By Spencer Thorpe
Today was the last full day of the study abroad trip, and the morning consisted of a visit to the Sagrada Familia. Construction began in 1882, and it still has a very long way to go before it is complete, with an expected completion date almost 10 years away. The church is a result of, and heavily influenced by, the work of a man named Antoni Gaudi. Gaudi spent his life creating this masterpiece, regarded as one of the seven wonders of the world. During the audio guided tour of the cathedral, it was noted that the final and central pillar will be close to 560 feet tall. Gaudi did not want it to be any taller, as he was noted as stating that it should not be any taller than the mountain Montjuic, as nothing man made should be taller than something created by God.
The architecture was unbelievably amazing, with architectural detail at every corner of this Gothic style cathedral. A constant theme throughout this experience involves the use of nature for the benefit for those who need it. The Sagrada de Familia was not any different, and there was incorporation of sunlight into this masterpiece. This was done using stain glass windows meticulously laid out to create the projection of warm and cold colors on the pillars and walls inside. Furthermore, nature was incorporated when designing the support pillars, as the guided tour informed people that the pillars were designed with the thought of trees in a forest in mind.
By far, this cathedral is one of the most impressive things I have ever laid eyes upon. I think it is important historically, so one can connect with the past, and recognize the prevalence of religion throughout the history of Spain. Finally, it demonstrates the ability of spectacular creation on behalf of man, during times of great innovative advances.