We started our latest journey in Barcelona, a city of art and unique architecture. Arriving early at Logan airport, our Air France check-in agent was able to put us on an earlier flight, granting us an additional 5 hours in this amazing city.
Little did we know, that our luggage would not join us on this earlier arrival and that our extra time in Barcelona would be spent shopping for basics – like deodorant and underwear. This sounds easy, but in the hustle and bustle of a foreign city with very warm temperatures and a heavy dose of jet lag, it was all consuming.
But nothing could dampen our outlook for the next day and our scheduled half-day tour of Barcelona. We had planned a quick revisit of this marvelous city before embarking on our 13 day Mediterranean cruise. The highlight of the tour, of course, was La Familia Sagrada, the church of the holy family and Gaudi’s masterpiece. Gaudi’s amazing vision is still being completed, more than 90 years after the his death.
|Architectural story elements at the entrance to the cathedral|
I had the opportunity to tour here 17 years ago. The architecture was magnificent, but at the time, it did not “wow” me. The cranes and scaffolding interrupted my ability to capture Gaudi’s vision.
This time was different.
The towers had been completed and most of the planned stain glass has been added.
Walking into the church took my breath away. Gaudi has designed a vessel by which to accentuate light and color. It transcends the earthly structure of a church to magnify the glory of God. He captures the light as it changes throughout the day and the arc of the sun as it changes throughout the seasons. The sunlight streams in through the abstract stained glass creating mosaics of light on the vastness of the interior – the walls, the pillars, and the ceiling. Unlike the typical Catholic church, with stained glass windows honoring the saints, these stained glass windows are an abstract of color and light conveying Gaudi’s themes – the nativity, the passion and the resurrection.
This light comes through the Nativity side of the church with the greens and blues symbolizing the birth and new life. Whereas, later in the day the sun comes through the passion, and is fiery orange and red.
Gaudi said that “color was the expression of life”. Gaudi’s Familia Sagrada is an experience of light and color and of a spirt that transcends time.
It is indeed, all about the light.
Note: The cathedral is scheduled for completion in 2026 and a return visit is definitely on the agenda.