I’ve recently finished reading Dan Brown’s latest page turner ‘Origin’, another journey into Robert Langdon’s world of codes, symbols, religion and conspiracy.
The book centers around two fundamental questions of the human species “Where do we come from?” and “Where are we going?”, and the major part of the story takes place in and around some of the key sights of the city of Barcelona. Brown’s description of the Sagrada Familia or La Pedrera settings is insightful, vivid and absolutely fascinating.
Reading the book reminded me of my short visit to the Catalan capital many years ago, so I’ve dug out some of the pictures. I believe building work on the basilica has significantly moved on since then, and imagine lots else will have changed. So it’s clearly time for another visit!
The incredible Sagrada Familia. Construction of Antoni Gaudí’s masterpiece started in 1882 and even though the architect devoted his life to the project, only a quarter of the building was complete by the time of his death. It is anticipated that the building could be finished by 2026.
The church has three facades: the Nativity facade to the East, the Passion facade to the West and the Glory facade to the South, each very different and unique in their styles. The Nativity facade is ornately decorated with nature inspired motives
The Passion facade is decorated with modernist sculptures and pillars
The Passion of Christ, behind sinew-inspired pillars
Sculptured words adorn the doors of the Passion facade
One of the many colourful stainglass windows allowing light into the nave of the church
Sagrada Familia houses one of the deadliest staircases in the world, known as the Spiral
Casa Milà, designed by Gaudí, is also referred to as La Pedrera or “The Stone Quarry”, due to its stoney exterior.
Views over Barcelona from the roof top of La Pedrera
The roof top is decorated with original chimneys and staircase covers, in typical Gaudí style.
La Pedrera’s rooftop chimney’s reflect Gaudí’s passion for natural forms
Casa Milà remains a primarily residential building but also houses exhibitions and cultural events.
It is said that the row of chimneys on top of La Pedrera inspired George Lucas’ design of the Stormtroopers
Rather than drawings, Gaudí favoured hanging chain models, providing an upside down version of the optimal arch he sought to reflect in his designs.
Casa Batlló, another one of Gaudí’s architectural masterpieces, was redesigned by the artist in the early twentieth century.
The Museo Picasso houses one of the most extensive collections of artworks by Pablo Picasso
One of Barcelona’s most popular markets, Mercat de la Boqueria, is conventiently located on its bustling La Rambla.
One of Barcelona’s most popular markets, Mercat de la Boqueria, is conventiently located on its bustling La Rambla
The Pavilion at the entrance to Park Güell is intricately decorated with ceramic tiles.
Typical for Gaudi, the park’s design is clearly inspired by nature, with colonnades resembling trees and terraced walls covered with birds nests.
Park Güell is a municipal garden and park designed by Gaudi, featuring terraced walls, serpentine benches and fantastic views over the city.
Sala Hipóstila in Park Güell
One of Gaudi’s unique and colourful ceiling Mosaics at Park Güell
A tunnelled walkway at Park Güell inspired by leaning tree trunks.
The Bishopsbridge in the Gothic district of Barcelona’s old town.
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