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Barcelona, Spain: Architectural Modernisme Showcase

Barcelona, Spain: Architectural Modernisme Showcase


WHILE THE ORIGINAL VISION
WAS AN EGALITARIAN ONE WHERE EACH ZONE
WAS EQUAL, THE EIXAMPLE BECAME
AN ARCHITECTURAL SHOWCASE FOR ITS WEALTHY RESIDENTS. WHILE ADHERING
TO HEIGHT AND WIDTH LIMITATIONS, THEY BUILT AS THEY PLEASED — OFTEN IN THE TRENDY STYLE
OF THE DAY, MODERNISME. MODERNISME IS THE CATALAN VERSION OF ART NOUVEAU, WHICH FLOURISHED ACROSS EUROPE
IN THE LATE 19th CENTURY. BARCELONA WAS
THE CAPITAL OF MODERNISME. AND ESPECIALLY HERE
IN THE EIXAMPLE, IT SHIMMERS
WITH ITS CHARACTERISTIC COLORFUL, LEAFY, FLOWING,
AND BLOOMING SHAPES. SEVERAL OF BARCELONA’S
TOP MANSIONS LINE THE BOULEVARD
PASSEIG DE GRACIA. BECAUSE THE STRUCTURES
LOOK AS THOUGH THEY’RE TRYING
TO OUTDO EACH OTHER IN CREATIVE TWISTS, LOCALS NICKNAMED
THIS STRETCH “THE BLOCK OF DISCORD.” BARCELONA IS
AN ARCHITECTURAL SCRAPBOOK OF THE GALLOPING GABLES
AND ORGANIC CURVES OF THE MOST FAMOUS
MODERNISTE ARCHITECT, HOMETOWN BOY
ANTONI GAUDÍ. HIS CASA MILA
IS BARCELONA’S QUINTESSENTIAL BUILDING
FROM THIS ERA. CASA MILA IS OPEN
TO THE PUBLIC. IT SHOWS HOW THE ORGANIC
SENSITIVITIES OF MODERNISTE ARCHITECTURE
FLOWED INTO THE DOMESTIC WORLD. THIS APARTMENT WOULD HAVE BEEN
RENTED BY A WEALTHY BUSINESSMAN. IT SHOWS HOW THE AFFLUENCE OF THE INDUSTRIAL AGE
WAS ENJOYED ON A PERSONAL LEVEL —
AT LEAST BY THE UPPER CLASS. NOW AN APARTMENT COULD BE
A SMALL PALACE. GAUDÍ’S MOST FAMOUS WORK
IS HIS UNFINISHED CHURCH OF THE HOLY FAMILY,
OR SAGRADA FAMILIA. HE WORKED ON IT
FOR OVER 40 YEARS, UNTIL HIS DEATH IN 1926. WORK CONTINUES ON THE CHURCH,
WHICH IS NOT EXPECTED TO BE COMPLETED
FOR ANOTHER 50 YEARS. THE NATIVITY FACADE,
THE ONLY PART OF THE CHURCH ESSENTIALLY FINISHED
IN GAUDÍ’S LIFETIME, SHOWS THE ARCHITECT’S
ORIGINAL VISION. MIXING CHRISTIAN SYMBOLISM, IMAGES FROM NATURE, AND THE ORGANIC FLAIR
OF MODERNISME, IT’S AN IMPRESSIVE EXAMPLE OF GAUDÍ’S
UNMISTAKABLE STYLE. THE MORE MODERN
PASSION FACADE HAS A DIFFERENT,
YET COMPLEMENTARY, STYLE. IN THE SOARING NAVE, GAUDÍ’S COLUMNS
BLOSSOM WITH LIFE. GAUDÍ WAS A DEVOUT CATHOLIC. PART OF HIS RELIGIOUS VISION WAS A LOVE FOR NATURE. HE SAID,
“NOTHING IS INVENTED, FOR IT’S WRITTEN IN NATURE
FIRST.” HIS LITTLE WINDOWS
LET LIGHT FILTER IN LIKE THE CANOPY
OF A RAIN FOREST, CREATING SPACE FOR AN INTIMATE
CONNECTION WITH GOD. STEPPING INTO THIS MONUMENTAL
CONSTRUCTION ZONE, VISITORS SEE
THE SLOW AND STEADY PROGRESS AND WHAT THEIR STEEP
ADMISSION FEE IS FUNDING. LIKE THE CONSTRUCTION OF GREAT CHURCHES
THROUGH THE AGES, THIS PROJECT TAKES
MANY LIFETIMES. GAUDÍ KNEW HE’D NEVER SEE IT FINISHED,
AS DO THE ARCHITECTS WORKING ON IT TODAY. YET THEY ALL CONTRIBUTE,
PUSHING STEADILY TOWARD COMPLETION. SOMEDAY A CENTRAL
550-FOOT-TALL TOWER OF JESUS WILL RISE ABOVE ALL THIS. IT’LL DWARF
EVERYTHING WE SEE TODAY. THE VISION — TO SHINE
LIKE A SPIRITUAL LIGHTHOUSE, VISIBLE EVEN FROM
OUT AT SEA. IF THERE’S ONE BUILDING ON EARTH
I’D LIKE TO SEE, IT’S SAGRADA FAMILIA,
FINISHED.

20 comments found

  1. ive never been to spain. id so long to visit if only to see this monumental work of art. i must save more money in order to make the trip…. in my lifetime.

  2. Barcelona Decideix is a citizen’s initiative to organise a referendum in the city of Barcelona on Catalonia’s independence from Spain, which will be held on April 10th, 2011. It is a democratic gesture of participation in a poll called, organized and financed by Catalan citizens. This referendum will close a series of referendums that started in September 2009 in Arenys de Munt.

    The Catalan people want Catalonia's independence

    Come on to be free

  3. I was Just in Barcalona and saw Gaudi's Work thanks to you I had a pre-know what to what we toured! 🙂

  4. Just think, all that money and time going Into building a church, even after what It says about that In they're own book, lets see, one of the main missions of a church Is to help the pore and suffering, hum mm, there must not be any more poor and suffering there any more If they are spending donated money on a idol. What was that oath of a priest ? did they change the rules? wish we could do that here, oh wait we do, hey!! how come there Is still poor and suffering ?
    JUST SAYN………………

  5. Actually there are different types of poverty recorded in the bible. Is impotant to distinguish between those who bring poverty upon themselves from those who are victims of injustice. It is no point to give a beggar my money if he is going to spend it on booze. Jesus says BE WISE AS SERPENTS.

    Sagrada Família is a reminder to atheist europeans of their christian heritage.

  6. My Lovely Bride and I miss Barcelona. A beautiful city. Haven't been there since the 1992 Olympics. We hope to get back one day!

  7. Enjoy more free travel videos on demand via https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/rick-steves-europe-video/id158175220?mt=2

  8. Lovely video of Barcelona architecture! Thank you for having Subtitles/captioning, which allows people who are deaf or hard of hearing like my daughter to watch! #withcaptions  

  9. What is the main reason they can't finish?  I went today and there were hundreds of people and they were even turning people away.  It doesn't seem like a money issue.  It was very beautiful but much more of a theme park attitude among the guests than a church setting.  I am not religious but I like the reverence that is typically practiced by people in religious buildings.  Here there was next to no reverence. Hopefully that changes when it is completed which I saw a few things that seemed to think it might be done by 2026?  Who knows?

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