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The Beauty of Stained Light, La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

00 Stained Light La Sagrada Familia

One of the most written about tourist attractions in Barcelona is La Sagrada Familia, Modernitme architect Antoni Gaudi’s last greatest project and perhaps the most unique cathedral in the world.  And it is magnificent, as you can see from the photos below.

Instead of sharing details of the church’s unusual architecture and style in this post, I wanted to highlight what was most memorable to me.  We visited in the afternoon, and the sunlight was bathing through the windows, especially those facing west.  The light coming through the stained glass was as lovely as any I’ve ever seen, and I stop many times to enjoy it’s beauty.   Gaudi himself said, “Sunshine is the best painter”.

Stained Light La Sagrada Familia
(Stained Light La Sagrada Familia)

The stained-glass windows were created by Joan Vila-Grau. The windows were designed so that the most transparent glass was high up, filling the vaults of the nave with illumination.  Illustrations and texts are found on the more deeply tinted lower windows.

The intensity and color of the light change throughout the day, depending on which windows are caught in the sunlight.  The east facing windows are darker — blue and green shades, for example — while the afternoon sunlight penetrates as shades of red and yellow.

Stained Light La Sagrada Familia
(Stained Light La Sagrada Familia)

The panes of colored glass are separated by lead, which adapts well to the panes expanding and contracting with the elements.   Each window is unique and many tell a story.

I hope to return to the church after it is finally completed (circa 2026-2028), if for no reason than to see the wonderful stained glass one more time.  I hope you enjoy the rest of these photos below (Click on thumbnails to enlarge)

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