Thursday : Lingering look at Windows- week 46

Did you ever see such radiance?

Rather in the same way that I left visiting the Sagrada Familia till my last day in Barcelona, I’ve resisted posting about it.  I hoped against hope that I wouldn’t find it disappointing.  My hotel, of the same name, was just around the corner, so I had walked past on numerous occasions.  Not that it’s possible to just casually pass by the Sagrada Familia.  Each time, I would stop and stare, fascinated.  The stonemasons, seemingly oblivious to passers by, scaled the heights in flimsy cradles. But what would it feel like, inside?  Would it be a venerable space, or simply a crazily imaginative work of art?  I’ll let you decide.

The light cascades down over you

Light cascades through the windows, from the ceiling down.

I don't know if I was ever in a more beautiful space

I don’t know if I was ever in a more beautiful space.

From the almost traditional

From the almost traditional

to the surreal

to the surreal.

Strong colour

From strong blues

and rainbow hues

through rainbow hues

or rose pale

to soft and rosy pale.

Sunlit stains radiating off the pillars

Sunlight shimmers off the pillars

and hiding in corners

and hides in corners.

Even now, just looking at the photos and writing about it, I feel quite emotional. Hard to explain the impact of this place.  The altar, like nothing I had ever seen before.  I was feeling reverence, while down below, in the parishioners church, a service was taking place.


A simple Christ

Then there was the tower to climb.  Fortunately, the lift did most of the work.

But following the stairwell was a slightly surreal experience

But following the stairwell was a slightly surreal experience.

Looking out past the trussed up new features

Looking out past the trussed up newer features

Were windows ever so strangely adorned?

Were windows ever so strangely adorned?

And then the exterior, worked upon for so long. (Gaudi began in 1883!)

A window, barely visible for sculpture

A window, barely visible for sculpture

And one exquisitely surrounded

And one exquisitely surrounded

What is one to make of it all?

What do they make of it all?

I hope I have managed to convey some of the beauty and artistry of the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia.  It’s fair to say, there is nowhere else like it. What an incredible man was Antoni Gaudi, “God’s Architect”.  The current projection for completion is 2033.

This is my contribution to Dawn’s Lingering look at Windows this week.  I wasn’t disappointed.  I hope you weren’t either?  Meantime, Debbie, over at Travel with Intent has asked if I would like to link this post to her challenge, Look up, Look down.  So that’s a lot more folks to visit, isn’t it?  Happy Thanksgiving, all!


  1. It’s been a few years since I visited Sagrada Familia and it looks to have come along a bit in the meantime!

    Hmmm … that stairwell is pretty surreal!

    I can’t think of another cathedral in the building phase – can you?

    Great photos, Jo – you’ve really shown it off well.

  2. Fantastic photos – here, Jo! I have never been inside the Sagrada Familia – because it hasn’t been ready and my last visit I didn’t know it was all done. Just wonderful beautiful the way they have finished it. So glad you did this post … because now I know how it looks inside. It has been under constructions for so many years.

    1. I did a virtual tour online before I went, Vivi, and I still wasn’t prepared for the reality. It has the most beautiful feeling and you don’t have to be religious to be swept away by it. This is one of those posts I just had to write. I’m glad you like it 🙂
      Bedtime hug! 🙂 (I’m going in the bath with my book)

      1. Jo, it’s a stunning post and next time I go to Barcelona I will visit it. I think I have only visit 4 churches in total as a tourist, not really my thing – but this I want to see … just love the way they have finished it off.

  3. Stunning photos, Jo. It’s so lovely to relive Sagrada Familia through your eyes. It is really a stunning, awe-inspiring space, isn’t it? And so spiritual with all that light streaming in through the lofty spaces. 🙂

  4. You have conveyed the beauty of the Basilica, you captured the light perfectly. Antonio Gaudi’s art is fantastic he led the way with original architecture. Have you a post on any of his other work? Your photos are magic.

  5. The interior is magnificent, I think I like it more than the exterior and I imagine it was almost impossible to not bump into other visitors because you would always be looking up and around. Wonderful photos Jo, definitely a sight I would love to see.

  6. Hi Jo. You described this well…part traditional, part surreal. I am in awe and I can see the impact it can have on a visitor.Quite impressive.Love the humorous comment under the last picture. 🙂 (Thanks for wondering where I’ve been. Traveling, home improvement projects and a nasty bout of tendonitis in my “computer writing arm” have derailed me.) Take care. Lynne

    1. Many thanks, Lynne. Glad to hear from you 🙂 (I could have hunted on Ron’s for some hints, but don’t get there as often as I’d like. Pleased it’s nothing serious)
      They do have a slightly bemused look though, the modern sculptures 🙂 Happy you enjoyed it.

  7. Your photos are breathtaking, Jo, and I feel lost for words. I would like to see this place for myself one day but in the meantime I’ve really enjoyed seeing it through your beautiful pictures, thank you.

    1. We just “crossed over” again, Lorna. I was writing in your comments 🙂
      Ethereal, unworldly… I don’t know what the words are, but it was a wonderful experience, Lorna. Thanks for enjoying it with me 🙂

      1. I just saw your comment, thank you. 🙂 I could imagine you might be doubtful about sharing such an incredible place in case other people aren’t as impressed as you were on seeing it in person. However, no need to worry on that score, I can see from the other comments that I’m far from being the only one who was blown away by your pictures. I had to go back and look at those stained glass windows again – mesmerising!

  8. How gorgeous is your Old World. Sadly most of this type of work has been left out of America well save for the Churches who carry on the tradition of Stained Glass. It is why I have a workshop in my barn so someday I can make more beautiful pieces to hang in front of my ordinary ones 🙂

  9. Those are the most amazing photos Jo you have captured the spirit and beauty of this amazing building. I am so pleased to look inside with you. In 1989 when I was in Barcelona I could only gaze in awe at the outside and wish it was open to go inside.

  10. We visited Barcelona last year & we too, were gobsmacked when we stepped inside of the Sagrada Familia! We found ourselves just standing in absolute awe. For Gaudi to imagine this space so many years ago is incredible. For anyone visiting Barcelona, it is definitely worth the time & the money to visit:-)

  11. Oh Jo, how fabulous it is! You’ve captured the purity and joyousness – that light! I’m so glad to learn there’s a congregation and an active schedule of services – you see, it will continue to be the Sagrada Familia, make its own place in the spiritual life of the city. It’s quite incredible how it’s changed since I was last there in the mid-70s – even looks as though it’s been cleaned, like any ancient city cathedral! Terrific, and worth every waiting moment 🙂

    1. I’m so happy to have you say this, Meredith! Joyous is exactly how it feels. A real celebration of the Lord, and of mankind too. I was intrigued to see, in the church below the Basilica, the congregation at prayer. There isn’t much that Gaudi didn’t think of. What an amazing man! 🙂

  12. I have never been there and yet the photos grab me in a very emotional way. I’m so much looking forward to going to Barcelona one day, I’ll be thinking of you, looking at this very grand inside, Jo. Great, just wonderful post.
    Love, Dina

    1. It didn’t quite go to plan, Jill. The hotel allegedly has a roof terrace with views of SF, which was my chief reason for booking it. I never got to see the view, though- the door was always locked or I couldn’t manage to open it. A source of great frustration on my last day, but you just have to laugh!
      Haven’t told anyone else this tale yet- an exclusive, for being such a loyal follower 🙂

      1. I’m honored you shared your disappointing experience with me, Jo, but I’m so sorry to hear you were denied access to the roof terrace. You seem like a feisty lady, I’m surprised you didn’t try to pick the lock. 🙂

  13. A-ma-zing, another quote from the cranky Craig…. Thanks for my free tour, but I really must get to see the real thing sometime….the light on the stonework looks stunning, and your images are great 🙂

  14. Jo, this is utterly breathtaking. I have wanted to visit for so long, and now I want to jump on a plane immediately. Your photos are stunning, I think it’s the way you caught the light shimmering off the white stone work. Just beautiful , and what a mind he must have had to create this. I love the stone starburst in the roof, like flowers opening to the sun 🙂

    1. That’s the effect it had on me, too, Seonaid. 🙂 I wasn’t sure if the photos were good enough but a couple I really like. It is the most captivating place! Book your flight- they need the money to keep the building works going 🙂

  15. Definitely not disappointing. It is one to visit again and again, as is the whole of Barcelona. Glad you had such a good trip. I’ve pinned one of these on my Look Up Look Down pinterest page. You should come and link up to my Look Up Look Down Challenge. These shots are just perfect.

  16. I saw it in 2007 or 08 and was blown away. it was still under construction then. Have they finished it … will they ever. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    1. 2033, maybe? What I hadn’t realised is that it is already in use as a church, TBM. Gaudi thought of everything! There is a church for local parishioners beneath the Basilica. Amazing!
      Happy Thanksgiving 🙂 Are you celebrating, American style?

  17. So wonderful to see these images. I was planning visit to Barcelona this winter, unfortunately I had to change my plans. Hope to visit in the nearest future 🙂 Thank you for this preview ❤

  18. Great pictures Jo. It is an interesting project don’t you think?
    I have read that completion (whenever that is) may create an issue about consecration and status around the central debate of whether Barcelona needs two Roman Catholic Cathedrals.
    Interesting too that the RC Church provides no funding for the construction work as does neither, the State of Spain, the Community of Catalonia or the city of Barcelona.
    Salamanca has two cathedrals but they are built side by side (one Romanesque, one Baroque) and are effectively the same structure but it will be difficult to get from Barcelona Cathedral to Sagrada Familia unless worshippers are going to take the metro or the tourist bus!

    1. Fascinating, Andrew! I hadn’t really thought about it except that in Girona they have cathedral and basilica don’t they? I thought this might differentiate, but I’m not good on theological issues. The church will bend the rules, surely, if it comes to it? (oops, who said that!)
      The visitors are funding it handsomely, aren’t they, but I didn’t begrudge a penny, having been inside. What was a surprise to me was the church “belowstairs” with a congregation singing away!
      It’s an easy hop on the Metro- I’ve done it 🙂

      1. Good point Jo. As I understand it, in the RC hierarchy a Cathedral outranks a Basilica and a Basilica outranks a Church. Lots of cities have both a Cathedral and a Basilica. Paris has Notre Dam Cathedral and Sacré-Cœur Basilica. Sagrada Familia is currently consecrated as a Basilica, perhaps that is the best it can aspire to? A shame because it probably deserves to have Cathedral status.
        I suppose one big question may be – will it ultimately be a Gaudi visitor attraction or a serious place for religious worship? Too big a conundrum for my agnostic brain!
        How much is the entrance fee now?

      2. Just searched through all my tickets and can’t find it, because I booked online before going. With the tower included but no audio it was just over 20euros, I think. Audio was another 4, and I really just wanted to look. I did the audio in Casa Batllo but not La Pedrera. If you’re interested there’s so much you can find out yourself. The link to Gaudi on Wikipedia is enormous and very informative. 🙂

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