I left off in the middle of yesterday’s tour.  Before reaching the next Gaudi building, I noticed the strangest doorknob.

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I love odd stuff like this.

Anyway, back to Gaudi.  As I mentioned, you’re already a little familiar with the next building, because it’s at the top of this blog.

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This is Casa Milà.  It has quite a history, with court battles and conflicts between Gaudi and the couple who commissioned the building.  For example, Gaudi was a devout Catholic, and wanted to inscribe the Hail Mary across the face of the building.  He succeeded in this, except for one word:  Mary.  Instead, it has the letter M.  This is because the female half of the couple  refused to have another woman’s name on the building.   For a long time the residents of Barcelona disliked the building, and christened it with its other name, La Pedrera, which means the quarry or stone pile.

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Casa Milà 01” by Bernard GagnonOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.

These are the very distinctive “soldier” roof vents.  They are supposedly the inspiration for Darth Vader in the Star Wars movies.

 

Each of the balcony railings is unique.

The other residents of this posh area refused to speak to the owner of the building, because they thought it so ugly as to lower property values in the vicinity.

 

The final stop on our tour was Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s perpetual work-in-progress cathedral.  It’s impossible not to take pictures of Sagrada Familia, and also impossible to capture it in pictures in any meaningful way.  You have to be there.

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This is the nativity side, the only part Gaudi saw.  He was aware that the work would not be completed in his lifetime, so he left behind detailed plans and drawings.  During the Spanish civil war, anarchists planned to blow up the building, until someone pointed out that a particular spot between the towers would be a commanding location for a machine gun.  So, they settled for destroying the documentation Gaudi left behind.  What could be salvaged is being used to complete the work.

 

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This is from the side that will eventually be the front entrance.

 

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We didn’t enter the building, but I think it may be a way to tempt me into attending Mass with Mary.

The building is covered in Catholic symbols and imagery, and if you know where to look, an homage to Gaudi.

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You can clearly see the soldiers from the rooftop of  Casa Milà, but who is that to their left?

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None other than the master architect himself.