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Sagrada Familia – 5 things you may not have known

Sagrada Familia is Barcelona’s most well known landmark which has drawn a large amount of controversy. The church was designed by genius architect and artist Antoni Gaudí, who spent a large amount of his life working on the building and its design. Controversy has been stirred from some suggestion that after Gaudi’s death the building is no longer being built to his original designs. Nevertheless the church, ordained as a basilica in 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI, has some amazing architecture.

Why not have a look at Generator’s 5 things you may not have known about Sagrada Familia?

1. Gaudi’s Workshop

Although the basilica is still somewhat of a construction site there are some permanent exhibitions in place commemorating Gaudi. There is a thorough recreation of Gaudi’s workshop including some computer-generated displays of his designs. This is also complimented by a recreation of a classroom that Gaudi would have been educated in to give a feel for the type of geometry studies that led to his neo-gothic designs.

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

2. The Highs and Lows of Sagrada Familia

While the main attraction of this beautiful building is the nave itself but what you may not know is that you can visit the lowest depths as well as the highest heights of the structure. You can visit the tombs, where Gaudi himself is buried, and from the tomb you can make your way to the top of a tower. Traveling by elevator and a thin walkway you get to the top of a tower and will be greeted by an amazing view of Barcelona.

3. Eight of Eighteen

Whilst it is well known that the basilica is still under construction, according to Gaudi’s last full detailed plans of the building; there will eventually be eighteen towers. Eight have been constructed so far and they are expected to have been completed by 2028. Some controversy arose over whom these towers would represent, but the designs call for towers representing the twelve apostles, the four evangelists, the Virgin Mary, and the tallest to represent Jesus Christ. Models representing this finished design and computer generated images of it are displayed in the museum section of the structure that display how the designs have been altered, fairly drastically, over the final few years of Gaudi’s life.

4. Trees and Tortoises

It is a common sight in a cathedral to see pillars holding up the ornately decorated ceiling, but in the Sagrada Familia the pillars are consistently changing as they reach towards to the ceiling. They start as squares and change into octagons and so on until they become circular. Gaudi intended these pillars to resemble trees with their branches running along the ceiling. Along with Gaudi’s naturalistic take on pillars, animals hold two of the pillars up, one by a turtle and the other by a tortoise – one representing the earth and the other the sea.

5. Strings and Things

In the museum area of the structure there are models showing some of Gaudi’s designs and how they have changed. Whilst a lot of these take form in models made by contemporaries, Gaudi’s method was to hang weighted string from the ceiling so that by manipulating them he could see natural arches form. It is this attention to detail that is the lifeblood of Gaudi’s designs.

The Sagrada Familia is most definitely a must see when you stay at Generator hostel in Barcelona, and now it’s being used for mass services you can get a real feel for how this building has, and will continue to, evolve.

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