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The Symphony of Colours at the Sagrada Familia

By | 26 October, 2018 | 0 comments

Few in history have truly understood and translated the magic of our natural world into architecture quite like Antonio Gaudí. The Catalan maestro was greatly inspired by shapes and colours found in nature when creating his spectacles of design. The Sagrada Familia is, without doubt, the work that best represents the way only the maestro could play with light and colour, effortlessly transferring nature to architecture. The symphony of colours created by the Catalan architect in the Sagrada Familia makes a visit to this temple a completely unique experience, constantly changing depending on the time of day.

Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Familia is the most enchanting monument in all of Barcelona. Though the project was initially commissioned to Josep Maria Bocabella and various other architects who left their mark on the temple, the Sagrada Familia would certainly not enjoy its current status and recognition without Antonio Gaudí’s genius. The Catalan architect took over the reins of the project in 1883 and, although he respected the ideas of his predecessors, he made substantial changes to the plans and went on to create the best symphony of colours ever created in a man-made structure.

Gaudí always wanted to turn the Sagrada Familia into ‘a temple of harmonious light’. And light plays a fundamental role throughout the cathedral’s interior and exterior, creating light, shadow and colours that evoke real spirituality.  On the building’s three main façades, the architect played with sunlight to create a variety of different sensations. The Nativity façade captures joy and life through the birth of Jesus by using reflections from the first rays of the day’s sun in the pinnacles. But the opposite happens on the Passion façade, where the setting sun produces shadows and a lack of light invites awe and inspiration, emphasising the rough and tough character of the building’s exterior. The splendour returns to take your gaze over to the Gloria façade thanks to the midday sun, which is reflected in 16 lanterns on the verandas and warmly invites visitors to step into the temple’s interior.

Inside the Sagrada Familia, Gaudí gave pride of place to tricks of the light and vast columns that seem to grow even bigger as your approach, thanks to a number of skylights and enormous windows. The columns remind you of a forest, creating calm colour sets that invite prayer and reflection.  This playful work with colour wouldn’t have been possible without the skills of Joan Vila Grau, who was charged with looking after the Sagrada Familia’s stained-glass windows and became widely known for creating the ‘temple of harmonious light’ that Gaudí dreamed of.

In the early hours of every morning, with the sun streaming in from the east, cold colours dominate throughout the cathedral’s interior, giving way to green and blue tones, whilst, in the afternoons, the ochres and oranges fill the Sagrada Familia to create a much warmer feel. In the central lobby, transparent crystals allow clean, white light to fill the building, perfectly embodying the purity of this special place and lighting up the temple until, little by little, the light dilutes from natures splendour to become darker and more intimate in the lower chambers, imitating the effect of the sun setting in the forest.

The Sagrada Familia is scheduled to be completed in 2026, but any visit to this holy place will allow you to see first-hand the amount of work involved in creating the cathedral. At HCC Hotels, we’ll give you all the information you need to know about opening hours and tips for the best visits so you can enjoy Gaudí’s majestic symphony of colours on your next trip.

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