Situated beside and overshadowed by the vast and magnificent La Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona is a small schoolhouse built more than a century ago.
The Sagrada Família Schools (Escoles de la Sagrada Família) building was constructed in 1909 by Barcelona’s favorite son, architect Antoni Gaudí. The school was made for the children of workers building the cathedral, although other children from the neighborhood also attended. When construction of La Sagrada Familia cathedral began, it was at the outer edge of Barcelona making it hard for the worker’s children to walk to school — hence, Gaudi’s motivation to built the school near that cathedral during its first phases of construction, as you can see from these photos in this post.
The school building measures 10 m (33 ft) by 20 m (66 ft) and contains three classrooms, a hall, and a chapel. It has a brick facade built of three overlapping layers. The walls and the roof are of wavy construction, typical of much of Gaudi’s work, which add strength as well as a pleasing aesthetic design. The building is admired because of it’s simplicity and functionality, yet with a beautiful geometrical appearance. It was originally located on ground facing the Glory facade, on a site which would not be needed during the initial phases of the planned development of the La Sagrada Família church.
The school suffered severe damage during the Spanish Civil War. It was dismantled and reconstructed later in 1940 with limited funds and poor technique, resulting in its collapse. In 2002, the original school site was required for the ongoing development of the church, and the school building was again dismantled and transferred to the southern corner of the site, near the Passion facade, where you can visit it today.
The school is now a museum which can be visited with an admission to La Sagrada Familia basilica. An original schoolroom is retained….A portion of the school has be used to recreate Gaudi’s office….Part of the school is dedicated to educational displays. A visit to the school is very recommended and a must for fans of the work of Gaudi.
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