Are you in front of the façade now? Then take a good look at this magnificent hymn to life and creation. This is the Façade of the Nativity, which describes the main events during the childhood of Jesus.
A few days before he died, Gaudí was able to see this portal finished. At that time, it was one of the only parts of the church that was standing, along with the crypt and the apse. You are probably wondering why he decided to complete this façade and leave the rest of the building for future generations to finish. The fact is that, aware from the very beginning that he would never live to see his work completed, Gaudi wanted this façade at least to be finished, so it would provide a general idea of the structure and decoration of the church. The façade of the Nativity thus served as a guideline and as motivation for the architects who were to come after him.
The work was an accumulative one, in which Gaudi evolved, adding new architectural discoveries that he had tried out on other works he was building at the same time, such as Casa Milá and the Güell Colony.
As you can see, the facade is divided into three doorways, or portals, leading into the church, and which represent the three Theological Virtues: Hope, on the left, Charity in the centre, and Faith on the right. The doorways are separated by two large columns, devoted to St. Joseph and the Virgin Mary. They are shaped like palm trees at the top, where angels can be seen triumphantly playing trumpets. The bases of the columns rest on the shells of a tortoise and a turtle, which are symbols of the inalterable nature of time. In architectural terms, the construction is extremely rational, while the style is highly Baroque.
(c) (R) 2013, MUSMon com S.L.
Text (a) Diego Laforga Marcos (2013)
Source: Own work
Author: Carlos Marcos (2013)
Independently produced by MUSMon.com, the audio guide for the Church of La Sagrada Familia offers you a broad-ranging, light-hearted and educational tour of the work of a unique and universal architect: Antoni Gaudi. There are 90 minutes of commentary, illustrated with over 73 high quality images, so you won’t miss a single detail during your visit.
If you are heading for Barcelona, the Expiatory Church of La Sagrada Familia is a must-see. +info