Our Barcelona adventure continues from my previous post with a visit to the Waterfront, Gothic Cathedral, Plaza de Catalunya and Sagrada Familia.
We almost missed seeing the inside of this extraordinary Basilica because we did not buy tour tickets in advance. It is the most visited monument in Spain. Luckily we were able to get one of the last tours of the day. More about the Sagrada Familia in a moment but first let me tell you how our day of seeing the sights started.
in the morning we took a short taxi trip to the Barcelona waterfront. It reminded me a little bit of Santa Monica beach, except I was surprised to see men and women sun bathing in the nude. There were families with children around but no one seemed to mind.
Steven and I didn’t bring our bating suits but I did wade in the water a little. It was a lovely beach day but we didn’t stay too long because we had a lot we wanted to see.
Next on our list was a stop at the Gothic, Barcelona Cathedral. The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia was constructed between the 13th and 15th centuries. The details adorning the Cathedral were dramatic.
We came upon at a cute little place for lunch while we waited for our tour to the Sagrada Familia. We learned a little too late in our stay that we were hugely over tipping. Tipping is not expected in Barcelona and if you do, it’s usually only about 5 to 8 percent.
Finally the Sagrada Familia, words cannot describe this wonderful work of art.
Our tour started by the entrance of the Passion Facade. It depicts the end of Jesus’s life, with the crucification and resurrection. Architect, Antoni Gaudi meant the rows of columns at the top to looks like ribs. The slanted columns remind the viewer of Jesus’s stretched muscles.
There is so much symbolism and geometric perfection contained in every angle, window, and artistic biblical representation of this masterpiece. Gaudi also uses the forms found in nature. This interior photo reminds me of trees in a forest, reaching for the sky.
“Those who look for the laws of Nature as a support for their new works collaborate with the creator.” – A. Gaudi
The blue stained glass windows on the east side of the Basilica face the sun rise.
The west side, where the sun sets, the windows have warmer hues that turn the walls and interior structures a dazzling yellow-orange when the sun hits it.
Color in certain places has the great value of making the outlines and structural planes seem more energetic. – A. Gaudi
Our tour ended outside the Nativity Facade. The Nativity Facade prominently features the birth of Jesus. It is also filled with other biblical representations and characters. This work of art depicts many keys to understanding the Christian religion. There is also a third important facade, the Glory Facade.
Several architects contributed to the building of the Sagrada Familia, the most notable being Antoni Gaudi who constructed it combining Gothic and Art Nouveau forms. It is distinguished as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
This Church of the Holy Family has been under construction since 1882. It remains unfinished and still under construction.
Our final day in Barcelona, I took a walk alone up to the other end of Las Ramblas after having a sumptuous breakfast at the Le Meridian where we were staying.
The heart of Barcelona beats in Las Ramblas, a wide boulevard that leads from Plaza de Catalunya in the center of the city all the way down to the sea.
A rich tapestry of human interaction characterizes Placa de Catalunya (Square of Catalonia).
As I stopped to take a photo at the beautiful fountain in the plaza, an intriguing building in the background caught my eye. I went in for a closer look.
My eye for interesting architecture lead me to some good shopping near the building on Las Ramblas. I wish I could have lingered longer but it was time to continue our travels on board the Royal Princess. Our first port would be Cartagena, Spain. I can’t wait to tell you all about it!
Happy adventures, Linda
More about Barcelona here: Barcelona and Park Guell
“I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft.” – Exodus 31:3-5
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