Sagrada Familia: More Moo and No Meow – Antoni Gaudí

antoni gaudi, sagrada familia

Gaudí turtle at Sagrada Famila.

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 Sagrada Familia Church.  This is the largest masterpiece by Antoni Gaudí, Barcelona’s most famous architect. Gaudí was chosen to work on the Church in 1883 and did so until his death in 1926.  Sagrada Familia is one of the top two most visited sites in Barcelona.  People love the fantasyland 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.

Sagrada Familia view from my office window! By Nancy Todd

Sagrada Familia view from my office window! By Nancy Todd

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 Sagrada Familia 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 the Church that we have discovered.  Estimates for the completion of the Church range from  twenty to thirty five years.  I am waiting for the cat.

Sagrada Familia gets a Scoopometer 10.  The crowds get a Scoopometer 1.

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.”

Related Spain Scoop:  check out Park Güell for music and views. 

Write us your comments on Sagrada Familia.

Hours: October – May, 9 – 6.  April – September, 9 – 8.

Metro: Purple or Blue Line, Sagrada Familia stop.  L’Exaimple Dreta neighborhood.

Price: 12 euros.  15 euros for the guided tour which is excellent and will take you closer to the clucks and moos.


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  1. Becky
    Posted September 10, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    there are cool boutique in Barcelona in this website
    check it out!

  2. laura
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    I’ve enjoyed the article very much, it’s very well written with a lot of details. I agree that this is the most interesting building in Barcelona, it’s a must see.

  3. admin
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Hi Laura, I know you love Sagrada Familia! What are your favorite animals on the building?

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