Barcelona Cathedral and La Sagrada Familia

1. The Barcelona Cathedral

Barcelona Cathedral - exterior

Imposing and located on the famous Gothic Quarter next to the Las Ramblas, the Barcelona Cathedral is a masterpiece of Gothic Architecture.  Dark, huge and full of gargoyles, the Cathedral manages to retain some sanctity as there were more people praying in it than people taking pictures.

Barcelona Cathedral - interior
The Cathedral contains a lot of mini-chapels dedicated to various important saints in the Church’s history and also contains the crypt (see topmost right of pic below) of Santa Eulalia, the co-patron Saint of Barcelona.

Barcelona Cathedral - chapels
Due to its proximity to the Las Ramblas, the Cathedral is surrounded by cafes, restaurants and fashion boutiques thus making it very convenient for tourists who want to sight see, shop and just get lost in the various streets and alleys around the Cathedral.

2.  Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia - exterior

No other church personifies Barcelona like the Sagrada Familia.  A masterpiece of hybrid Gothic & Modern form by Barcelona’s national artist, Antoni Gaudi, the basilica started construction in 1882.. and is still not finished. Literally, there are construction cranes on the grounds of the basilica. (see topmost portion of pic below)

Sagrada Familia

The scale of the Sagrada is just monumental.  A lot taller than the Barcelona Cathedral and erected with 8 spires, the Basilica just dominates the area, especially since the buildings beside it look like they’re just 1/4th of its height.

According to the tour guide, Gaudi was a huge fan of nature and the columns in the Church were meant to resemble trees and branches.  Indeed, walking around the church kinda reminded me of this cartoon that came out when I was a kid, Fern Gully.

Sagrada Familia - ceiling

*Avatar / Fern Gully. (photo with credit to wikipedia)

With 90% of the people inside being photo-taking tourists, the Sagrada feels less like a church and more like an amusement park ride.  In fact, we lined up for an hour just to get in!

Sagrada Familia

Top left: Kinda looks like Castle Grayskull from He-Man, Top Right: Colorful Interior, Bottom: My folks posing along with all the other tourists.


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