Over the course of his career, renowned Spanish Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi developed a sensuous, curving, almost surreal design style which established him as the innovative leader of the Spanish Art Nouveau movement. With little regard for formal order, he juxtaposed unrelated systems and altered established visual order. Gaudi’s characteristically warped form of Gothic architecture drew admiration from other avant-garde artists. Although categorized with the Art Nouveau, Gaudi created an entirely original style.
At the age of 31, Gaudi began work on his masterpiece, the Roman Catholic cathedral, Sagrada Familia. Although still incomplete, the church is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and it was consecrated and proclaimed a minor basilica by Pope Benedict XV. 85 years after Gaudi’s death at the age of 73, construction on the structure continues with an anticipated completion date of 2026.
Click this image to enlarge it so you can see the magnificent spiral staircase.
Have you been to Barcelona and seen the cathedral? If so, please, please tell us about it. (I’ve never been and would love to read your account.)
By the way, if you are at all interested in Gothic cathedrals, their history and construction, I highly, highly recommend Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth. (I have read it 3 — count ’em 3 — times.) It is the fictionalized, but dazzlingly researched account of an English village, the centuries-long construction of it’s cathedral, the men who built it and the drama surrounding them.