By Nancy Todd Comments by: The Blog Dog
Woof. Gobble. Cluck. One can almost hear the dozens of sculpted stone animals tucked into the Nativity Facade at La Sagrada Família Basilica. This is the largest masterpiece by Antoni Gaudí, Barcelona’s most famous architect. Gaudí was chosen to work on the basilica in 1883 and did so until his death in 1926. La Sagrada Família is one of the top two most visited sites in Barcelona. People love the fantasy-land facade that appears like a sand castle a giant has wrought. On this side, a friendly dog that you want to scratch behind the ears stands next to a holy figure. Nibbling nearby is a turkey, pheasant, goose and quail. Sculpted snails and snakes are scattered about. No cats in sight.
Experts at holding the base of tall palm trees on either side of the main door are two turtles that appear undeterred about their job. The turtle is a symbol of stability and patience which is an important role as they have a huge task on their backs. Glaring down from on high, is a large, open mouthed salamander and lizard, the security system of old. Of course, every nativity tableau must have a lamb, lowing cow, and donkey.
A visit to La Sagrada Família at dusk is a must. The lights focus on the Nativity Facade where a huge Tree of Life has dozens of fluttering, white marble doves. At the base of the tree is a mama pelican with two babies nestled at her breast, beaks open squawking for food, a symbol of the Eucharist. Gaudí lived on the premises and I hope, being a cat lover, that he owned a cat. There is no sculpted cat on La Sagrada Família that we have discovered. Estimates for the completion of the building range from twenty to thirty five years. I am waiting for the cat.
For opening times and how to get your tickets to La Sagrada Família online (and beat the lines), visit their website here:
Comments by The Blog Dog: “For your information, I have auditioned and will be a model for a dog on the Gaudí facade. I am so tired of people stopping me in the streets for autographs.”