Antoni Gaudi was a Catalan architect who concentrated his work in Barcelona. The church of the Sagrada Familia (Holy Family) represents the pinnacle of his achievement, and it is not yet finished, almost 100 years since his death. He was a man of deep faith who loved nature and melded both in new and sometimes shocking ways through his architecture.
The church above is a model of what the building will look like when completed. It is ornate, fanciful, and audacious in its design, unlike any building I have ever seen. I don't know if I like it or not, but it makes me think. I do like the stunning stained glass that circles the church with all the colours of nature.
Gaudi says, "The straight line belongs to men, the curved one to God." In his work a straight line is rarely seen as he imitated the curving branches of trees, the undulating form of waves, and circles of light.
In my own humble way I disagree with Gaudi's thought about straight and curved lines. The horizon, when seen from a beach or on a flat prairie, is a straight line to the human eye. A tree, round in form, often stretches straight upwards to the sky. I think the combination of curved and straight make for harmony. What do you think?
In the Park Guell, also designed by Gaudi, I was most impressed by the wonderful mosaics displayed on walls, sculptures, and benches throughout the park. They have me wanting to smash a few dishes and create my own.
On our way to Madrid, we stopped in the town of Zaragoza where a festival honouring the Virgin of the Pillar was starting. I enjoyed sitting in the plaza under a flat blue sky listening to folk music and watching the dancing. Later, I took a walk across the river through a city park where great views of the enormous church were to be seen.
No photos were permitted within the ornate Baroque-style church, and it was full of people on this special day.
My architectural preference tends more to the simple, light, and elegant, more Gothic than Romanesque or Baroque. Of course, there is wide variety in any of the styles, and I don't pretend to know very much about any of them, but I do know what I like when I see it.
After two very relaxing days at home after flying home from Spain, I was at school for two days catching up with my classes. This weekend I've done some regular housecleaning, baked bread, did a little garden cleanup (it's very soggy out there with all the rain), and we went out for dinner with friends on Saturday night. I'm feeling very much back to normal, although I still wake up at 4 am for a bit each night.
Sunny Spain seems very far away as I watch the clouds scud past my window and pull up my jacket hood as I dash to the car in the rain. Autumn is well and truly here.