For the first few moments, I just kept saying “Wow!” over and over again. Loudly. I was overwhelmed by the scale, the light, the beauty of it all. I couldn’t comprehend how so much detail and outrageous design could have come out of the mind and imagination of one person. Of course, most of the work has taken place since Gaudi’s death, so much of it is the interpretation of his ideas by others. Nevertheless, it is his vision that produced this monument to God. Gaudi was a man of great faith and really wanted to express that in his work. The website for the church explains “The Sagrada Familia is a symbolic expression in stone of the Christian faith”. I spent over two and a half hours soaking in the atmosphere, delighting in the detail and being in awe of the place.
In the grounds of the Sagrada Familia stands a modest building, which could easily be overlooked. This is the school house that Gaudi built for the children of the local people and those working on the construction of the church. Such a humble building could have been plain in structure. It is a simple design, yet it has a beautifully crenulated roof and detailed brickwork. The man who was responsible for such a monumental building still had time and space in his busy mind to create a beautiful place in which children could learn and grow.I think that this was a pleasing offering to God, as much as the basilica being built alongside it.
You can find photos and more information about the Sagrada Familia here