Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #59 – Angles

The Passion façade

Sagrada Família Basilica in Barcelona, Spain is a wonder of Modernisme architecture.  Although I think of Gaudí’s style as being very rounded and natural, he also uses angles incredibly well.  In the Passion façade, he uses stark angles to show the harsh bleakness of Christ’s passion and death.

In the interior, he uses organic angles on the tree-like pillars to give a sense of opening above.  And outside, he includes many peaks that point heavenward.

You can find more angles at the original Lens-Artist challenge.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #50 – Trees

Gaudí’s designs for the Sagrada Família church in Barcelona, Spain incorporate themes of nature in many ways.  The columns look like trees, so that it feels like you are standing in a forest while in the church’s nave.  (They also remind me of celery stalks a bit.)  It gives you the same feeling of peace as if you were really surrounded by trees, with the light filtering down to the forest floor.

For more about the architectural details of these columns, check out the church’s blog.

You can find more trees at the original Lens-Artist challenge.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #34: Close-Up

My cameras and phones have never been really good enough to get good macro shots, so here are some close-ups of architecture: Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona, Spain; the capital of a Corinthian-style column in Venice; a bench wall by the sea in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

And just for fun, I was playing with my phone today, so here is a close-up of my cat Juhani.

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You can find more close ups at the original Lens-Artist challenge.

La Sagrada Familia

I’ve been wanting to write a little about some of things I saw in Europe last month, so I’ll start with my favorite site of the whole trip: La Sagrada Familia basilica in Barcelona, Spain. I have seen a lot of European churches, but I had never seen anything like this.  I was totally blown away.

This was the most beautiful, inspiring church I have ever seen.  (Even more so than St. Peter’s in Rome, which I also saw on this trip.)  And it’s not even done yet!  The church has been under construction for over a century and will not be complete for at least another 15 years or so.

The church has a true Gothic basis, building off the great Gothic churches of Spain, but it is buried under the layers of Modernisme style details.  I was not expecting to love this church; I had thought it looked weird.  Strange shapes, too many things going on, etc.

What changed my mind?  In a word: feeling. Almost as soon as I entered the site, an incredible feeling came over me.  It was in parts awe, peace, joy…really, these words are insufficient.  The shadows on Jesus’s face as he knows he is about to die.  The ethereal light filtering down through a forest canopy, like the primordial garden of Eden.  The intricate glory of Mary’s assumption.  I did not see the scriptures in Gaudí’s work–I felt them.  Here was a man who took his talents and worldview and dedicated their beauty to God.  If that’s not inspiring and fitting for a church, I don’t know what is.