This is La Sagrada Famillia--The Cathedral of the Holy Family. See the cranes? It is not done yet. It was begun in the 1880s, quickly taken on by Antonin Gaudi, and won't be finished until 2026 or so. I didn't have high expectations: I thought Gaudi was a show-off, and I didn't think I liked "Modernista" architecture. I'm so, so glad that I was wrong. Imagine being invited to stand inside daVinci's "Last Supper" or a Bach requiem. Gaudi created an ethereal masterpiece of art and worship.
I have been few places where I felt that the appropriate posture was prostrate. This is one. Everything about the cathedral is built to point to the majesty of God, the amazing love He has for us, the lordship of Jesus. I mean everything. I'm afraid my pictures don't do it justice. Most of the time it felt distracting to have my camera out.
But the scene is also hopeful. Jesus is up there, very high between two of the bell towers, ascended already to heaven.
Inside, the nave rises up among columns that look like they are taken straight out of Tolkien. Gaudi had pioneered these organic hyperbolic arches and curved columns--they give you the effect of being inside a giant forest. And the sound is incredible. The organ was awesome, played for a too-short time while we were there.
Looking back at my pictures, one other thing comes to mind: isn't it good to know that modern man hasn't lost his ability to make something beautiful and grand purely as a gift to God? This is a worthwhile pursuit.
The official site is here. Pictures much more beautiful than anything I could take!