museum, you can see models and sketches along with explanations of some designs. Gaudi designed the interior arches using sandbag models where he attached little weights to strings forming an upside down arch (or several). In his model, only tensile stress can occur. For his arches where he wishes to eliminate tensile stress and be left with only compression force, he uses the form of his sandbag model but flips it to invert the forces. How clever!

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sandbag model

I wish I understood more physics because it was all explained in great detail and I imagine that for someone who has a more profound knowledge it would have been even more fascinating. We basically had to drag my brother out of the museum if we wanted to continue sightseeing.

Barcelona aims to finish the project by 2026, but I am not so convinced that it is going to happen, as it already took a while to get to today’s state. I do think, however, that it does not matter if the church is going to be finished or not. In fact, Gaudi did not even leave a finished plan for its construction as he wanted other artists and later generations to work on the project of the century. It is part of the church’s charm to remain unfinished, and it will be fascinating to revisit the church in a couple of years or decades to see what changes have been made. Or to wonder what features future tourists will be able to admire.

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Passion façade, showing the story of Easter

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the Christmas tree seems a bit out of place

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Boqueria market

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la Pedrera

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2 thoughts on “Barcelona

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