I’m impressed how termites built their shelter: thousands of fugitive insects construct so-called small towers and connect them to columns of neighbors one by one. In such a chaotic work millimeters of turrets turns in hundreds of years into 10 m hight natural masterpiece. For the main Spanish highlight Sagrada Familia it is also needed a lot of time to be finished. But the main similarity with termitary is that the insects never have any schemes or sketches and construct just by inspiration. Just like the Great Gaudi.
Shame of me: I’ve been in Barcelona 4 times and only now visited Sagrada. Before I had enough with impressions from Gaudi’ houses and merry atmosphere of the town. And I was afraid to ruin my admiration of Sagrada, as the interior could be not as grand as termitary-look exterior. At least this is what I thought.
In late November the line of visitors not as scary as during summer. Just 6 minutes and you are standing near cash desk. Our task is to choose: an entrance ticket for 10 euro or 12.50 euro? The last price include the possibility to use an elevator for going upstairs. We were automatically signed in the line for elevator, which started in 30 minutes.
Welcome to the weird world of Gaudi’s imagination! I couldn’t talk the first minutes. It is like you enter into the massive cathedral, but instead of traditional religious elements you get the play of lines, which are never end up to be straight. And all the columns remind stone trees, which spread its branches to wavy ceiling.
It is obvious that not everything in the interior is complete, especially stained-glass windows and centrepiece. The white cells in the ceiling most probably will become a yellow stars, just like in the central part of the church. I agree that it is really difficult to think about God in this impressively huge cathedral, because any serious thought will be interrupted with weird details.
30 minutes passed quickly and we run to the elevator, where the guard checked mentioned time in the ticket. According to it we can use the lifting service only during 30 minutes, so if the line of people behind us is too long, the try should be duplicated next time. Finally we appeared on 65m hight from where the view is worth a try!
First visitors step on the stone bridge between two towers. Normally it can be crowded, but luckily people didn’t know that basically it is the best sightseeing point in Sagrada. Actually, I also expected to see much more further away, cos I understood from the guard in elevator that we will cross the bridge a bit later.
From this viewpoint I got a panorama to the center of Barcelona and to the workers, working on the towers. So height! The cranes nearby already looks like a part of the church – they coexist with Sagrada Familia for ages.
After the bridge we stepped to the gray inside of the tower. Spiral staircase goes to the bottom, lightened due to decorative holes in the turret. The next viewpoint is closed, more likely cos of sad accidents. Just when I thought about this, another place for enjoying the panorama appeared. First I noticed the cracks in balcony and the unbelievable hight. People from down were looking like ants in bright cloth.
The only part of Sagrada made by Gaudi in his lifetime is the gray facade with leaves over it. It called the Nativity facade and shows the birth, childhood and young manhood of Jesus. Actually the whole church is full of symbolism. The planned amount of towers is 18, all dedicated to 12 apostles, 4 evangelists, and 2 to Mary and Jesus. So far only 8 towers are built – 4 on each facade. Antonio Gaudi wanted to create Sagrada Familia as Gospel giant encyclopedia.
Master gave the way of his imagination during 43 years (1883-1926). After his ironical death caused by tram, no one could finish his work, cos architect didn’t leave any sketches. He kept everything in his head and imagination and created something unique, which can’t be the same again – a termitary for civilization.