Who is the one, who owns the crown in being a genius of decorating architecture way over the top? Antonio Gaudi!
(as usual, you can see the photo enlarged, when clicking in it)
Right next to the church you can find a small school set up for the workers kids to educate them and to teach them. In that time educate was a rare and expensive good. By teaching the workers kids, they offered them a career as a worker on the building site. While teaching them the basic math and tool handling they were able to get skilled and qualified workers. On the other hand, the kids got an opportunity get a job and to make their living. Keep in mind, other big cathedrals were constructed and build for at least decades. The construction of the cathedral in Cologne, for example, lasted more than 600 years! Thus, several generations of people were supposed to make their living on working on this cathedral. And, even after finishing such a building, some stonecutters will stay with the cathedral works to renew and repairs several parts every now and than.
Below the church you can visit the workers area. Here you can find old paintings, plans, small model of different parts and so on.
You can reach this area also from the place before Christmas front. Leave the building and turn right. Follow the path leading you down, below the building.
Here, you can also find one of the two gift shops. 🙂 (The other one is on the Easter front side).
I picked it and processed it again with Tonalty Pro for this post. I gave it a slight vintage look, because in my opinion this look supports the mood of this photo.
As usual I started with preset and modified it afterwards. Therefore I gave it a slight sepia toning, a slight vignette to simulate a faint lens and a frame that brings a used-look. I know, there are many people, who don’t like frames around photos. But especially in photos with a vintage look, I like frames.
You know, I started photography many years ago and during my early years I also took many photos on black-and-white film. And, I also developed these films on my own im my own darkroom. I also did my own prints. Every sheet of paper had to be put under the enlarger and was hold by small plates to ensure, the paper lays flat under the enlarger. And, guess what, these plates hindered the light to exposure the covered parts of the paper and … left the frame!
So, you know, why I like frames around my bw photos every now and then.
(as always: click on the photo to see them in a bigger size)
This church has extremely much light inside, compared to other churches. Not only because of the glass windows at every side, but also from above. The whole church is inspired by a forest. Huge trees (the columns) are carrying the roof of leaves and branches. Between these leaves the natural light is able to reach the ground. Here you have the same, light channels are leading light from the sky inside the church. Also a technique, Antonio Gaudi used before: in Palau de la Musica. Even the big plates with the symbols of the evangelists are illuminated from behind by natural light.
The photo above was my first photo inside, right on our way to the towers, when the inside wasn’t much crowded. On the other hand, this inner circle with the benches was guarded, to give prayers a room.
Todays photo for Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness is taken in Barcelona earlier this year. Those, who follow my blog on a regular basis, might have recognized the photo. I was one of the photos in the gallery from the towers of La Sagrada Familia and I showed it last week already. But, that’s not completely true.
Although the photo, taken inside one of the towers, is a natural-born monochromatic photo, I converted it to bw with MacPhun Tonality Pro. I started again with one of the basic presets and adjusted the controls to bring out the fine structures in the stones. (btw. just in case, anyone is interested in a complete walk-through, just drop me a line).
These towers are really tight and you really need your hands. I guess, each stop is only 50 cm broad and you can’t pass anyone before you, expect on one of the few platforms or bridges to the neighbor towers. As you can see, you have a handrail on the right. On the left you have none, but the staircase is so steep, that the winding stone limiting the steps will be your handrail on to left.
The photo is taken handhold with an ultra-wide lens, a so-called fisheye. Beside carrying a tripod is forbidden, as I mentioned in my post last week, you won’t have enough room to set it up. Thus, your camera should be able to bring good results even in high iso. The downside of using a fisheye is, pay attention to your feet, hands, jacket and other visitors. You will definitely have some disturbing objects in your photo, if you don’t.
(as always: click on the photos to see them in a bigger size)
You can also visit the towers of La Sagrada Familia. Currently the church has 8 towers, four at the Christmas front side and four at the Easter front side. The plan is, to build another four on each of the other sides. These twelve towers will represent the twelve apostles. The next four will be set up inside the circle of the twelve and representing the four evangelists. All of these will be towered over by one middle tower, representing Jesus Christ. When visiting the church, don’t forget to exit the building at the Christmas side and have a look at the model, showing the church in its finished state. It’s really amazing. I included a photo of each of the four sides of the church in my gallery, although they aren’t good. The model is behind heavy mirroring glass 😦
But, back the towers. As I wrote above, you can visit the towers and have to decide for one of the two sides, when ordering your tickets. Beside choosing you entrance time while buying your ticket, you have to choose the time for entering the towers, if you want. We were extremely lucky to have chosen 9:15h for our visit of the towers. Later I met people, who were unlucky, because to towers became closed because of heavy wind. When we were there, the Easter side towers were closed, so we were on top of the Christmas side. The elevator is reachable from the outside. It’s a bit hidden and now signs led us in the right direction. So here is my description: Leave the building at the Christmas side and turn left. There you can find a quite smaller entrance bringing you to the elevator. It’s forbidden to bring a bag, rucksack or so with you, but they have lockers (with a glass front) to store your bags.
The small elevator brings up to four people to the top of the tower. You leave it at the bridge level (look at my photos in the post on the Christmas front to get an idea). On your way down you can change the towers at several places. The stairs are really extremely narrow, so a bag or a rucksack really would hinder you.
Beside interesting details, you have a fantastic view over the city and the beach.
Last week I introduced you to the Christmas Front of La Sagrada Familia. This week we walk around the church to the opposite side and have a look on the Easter front, where you can find the entrance for the common visitors.
Here we have a very different sculpturing style compared to the Christmas front. The complete story of easter is modeled in stone around the entrance. Try to find the roman soldiers and look at their helmets. What do you see? I see, they are looking gust like the fairy chimneys on to of Casa Milà.
When comparing the buildings, Antonio Gaudí has built, you can always find similarities. His whole designing live was inspired by organic structures and he used these ideas always.
Next, we’ll go inside the church and visit the towers.
This is one of the side entrances to the church. This entrance is for guided groups. The entrance for the common people is on the opposite side.
I really advise you, to buy your tickets in advance to avoid the enormous queues at the cashier desks. When we arrived at about 8:30h the queue already surrounded one side of church, approximately 300-400m. (And we were there on early March!). Our tickets were for 9:00h, so we passed the queues and went straight to the entrance on the Easter side, opposite to the Christmas side.
I’ll show some more details from the Easter side in my next post. The Christmas front is rich decorated with small and filigree details. Very hard to take photos of these details because of its size and the distance.
The both finished fronts are completely different. Not only in their theme, but also in the sculpturing style. Both of them are fantastic.
Antonio Gaudi was inspired by organic structures. Leaves, animals, shells, trees, fruits, flowers and many other organic structures gave him ideas for modeling his buildings. You can find all of those structures in nature.
This iconic cathedral is, although not finished, probably the best known symbol of Barcelona. It’s also designed by Antonio Gaudi and, in my humble opinion, his real masterpiece! This church is really adorable! I’ll show more of this fantastic building in my next posts.
This photo is taken from one of the two small parks beside the church. We were on location early to get a good spot. But, unfortunately they forgot to switch on the lights in time. Instead of getting photos of the illuminated church at twilight, we only got them at black night. How disappointing.
Antonio Gaudi died in 1926 because of an accident. The people at Barcelona tried to finish the cathedral, but without plans and the genius architect, it was nearly impossible. Thus, the works stopped quite often and were stopped completely in 1935.
Although many people voted to leave the ruin alone or to remove it completely, they started another try to finish the cathedral during the preparation for the 1992 Olympic Games. And it makes a good progress. Entrance fees are used to continue building the cathedral and back in 2010 they reached a point, that the cathedral was able to be sanctified.
There is a hope, to get it finished until 2026 (the 100th anniversary of Antonio Gaudi’s death), because of the good progress. We will see.
My contribution to Leanne Coles Monochrome Madness for this week is taken in Barcelona.
You can see, the teacher’s desk in the school for the workers kids at the construction site of La Sagrada Familia. I’ll tell you more on La Sagrada in one of my next posts. Only so much for now, there was (and still is) a small building for the architect, the plans and to hold planning meeting. One of the rooms was equipped with several benches, a blackboard and some maps: the school.
Here, the workers kids (usually uneducated) get the opportunity to learn. One intention for this, beside the philanthropic idea, might have been to get new workers, but these would already have a certain kind of knowledge in math and technique. So, they might get better jobs at the construction site.
I’ll show you some more photos from inside the school soon, too.
So, stay tuned. Take care!