In pictures (3) – The schoolhouse of La Sagrada Familia and exhibition

This is a continuation from: In pictures (2) -The interior of La Sagrada Familia and how to get there.

The Schoolhouse of La Sagrada Familia (Escoles)

In front of the Passion Facade lies Escoles, when translated from Catalan means schools.

‘A man ahead of his time in his social class, Gaudi designed this building as a temporary school for the sons and daughters of the workers of the church and the local children. For the simplicity of construction, its functionality and formal beauty, based on the double curved surfaces, it is regarded as a flagship piece in modern architecture.’

Source – Sign of Escoles at La Sagrada Familia

When I read this, I thought that Gaudi was very kind and considerate to have provided for the kids. Unlike the description, I don’t find this school very simple to construct – the curved roofs are like a work of art. All I can say is that it’s really cool to be studying in a school like that – these children are really fortunate. In the school also lies Gaudi’s rather modest office, a place where grand plans for the basilica were developed.

sagrada familia schools
The Schoolhouse of La Sagrada Familia. Love the curvy roof and child-like windows. The schoolhouse is my favourite part of the whole basilica.
sagrada familia school gaudi office
Antonio Gaudi’s somewhat modest office
sagrada familia school
Pictures of how the schoolhouse was used in the past.
sagrada familia school
Pictures of the past. They look very life like.
sagrada familia schoolhouse
There are wooden tables and chairs inside. I can imagine how it was like attending lessons in there.
gaudi sagrada familia quote
Lovely quote. If you can’t read the handwriting, see below.

‘When the building simply has what it needs with the resources available it has character or dignity, which is the same thing.’ – Antonio Gaudi

Honestly speaking, I’m not sure of what to make of this quote. Is he referring to the importance of having donations to keep the construction works ongoing? Of course, resources, perhaps in the form of financial assistance is required for maintenance of the building, for it to maintain a level of dignity and its unique character.

Take note of the sketches above the blackboard.

sagrada familia schoolhouse
The lovely windows of the schoolhouse.

The Exhibition

It’s located at the basement, near the schoolhouse. You have to take the stairs down. At the Exhibition, you get to see plans and models which were used to construct the basilica. My favourite was the paintings though, especially that of the watercolour painting of La Sagrada Familia (see picture below).

There are benches for you to rest while appreciating the art works – a welcomed relief after spending 2 hours walking the expansive grounds of La Sagrada Familia.

sagrada familia exhibition blueprint
Blueprint of how the basilica should look like.
sagrada familia exhibition basement
An altar which looks really nice
sagrada familia exhibition
Interesting use of light and a screen to get this effect
sagrada familia exhibition model
White model of Sagrada Familia – must have taken quite some time to build too.
sagrada familia exhibition
I shall call this, The Mystery Man
painting la sagrada familia watercolour
Painting of La Sagrada Familia in watercolour
sagrada familia exhibition
These pouches are part of a larger art piece.

With that, I come to the end of the series of posts on La Sagrada Familia. Hope you enjoyed them. We spent 2.5 hours at the basilica, excluding the 45 minutes taken to queue for tickets. In between we visited Las Ramblas to kill time, as we were only allowed entrance 3 hours later. Therefore, the key takeaway is to plan well and be there as early as possible.

I’ve visited many churches in Europe, and I must say that La Sagrada Familia strikes me as a church like no other. I’d always remember it, as the basilica with a forest canopy ceiling, and pillars made to look like trees. And I’m really glad I read up on the significance of the design – it certainly helped with my understanding when I was there.

Have you been to La Sagrada Familia? Do share your thoughts on it : )