Monday, 14 September 2009

The Church of " La Sagrada Familia" Barcelona

" La Sagrada Familia " the church of the holy family is nestled in the heart of old Barcelona and is much an icon to this historic city as the Eiffel Tower is to Paris or Big Ben is to London. It is visited by millions of people each year for many reasons including its architectural and religious value.

Work commenced on the church of La Sagrada Família on 19 March 1882 from a grand project by the diocesan architect Francisco de Paula del Villar. The famous son of Spain, Gaudí was commissioned to carry on the works at the end of 1883, a task which he continued until his death in 1926. Gaudi’s original ideas have been continued since his death by many different architects.

Unlike many churches in Spain thankfully the Sagrada Familia survived the Spanish civil war.

It has always been an expiatory church, which means that since its beginnings back some 125 years ago , it has been built from donations. Gaudí himself said: "The expiatory church of La Sagrada Família is made by the people and is mirrored in them. It is a work that is in the hands of God and the will of the people."

It is a combination of Modernist elements and a unique version of the Gothic style seen primarily in its height, use of rose windows and arches, triple portals, and architectural sculpture.

As anyone knows who has visited the church the building continues to this day, with local laborers turning up on a daily basis, in fact it is the only church of this type anywhere in the world. Hopefully though it is planed that the interior coating will be finished by 2010 with the completion of the church due in 2025.

The " Horreos " of Galicia - Larders from the Past !

If you ever have the pleasure in visiting Galicia ( in the North Western part of Spain ) you will undoubtedly come across these curious but historic monuments.

These architectural and cultural treasures are called " Horreos " and where the larders used
by the ancestors of this area of Spain. Horreos are rectangular structures built on pillars to help protect the contents from predators whilst keeping the harvest dry. It has a door at one end in order there is a good flow of air .

They where invented for the storage of fruits and other harvested foods , fundamentally though corn , against the attack of rats and other rodents.
In Galicia there are two different types of "Horreo" , those constructed of wood and those built using local stone. The wooden ones providing a warm temperature in winter and be cooler in the summer months. Wooden Horreos where more fragile than the stone ones which made the later the more popular one to be used, thankfully many have survived the ravages of history and can be seen dotted all around the Galician countryside .

There are theories as to the origins of the Horreo the main one being they where invented by the Celts and adapted during the Roman occupation. The addition of the pillars are most definitely from the Roman era.

There are some 35 Horreos alone which can be seen around the beautiful area of Cambarro in the province town Pontevedra.
Horreos are as much a part of Galicia as its fine wine , beautiful scenery and succulent seafood
and a must see for all visitors to this picturesque part of Spain.