Monday, June 29, 2015

Sagrada Familia- Barcelona's Treasure

Sagrada Familia is a magical Catholic Church full of light and colors of the rainbow constructed by the famous Spanish architect, Antoni Gaudi to honor God.  He envisioned a visual narrative of Christ's life.

 Two million visitors come to Barcelona each year to see the amazing church, inspired by his religious faith and love of nature.   He  worked on the project for forty years knowing future generations would complete it. "My client is not in a hurry," Gaudi used to say.    It is suppose to be finished in the middle of the 21st century.  It was only twenty-five percent finished when Gaudi died. The last year of his life he actually lived on the site.
The construction began in 1883, combining Gothic and Art Nouveau forms.  It was inspired by natural forms  found in nature.  According to the philosophy, art should be a way of life.  
Gaudi left detailed instructions on how the work should be completed.  Computers have aided to the understanding of his complex thinking.  He studied the effects of light on nature.  He said the origin of all things is nature, created by God.  
There was a burst of color using the power of the sun's rays.  His belief in natural engineering helped shape the modern science of biomimetics.  Gaudi grew up fascinated by geometry and the natural wonders of the Catalonian countryside.  He struggled in many aspects of school and some say he may have had Asperger. Many students who are right brain visual think in a three dimensional way.  He made his plans for the church in three-dimensional

models rather than as conventional drawings.  The models helped his successors.  He understood that nature was created by laws of mathematics.  Design in nature explains the phenomenon of physics, bridging art with science.
"Nothing is art if it does not come from nature," he concluded.
The church  looked like a natural rainbow of green, blue, orange and red mixed together to create a bridge of truth.
Just below this stain glass window was the passion of Christ.

 Gaudi was very religious and wanted to show how Jesus died on the cross for our sins.   

A giant organ was placed behind the passion of Christ to play hymns of adoration.

Gaudi wanted to honor God with his creation.  

The outside of the church shows the nativity scene, one of the four facades.
It shows the twelve apostles who followed Jesus and continued his teachings after his death.
Gaudi's cathedral stands tall to reach the skies of Barcelona.  I think Gaudi would have been pleased to know so many visitors want to come and see a place of worship to glorify God.  

Monday, June 22, 2015

Explore Granada Churches

I discovered many places of worship in Granada, Spain.  Iglesia de Santa Ana was celebrating mass on a summer evening in June with active members participating in a procession honoring Mary.  The church has been celebrating worship since 1501 when it was built by Diego de Siloe in a renaissance style.

Families came to practice their faith and pass traditions to their sons and grandchildren.

The red brick church was 16 century Mudejar style.  

Tapestries were held with strong arms to display honor.
Church members played their instruments
to the beat of the band marching step by step.
The procession passed across Plaza Nueva.
To the churches's courtyard in Santa Ana Plaza.

The colorful procession of lighted candles continued up River Darro.

Cars were decorated with ribbons and flowers.

Families greeted one another after mass.

Sons took care of their mothers.
It was a time of celebration of faith with pageantry.

The Cathedral of Granada was another expression of faith.  It was a Gothic style church built by Enrique de Egas.  On order of the Catholic Monarchs construction began in 1523.  It continued under the Renaissance masetro, Diego de Siloe, the same designer of the Santa Ann Church.  
Queen Isabella and Ferdinand wanted to be buried in the church. 
As I went inside the church had a sweet Spirit of peace.  
Fresh flowers were in display as floral aromas filled the space.
Each alcove had something special to share.
A church located in the Albecin  had been a prison, before it became a place of worship.
I heard nuns singing at around 12:00 in the church.  

There are many more places of faith to discover in Granada, Spain.  There are monasteries and  abbes waiting to explore.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Dining With A View in Granada Spain

Granada has some amazing places to enjoy delicious food with an incredible view.  Paseo de los Tristes is an area along the Darro River with open terraces to have a meal.

 Cafe Bar Al Candu has a fantastic view of the Alhambra, a Moorish Palace.

As the evening progressed the colors changed with the light.
Everyone was snapping photos from their table.
Lights reflect the ancient past.

For ten euros we had a three course dinner.  I chose humus as the first course dripping with fresh olive oil.

My husband had mixed salad with fresh vegetables.  Later came the tender chicken curie and scrumptious torte line.

It's a custom for the bride to invite friends to party before getting married.  She carries a whistle to guide her group to fun.  It added to the party atmosphere as they marched around.

Last came the creamy flan desert.
Three different musicians played in the background.  The gentle breeze kept us cool in Granada Spain.

The next day we ate at Jardines Alberto, a charming restaurant right across from the Alhambra.  This was the view from our table.
I ordered a local dish prepared with almonds and honey.  The chicken was so tender you could cut it with a fork.  I wanted to go ask for the recipe.
There were three terraces with a beautiful coi pond.  A celebration of local artists were having a viewing of their paintings.

Collecting art is part of the family history.  The restaurant is named after Jardines Alberto, a famous artist and his grandchildren are keeping the love of paintings alive.

The last place I'm picking with a view is in the Bib Ramble  Gran Cafe.  The cafe is named after the historic square Bib Ramble where many years ago Bull Fights were held.

The restaurant was established in 1907.  

The historic square was the view from our table.

First came the tapa with red bell peppers and onions.

Next came the spicy ratatouille with fried egg.

Finally fresh  Hake with mixed salad.  

A beautiful stain glass light fixture was glowing with the night.

Granada in Spain is filled with views  to discover over delicious food.