Arwen's meanderings

Hi everyone and welcome to my new blog. My name is Steve and i am the lucky owner of a John Welsford designed 'navigator' named Arwen. I built her over three years with the help of my father, father-in-law and two children. She was launched in August 2007 at Queen Anne's battery marina in the barbican area of Plymouth. This blog is a record of our voyages together around SW England.
Arwen has a YouTube channel of her own. Search "plymouthwelshboy".

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Serenity amongst the stonemasons

It's taken over a century to build and another ten years are needed to finish it. The Segada Familia, a cathedral to atone for Barcelona's previous sins of murdunity.

I made the mistake of climbing up the third tower from the left - oh my!!

Within, 16 pillars soar 15 metres high before dividing into five branches which continue their journey upwards to the heavens. Each ends in a stone canopy, the effect startling. For Gaudi wanted the congregation to be sat under a woodland. If you have ever spent time lying under a tree staring up into its canopy then you will appreciate his efforts.

Before I went in, I'd spent time sat on a bench under a jacaranda tree in the neighbouring park. As I sat there contemplating on whether or not I was eating the best mint chocolate chip ice cream ever, a pretty lady in her late forties walked up to the tree and lay her forehead against the trunk. One arm curled around it, she muttered some words, looked up at its canopy and broke into the most amazing smile. Thanking the tree she walked off, sat on a bench and chatted to her friends. I'm pretty sure I witnessed someone's personal religious experience. Her face lit up looking at that tree. Forty minutes later, sat under Gaudi's masterpiece of religious iconary for an hour and I kind of get it............I'm not religious. But 'spiritual'? I kinda get that bit......... . I was ready to walk out and hug trees.

On Gaudi's certificate for architecture, his teacher wrote "we have either let lose a madman, or a genius......only time will tell".  I suppose your view of architecture is subjective. We will all have different tastes.  For me, Gaudi was the latter, a true genius whose understanding of space, shape, form and style transcended everyone else's effort.

typical Gaudi-esque tiled tops
his stain glass windows are spectacular and the ambient light they create when the sunshine comes through windows is beyond description. This photo does not do it justice

views from up the climbing days are over! Never have I suffered from such bad vertigo before!

New elements still being added and will be for the next ten years!

Glad I'm not one of the builders although this must be an amazing project to work on

Those lovely decorations......

200 steps down in a tight spiral - a nightmare!

trunks into tree canopies - look closely and you can see them

knocking off time and the last shift is waiting for the lift to bring them back down


Steve-the-Wargamer said...

It is simply superb.. I last went 30 + years ago and still remember it.. I seem to remember seeing ducks on a pond in the middle??

steve said...

Hi steve if they were there they are long gone now. It was superb but noisy from construction work and stone cutting disc saws etc
But, as you rightly say, superb