Skip to comments.Pope Benedict to consecrate Barcelona's Sagrada Familia [Antoni Gaudí's unfinished masterpiece]
Posted on 11/07/2010 1:48:11 AM PDT by JoeProBono
Pope Benedict XVI is to visit the Spanish city of Barcelona to consecrate Antoni Gaudi's unfinished cathedral, the Sagrada Familia, as a basilica.
Gaudi's greatest work has been under construction for more than a century, and will not be finished before 2026.
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
The Sagrada Familia will become the world's tallest church when finished
Gaudí was a devout Catholic, to the point that in his later years he abandoned secular work and devoted his life to Catholicism and his Sagrada Família. He designed it to have 18 towers, 12 for the 12 apostles, 4 for the 4 evangelists, one for Mary and one for Jesus. One of his closest family members his niece Rosa Egea died in 1912, only to be followed by a "faithful collaborator", Francesc Berenguer Mestres, two years later. After these tragedies, Barcelona fell on hard times economically. The construction of La Sagrada Família slowed; the construction of La Colonia Güell ceased altogether. Four years later in 1918, Eusebi Güell, his patron, died.
Perhaps it was because of this unfortunate sequence of events that Gaudí changed. He became reluctant to talk with reporters or have his picture taken and solely concentrated on his masterpiece, La Sagrada Família. He spent the last few years of his life living in the crypt of the "Sagrada Familia".
I hope someday the church becomes just a little more practical. It’s a monstrosity from my chair. I’m sure it’s superb....just wasteful.
this church is not a cathedral
gaudy: adj gaudier, gaudiest
gay, bright, or colourful in a crude or vulgar manner; garish
This memorial, located in the Valley of the Fallen in Spain, was conceived by Fernando Franco, dictator of Spain, to honor those killed in the Spanish Civil War. The memorial contains one of the world's largest basilicas, which was hollowed out of a granite ridge. The cross, also of granite, is one of the world's tallest. Franco was buried in the basilica.
It’s actually very beautiful - or I suppose, could be depending on what they do with the interior. The outside has carvings of different scenes related to the Holy Family (the Nativity, Adoration of the Magi, etc.) and the little details in the carving are wonderful. If you go up into the towers and out onto the roof, you see that it is all designed as a mass of foliage, and there are porcelain birds nesting in the stone tracery here and there.
Gaudi died without completing the designs and in fact before they completed even the part he had designed. There has been some controversy over the sculptor hired to finish some parts (I think he’s awful, personally, creator of those faceless religious statues that were so popular post Vatican II), but the basic Gaudi part is not a waste at all.
Another thing to remember is that Gaudi was designing for the pre-Vatican II Church, which understood splendor, beauty and faith, and not for its dreary, utilitarian and barely believing post-Vatican II version.
“originality consists of returning to the origin”
I spent a week in Barcelona a few years ago. Saw this close up. Its very strange, but cool. Gaudi had a wild imagination. I think died when he was hit by a car crossing the street. Damn european drivers!
this church is not a cathedral
Anyone who has seen this incomplete cathedral up close will understand why we have adopted the name into our language as you define it. The cathedral is speckled with variegated tiles which make it look like South Beach on a bad day.
Was Solomon's Temple wasteful?
If God is Beauty, shouldn't his House be beautiful?
There's an old saying that skimping on a church is stealing from the poor.
The adjective actually dates back to the Middle Ages.
Most of the Elegant churches are now closed. They just exist. The sad part is that they are in poor neighborhoods and could perhaps be used for winter shelters.
Yeah. I thought the same thing, until I looked it up in a couple of dictionaries.
Same here in MA. A lot of them are closing. What strikes me as particularly sad is that many of these glorious churches were built by poor, immigrant communities. Some of these churches now exist in wealthy, urban and suburban environments, and are being neglected.
They stand as a metaphor for our spiritually dessicated American church.
What do we do with them? I'm glad I'm not a bishop having to make those decisions.
The lower photo is the crypt, where they have been offering mass for years now, awaiting the opening of the upper church. I was looking for photos of the new upper church, but all I found was a short video of the Pope right at the altar, so I couldn’t really tell what it looks like. All I could see were the organ pipes (it seems to have a very impressive organ, I have to look up the maker).
Supposedly, however, the roof is an enameled leaf-like pattern with glass set into it. I have to go to Barcelona and see it now!
In college I asked my art history prof if we got the word gaudy from Gaudi. He didn’t think it was funny and said no.
Kinda Gaudi. ;’)
Thank you! Nice color in the windows! I like figurative art but, on the other hand, with windows that height, you probably couldn’t tell what they depicted anyway. But it looks great and I love the way they are set in.
I saw a projection on a foreign news site of the completed exterior (with the windows, galleries, etc.) which is not expected to be finished for another few years, and it looked like it had a band of color around the middle because of the different tiers of windows. I don’t know if this is actually what it will look like, but it was certainly interesting.
I love the building and I am really looking forward to seeing the interior.
And Gaudi (for the info of other Freepers, the stress is on the last syllable) seems to have been a very saintly person. He lived in a little room in the basement on a handful of raisins and other barely edible things a day, and prayed constantly. His whole life was about beauty and about the elevation of everything to art. That was the essence of the movement: that the individual artist was not important, but that the work that glorified God through its beauty was the important thing, and this could be a painting, or it could be a mosaic floor, or it could be a gold chalice or an embroidered vestment - or a building and that contributed by all its builders.
Antoni Gaudi sun mosaic, Park Güell, Barcelona