Mad Scientess Jane Expat (nanila) wrote,
Mad Scientess Jane Expat

Barcelona, Day 5

We spent the entire day visiting three buildings by Barcelona's most famous architect, Antoni Gaudí. We stopped at La Pedrera first, a building that functioned both as an office and a residence. In addition to the ground floor courtyard, visitors are allowed into the uppermost apartment, the attic that houses a museum containing scale models of his work, and the roof, which is probably the best part.

Standing in the courtyard, looking up

Foyer mirrorAttic

The roof

Chimney detail

My favorite building, Casa Batlló (Pronounced baht-LEE-oh. Sort of.) is located just down the street from La Pedrera on the Passeig de Grácia. And now I will shut up and let the pictures do the talking.

Interior detail: stained glass paneling

Light fixture

Interior windowStaircase

Ceiling decoration (nippular)

Terrace fencepostRear wall of terrace

Terrace tiles

Fourth floor hallwayInterior stairwell, inner courtyard view

Interior staircase

They'll never find me hereRoof

Roof view from central platformDetail of the front cross

Chimney detail

We paid our final visit, with about an hour of daylight left, to La Sagrada Familia. This behemoth church would likely have been Gaudí's seminal work, had he not been run over by a tram. (Oh, the tasteless jokes one could make about his status as "God's Architect.") He built much of the Nativity Façade, shown in the first image below, with his own hands as he slowly ran out of funding when the project consumed far more money and time than its investors expected. A different architect designed the incomplete Passion Façade on the other side. He didn't attempt to recreate Gaudí's vision for the church. Most of the original plans were destroyed when anarchists trashed his workshop in 1936. I find the Passion Façade less appealing.

La Sagrada Familia from across the streetDetail of the Nativity Façade

Although an elevator to the 60 m mark inside one of the towers of the Nativity Façade is available, we opted to climb the narrow, winding, badly lit stairs instead. On the way down we couldn't even see the steps in the upper portion of the tower because there is no lighting other than what sun the openings allow in. I'm terrified of heights so the experience drained me, but the views afforded by the tiny platforms punctuating the staircase made it worthwhile.

From inside the tower

Higher up: Barcelona's very own Gherkin

At the 60 m mark: Construction of the central cathedral

We descended slowly to find that the museum was closing in half an hour. We hurried through it, admiring the drawings and models on display.

Replica of Gaudí's workshop

We had grand plans for the following morning. We were going to get up at 7, go to the market and pick up fresh fruit, veg and chocolates for the evening's dinner and grab a few souvenirs for other people. Instead, we slept until 9:30 and very nearly missed our flight. We didn't panic, though. You could speculate that we were too relaxed from the holiday to be worried, but I wouldn't discount the celebratory birthday cava (champagne) either.

Thirty is sexy, baby
Tags: barcelona, photo, travel
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