Two great buildings and a road to France
Barcelona Travel Blog› entry 7 of 10 › view all entries
We got up at a decent hour; we had some things we wanted to see before we left Barcelona and headed back north towards Lyon. We packed our stuff and went down in the lobby to book a hotel in Lyon on the computers and to check out. Everything went smooth and then it was back to the car garage down the street to see if we could get the car out.
One thing I have noticed over the years has been that the garages in France and in Spain are built very small and narrow; some places I think that I even would have issues with my SMART, but this time I had been very lucky: I had gotten a space where I actually almost could get in to the car. After putting the mirrors in and with some help from Jacob we managed to get out.
The city was naturally not sleeping still the first street artists had probably been at their sites since hours to secure their living. We headed for La Sagrada Familia that was the first aim of the day.
The expiatory church of La Sagrada Família is a work on a grand scale which was begun in 1882 from a project by the architect Francisco de Paula del Villar (1828-1901). At the end of 1883 Gaudí was commissioned to carry on the works, a task which he did not abandon until his death in 1926. Since then different architects have continued the work after his original idea.
The building is in the centre of Barcelona, and over the years it has become one of the most universal signs of identity of the city and the country.
It has always been an expiatory church, which means that since the outset, 125 years ago now, it has been built from donations. Gaudí himself said: "The expiatory church of La Sagrada Família is made by the people and is mirrored in them. It is a work that is in the hands of God and the will of the people." The building is still going on and could be finished sometime in the first third of the 21st century.
We could see upon our arrival that we were early there were hardly any tourists and the tourist busses had not arrived to the area yet. We only stayed for a short while because we wanted to head towards the Torre Agbar located in the Poblenou neighbourhood, which is another of the wonderful buildings in Barcelona.
The Torre Agbar, or Agbar Tower, is a 33-story tower at Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes.
According to Jean Nouvel, the shape of the Torre Agbar was inspired by Montserrat, a mountain near Barcelona, and by the shape of a geyser rising into the air. He also described it as having a phallic character, which is not hard to imagine. It is also somewhat similar in shape to Sir Norman Foster's 30 St. Mary Axe in London. It has 30,000 m² of above-ground office space, 3,210 m² of technical service floors with installations and 8,351 m² of services, including an auditorium. The Agbar Tower measures 144.4 m in height and consists of 38 storeys, including four underground levels.
The building is wonderful to watch in the nighttime when the nocturnal illumination is used.