Monday, April 16, 2012

From Gothic to Modernisme in Barcelona

Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulalia (Barcelona Cathedral) is another tourist attraction near La Rambla, Barcelona.  It is a gothic cathedral built from the 13th to the 15th century.  Yeah, 3 abad untuk bina gereja tu!  To get to this cathedral From La Rambla, we turned into Carrer de la Portaferrissa.  There were many high street brands on sale along this street that I thought it was another tourist stretch.  It was only much later did I discover that it was part of Barri Gotic, the old quarter of Barcelona.

When we reached the cathedral we found that it was (not surprisingly) partly under restoration.  Yelah... awal tahun... baru dapat budget :P.

Barcelona Cathedral

Although it was under restoration, visitors and worshippers were allowed in.  However, since I have been inside another gothic cathedral (Santa Maria del Mar), I figured, they would probably look more or less the same.  So, after taking a breather, we continued to our next destination:  Basilica de la Sagrada Familia.  It was easy to go there from anywhere in Barcelona because the metro station was aptly named Sagrada Familia, too.

I admit before coming to Barcelona, I know nuts about this UNESCO world heritage site.  However, the daughter was very excited to see the place, having seen it first in the Disney Channel Movie: The Cheetah Girls 2.

Sagrada Familia looming at the background
Boy, was I in awe when I saw the towering structure as we walked out from the Metro station!  As I strained my neck and squinted my eyes to take it all in, I was full of admiration for the man who's responsible for this imposing beauty.  Sagrada Familia is a Roman Catholic church designed by Catalan designer Antoni Gaudi, the pioneer of Catalan Modernisme.  Construction of the basilica (church) started in 1882 and is still underway.  Yep, you heard me right!  The basilica is expected to be completed by 2026, just in time to celebrate the centenary of Gaudi's passing.

The Nativity Facade of Sagrada Familia

The Passion Facade of Sagrada Familia
The basilica is a fine example of  Modernisme architecture.  Gaudi's modernisme is characterised by the dominance of curved over straight lines, rich and detailed decorations, organic motifs, assymetrical and dynamic shapes.  Hubby wanted to take a tour of the place but I was torn between spending money to buy tickets to this particular Gaudi masterpiece or the other one, the equally enchanting Casa Battlo.  Taking into consideration that snapping photos was not allowed in the basilica, we decided to forgo the tour and bought a guide book instead :).  Maybe, we will visit the completed basilica in 2026, kalau panjang umur dan ada rezeki :)

From Sagrada Familia, we boarded the Metro to the Diagonal station to visit another Gaudi's creation, Casa Mila.  Unlike Sagrada Familia, Casa Mila a.k.a La Pedrera is a residential apartment. It was originally built for a Catalan Bourgeois family, the Milas.  Now, visitors can actually visit the second floor and the roof for a fee, but the third to fifth floors are closed to visitors, most probably because there are residents in these floors.

Casa Mila - look at the undulating stone facade :)
When we got there, La Pedrera was already closed so we just took pictures in front of the place and bought souvenirs at the gift shop located at the ground floor.  Then, we took the metro back to our apartment.  End of  day 3.

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