I learnt some fabulous things while in Barcelona. There was one guy I learnt about in particular, Antoni Gaudi. His talents for building are known all over the world.
Gaudi was an architect. A lot of his crazy ideas came from nature. Born in Spain on the day June 25th 1852, Gaudi grew up around Barcelona. Gaudi died on June 10th 1926 in Barcelona at the age of 73. In his lifetime he created and finished many buildings. He is famous for irregular shapes and the incorporation of plants and animals into his designs. One thing to look for if you go to one of his buildings is light. Gaudi loved natural light and made sure to have some in every room.
One of his works that is very impressive but not yet finished is the Sagrada Familia. This Cathedral is very tall and is going to grow taller. Inside you will find lots of light and some interesting uses of nature. My other favourite art piece by Gaudi is the Casa Batlò. This building is fully finished and has surprises lurking around every corner. Like the Cathedral, this building has lots of nature and light. If you use your imagination like Gaudi did, you can see them mixed together.
The first place we went was Sagrada Familia, the Cathedral. This Cathedral has not been fully built, but it is being built thanks to regular donations and existing detailed blueprints. When I went to the Cathedral, the first thing I saw when I walked into its beautiful entrance was stained glass windows and slanted columns. But most of all I saw nature. The columns with branching tops reminded me of trees and the way the light hit the floor was like multicoloured water on a beach. Even the walls weren’t straight. They were made in wavy patterns like a flag in the wind.
After a good fifteen minutes, I finally managed to start walking again. The huge room with towering ceiling was crowded with tourists. Most of them were pointing their cameras at the ceiling or walls. I don’t blame them. The ceiling was like something from a dream… trees growing from the ground, sprouting just before they reached the top. In some areas there were giant egg-shaped shields of different colours with one name on each, someone from the bible. For a couple minutes I could’t speak, I just stared at the ceiling.
Then when I finally looked down from the ceiling, the walls had tons and tons of different colours on them painted by the stained glass. The stained glass itself showed artistic, elegant and beautiful patterns. If I had one in my room, I would never be able to do my work because I would be staring at it the whole time.
Almost as good as the Cathedral was the Casa Batlló. Casa Batlló is a house designed entirely by Gaudi. Gaudi used almost every material imaginable to create nature and light. In the first room, after the rather plain entrance room, there was a big surprise lurking. It may just be a room with a staircase but it was a breathtaking one. The room was round, with a staircase made of wood. The railing that was creatively made to look like a spine on the white background went from the floor to the ceiling. Then there were the skylights beautifully constructed to look like a turtle shell. The cool video guide we got let us see how the turtle move from one skylight to the other.
In the next room upstairs there was a little alcove shaped like mushroom. In the alcove there were two comfortable chairs carved out of the wood walls. Nestled in between the two chairs was a cute looking fireplace. As I walked to the doorway of the room, I saw the windows in the next room. The window were from floor to ceiling and spanned all the way across the room. It wasn’t just plain glass, oh no! Gaudi had nature involved. From top to bottom there were pillars that were sculpted to look like vines hanging from trees. At least that’s what it looked like to me.
We had made it through half the house when we got to the presentation room. In this room there was a small model of the outside of the house. They had a projector that projected a video of all the things Gaudi incorporated in the house. He had every thing from singing skulls to bats and even a dragon! I sat there transfixed and amazed that Gaudi thought of all those things.
One of my favourite places in the house wasn’t actually in the house at all. It was on top! Gaudi had two dragon backs made out of colourful glass. There also was a great view of the city. To me it represented the dragons watching over the town making sure there was no trouble.
One floor below the roof there was a room that had the shape of a half sphere. When we were inside the video guide showed you the whole room moving like a rib cage of someone taking a breath. I thought it was so cool!
Sadly, the trip to Casa Batlló came to an end. Luckily, we had the memory of it and some pretty cool pictures!
Soon after Casa Batlló we left Barcelona. I will never forget the crazy, artful, colourful and unique buildings Gaudi created. They will always stay with me and inspire me to create.