Last time I was in Barcelona with uni, we decided it would be too expensive to go inside the Sagrada Familia, after all we were students, and we had cerveza to buy! The time before that I went in with my parents, and you could see the sky through the half finished columns. Even at this time I felt the building was awe-inspiring. That must have been about 15 years ago.
First up, I’m not a believer in any religion, but I do have an architectural understanding of what goes into the design of churches and cathedrals. In fact, to say that two of the most spectacular and awe-inspiring buildings I have ever experienced are religious buildings troubles me slightly. Those two buildings are Le Corbusier’s Notre Dame du Haut and Gaudi’s Cathedral. Two very different buildings, but would these incredible works of architecture ever have been created if it was not for the motivation of religion? What other human enterprise would have cause the design and creation of exceptional works like these?
Sagrada Familia is an incredible and I think almost insane feat of design, engineering vision and construction. To some this will be the material manifestation of a certain kind of religious belief. I can’t help but see this as an insane and magnificent folly, the spark of one off-kilter (whisper it) mad, visionary and over 100 years of religious fervor.
They are still cracking on with the construction of this landmark that already dwarfs city, I wonder what it will be like in another 15 years?