Difficult to travel at present, so let’s enjoy images from earlier trips. In this Throwback Thursday post, I share digitized 35mm photos from my 1987 trip to Barcelona! I love design and Antoni Gaudí takes architecture to his own sky high level. I was experimenting with black and white film at Sagrada Familia cathedral. I like how it plays with the light and shadows of the spaces in the structure.
Sad to say, the first time I went to Barcelona, before I studied in Spain I was too busy worrying about my four suitcases arriving from Germany to get out and see the sights. I know, packing light was a talent that developed over time for me…
My roommate in Barcelona I’d met on the train from France asked me several times to see the Cathedral with her. I was too busy waiting. Make that two lessons learned! Pack light and see what you can when you’re there; two tips from my as yet unpublished travel book, Supergringa in Spain: A Coming of Age Memoir.
After the program in Spain, I was determined to see the Sagrada Familia. This time I couldn’t get my friend from the program to go. She and I’d traveled north from Toledo together. She argued she wasn’t Catholic (neither was I). She was a feminist (so was I). I didn’t want her to miss out. “It’s just a building under construction, not even a church yet,” I angled. “Okay,” she said. We left to tour Gaudí’s masterpiece.
As an architecture fan, I was thrilled. For her, it was just so-so. I think I paid for her ticket, since she was there to keep me company. I wandered around the whole structure, she looked here and there. I was uplifted that this was an historic building. My friend wasn’t as comfortable in this Catholic basilica.
I had seven photos left on my roll of film. I chose carefully the views I recorded. We were able to go up into the balcony, I saved two photos for that height. So disappointed the only photo of a spire turned out blurry. No retakes in those days. As for the second photo, I suppose it is historically interesting to look at the piles of stone blocks… (laughing at myself) It is a view that no longer exists. I have not had the chance to return since then. I’ve been looking at people’s Sagrada Familia photos online with amazement.
Today, there is a roof, stained glass windows and 8 spires, and the church is still under construction. After the roof was raised, the first mass was celebrated in 2010. The estimated completion date is 2026. Here’s a photo (not mine) of how it looked in 2009.
As a parting nugget of information, it took the Sagrada Familia building 134 years to get a building permit! It cost 4.6 million Euros, a discount from the 12 million it would have cost a for profit business. The permit application was filed in 1885, but was not approved by the Barcelona City Council until last year. Construction is now legal, retroactively.
What photos would you like to digitize and/or share?
¡Olé! Gracias for reading Fake Flamenco and commenting! –Rebecca