329. Barcelona, Round 1

Barcelona1Luckily I got a second crack at it, a whirlwind tour not proving quite enough. Until then, here’s my photos from the first time around.

328. Sagrada Familia

IMG_4684 (480x640)The Sagrada Familia is one of the most famous Cathedlrals in Europe, and certainly one of the highlights of Barcelona. This fact makes it all the more fascinating that it remains unfinished! Essentially, Antoni Gaudi’s masterpiece was such an impressive feat, requiring so much funding that not only was it not finished before he died, but the mission to attract enough donations to complete it is still  as going on.

This minor detail, however, does not detract from the magnificence of it, particularly was as the interior has mostly been completed. Gaudi was famous for revolutionising architecture by instead focusing on organic forms inspired particularly by plants but also by animals. This is reflected all throughout the Sagrada Familia, from tree trunk like pillars at the main entrance to the lizards climbing around the outside. This was another tourist attraction where the audio guide really made the entire thing that much more fascinating, as well as the museum exhibit detailing his inspriation. Below the church, there were examples of his models. I particularly liked how although the overall structure is based on completely symmetrical shapes (namely weighted, hanging chains and viewing them in a mirror in order to get perfectly symmetrical arches), the details of the cathedral are not at all symmetrical. Looking up to your left will give a very different view to your right, not to mention each facade of the exterior is totally different.IMG_4757 (640x480)

Gaudi absolutely won at stained glass windows too, with the sunlight making the most amazing light show inside.IMG_4702 (640x480)

327. Parc Guell

IMG_4798 (640x480)Parc Guell was absolutely my favourite place in Barcelona. Designed by my now favourite architect (not that I had one before, but that’s unimportant) Antoni Gaudi.  Gaudi was fairly outrageous in his day for abandoning all the rules and creating structures inspired by organic forms, but eventually the craze caught on and was copied all over Barcelona. Although his pièce de résistance was the Sagrada Familia, the Parc Guell is a really fun, quirky and different place to explore, not to mention its fabulous views. I particularly enjoyed not only wandering through and taking it all in, but being able to round a corner and see an entirely new and different creation. Continual amazement!