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.
‘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.
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.
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 : )