|La Sagrada Familia|
#1: The pictures that you see are not real. The place is still under construction after 100 years and is covered in scaffolding and construction cranes which, typically, get photoshopped out.
#2: It is absolutely overwhelming. The intricacies and details are mind-boggling. You see it and understand immediately why it is taking so long to build. And you will wonder just how someone could plan and design something this huge with so much detail.
We got there early in the morning (well, what counts as "early in the morning" for "on vacation" me).
And found out they were selling tickets for admission. For 6:30 at night.
So this would be item #3 about visiting La Sagrada Familia: you have to plan your visit in advance.
We were told we could buy tickets for Saturday on line, and that sounded good, so we left.
Unfortunately, by the time we went to buy the tickets on line, Saturday and Sunday were sold out. But Friday evening tickets were still available (although the towers could not be toured at that hour). So we bought Friday evening tickets, had a day wandering the streets of Barcelona, and returned at the appointed hour.
The on-line ticket purchase thing worked and we got inside the grounds.
The detail is amazing.
When you get inside La Sagrada Familia, you get an overwhelming sense of being overwhelmed.
I'm not being facetious with that comment. I know I'm often facetious with this vacation blog, but that is really the adjective: overwhelming.
Christ on the cross suspended above the altar.
A scale model replica.
There is even a whole church underneath the church. That is the "crypt" area.
And this, eventually, will be the main entrance.
On the Spanish Civil War tour, we learned one of the main reasons why La Sagrada Familia is still unfinished after all these years. Gaudi was devoutly religious and closely identified with the Catholic Church. He died before the Spanish Civil War. His plans and models were buried with him in his crypt, for safekeeping. The leftist/anarchist workers' party that seized control of Barcelona before the Spanish Civil War. Its followers exhumed Gaudi and burned/destroyed all of his plans and models for the unfinished, but then under-construction, La Sagrada Familia.
They have been recreating the plans and ornamentation since then. Computer design techniques developed recently are proving to be a major help.
Even the door have details embedded into them.
At 8:00PM, it was closing time. Time to leave.
And at 8:00PM, it would soon be the dinner hour in Barcelona.