stained glass

Six word Saturday

Looking through the window of love

There’s something very special about stained glass.  Whether you are a reverent person or simply one who loves beauty, it can’t fail to move you.  I could not visit Bristol without a return to the lovely cathedral, where you can get up really close to the windows in the cloisters.  The details and expressions are wonderful.

If you are wondering about my six words this week, I have a confession to make. (since I’m in the right setting)  I had Alf Moyet in my head when I conceived them, but when I checked the lyrics… well, I often seem to make up my own.  Blame a faulty memory.

Hopefully I gave you a Saturday smile, Debbie, and I expect Dawn wouldn’t mind a few more windows to linger by.  Happy weekend, all!

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.

IMG_1011

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!

Thursday : Lingering look at Windows- week 45

How about this for a spectacular start?

How about this for a view through a window?

If ever you are in Barcelona, find yourself just half an hour to tour the Palau de la Musica Catalana.  Better yet, attend a performance.  I promise you, you will not find a more beautiful theatre.

I had never before heard of the architect Lluis Domenech i Montaner, but on my first day in Barcelona I stumbled upon his Hospital de Santa Creu i Sant Pau and was immensely impressed. Day two found me lost in admiration for his Art Nouveau jewel of a theatre, which has been a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.  The website aptly describes it as “a magical music box which brings together all the decorative arts”.

The view from foyer to the outside courtyard.

The view from the foyer to the outside courtyard.

And then there are the stairs up to the theatre.

And then there are the stairs up to the theatre.

The details are beautiful

The details are beautiful

And then you are in the theatre itself

Then you are in the amazing theatre itself.

The auditorium is filled with natural light which filters in through the stained glass skylight and windows.  It was designed for daytime performances and the theme throughout is the natural world.  It is truly a masterpiece.  Sadly most performances these days are on an evening, as the tour guide explained.  She obviously loved her job and it wasn’t hard to see why.

It's hard to do the stained glass ceiling justice in a photo

It’s hard to do the stained glass ceiling panel justice in a photo

Or the trencadis "muses" that adorn the stage

Or the trencadis “muses” that adorn the stage

Each plays a musical instrument, though it might be hard to see here

Each plays a musical instrument- lute, tambourine, Catalan castanets…

The tour includes a short video which explains the background to the theatre’s existence and Catalan pride in this theatre, created purely for its’ choir and musical life.  In the theatre itself, the guide then explains all the symbolism and the special use of trencadis (mosaic made from broken tiles).  I had already perused the website and taken the virtual tour, but still I was enraptured with this wonderful creation, and a fan of Lluis Domenech i Montaner for life.

I hope you have enjoyed looking at some rather special windows with me.  A word of warning- be careful exiting down the marble stairs.  I descended rather faster than I intended!

Dawn has reached week 45 with this challenge.  Sorry I’ve missed a few, but I have a few more up my sleeve for the future.  Come and join us!