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Doors of La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

00 Doors, La Sagrada Familia

One of my favorite buildings in the world is La Sagrada Familia.  In today’s post I thought I’d share photos of some of the doors and entrances to this beautiful (still unfinished) cathedral.
The photo above features what will be the cathedral’s main entry when the building is completed, and is known as the Doorway of Majesty.
The first completed entrance to the cathedral was themed after the Nativity, and the doors at this entrance show some imaginative details:

Even this more traditional cathedral entrance has an interesting skylight feature….

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“Pic of the Week”, March 10, 2023: A Courtyard in Cordoba


We sought shelter in this courtyard when the clouds opened and a heavy downpour began while we were exploring the streets of Cordoba.
It was a pretty courtyard, bricks, stonework and white plaster walls with dozens of colorful flowers growing in small matching pots on the walls.  There were a few shops around the courtyard, but these didn’t interest us.  It was such a cool place to be that when the downpour stopped, it almost seemed a shame to leave.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge)

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The Critters of La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

00 La Sagrada Familila

Gaudi’s fabulous La Sagrada Familia cathedral is well known for its innovative architecture.  Gaudi was a fan of nature and tried to incorporate elements of it in his buildings.
While visiting La Sagrada Familia, I notice a veritable zoo’s worth of animal designs incorporated into the structure.  Some, like a turtle bearing a pillar or reptiles crawling the exterior of the building are quite obvious.  Most subtle and interesting were the insects and other small creatures incorporated into some of the metalwork around the doors.

(Exterior detail of lizard, La Sagrada Familia)

Look carefully at the images below and see how many different types of critters you can see in and on the great

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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)

The stained-glass windows …

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“Pic of the Week”, February 3, 2023: Old Fortified Wall, Seville

00 Old Wall, Seville

The walls of Seville surrounded the Old Town portion of the city.  The first walls were constructed by the Romans almost two millenia ago.  The walls were maintained and updated over the centuries and portions of them still remain, especially around the Alcázar and in the barrio de la Macarena.
This section of the old wall likely dates to the 12th century Moorish period of the city, although it was modified about 200 years ago.  It contains one of the city’s few surviving gates.
(Click on thumbnails below to enlarge the photo)

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Cordoba’s Historic Synagogue

00 Cordoba Synagogue

While rambling through the streets of Cordoba we came across this historic Synagogue in the city’s old Jewish neighborhood.  It was an unexpected finding, making it all the more enjoyable to visit.
The Cordoba Synagogue is rather small but is said to be one of the best-preserved Medieval synagogues in Spain.  It was built between 1314 and 1315 A.D. and was in constant use until the Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492.

(Main chamber of Cordoba’s Historic Synagogue)

There is no admission fee and you get to see the main hall, a rectangular room decorated with plant motifs and Hebrew inscriptions.  A separate woman’s gallery still stands but is not open to the public.
After the Jews left, the building was used as …

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“Pic of the Week”, December 23, 2022: Plaza de Toros, Seville

01 Plaza de Tores

Bullfighting remains a popular sport in parts of Spain, especially in Seville.  Here you can visit Plaza de Toros, one of the oldest bullrings in the world.  The arena’s construction began in 1762 and was completed in 1881; it can hold up to 14,000 spectators, making it competitive with most popular sports.

(Inside of Seville’s bullfighting arena, courtesy Wikimedia and Harlock20)

My wife stopped by the arena late in the day so we didn’t have a chance to do a guided tour, which I think would have been interesting.  Besides visiting the inside of the arena (you need to take a tour or see a bullfight to do so), the tour includes a visit to a museum of bullfighting, the chapel where …

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“Pic of the Week”, May 28, 2021: Great Green Wall, Madrid

Great Fauna Wall, Madrid (1)

It’s not every day you see a garden growing VERTICALLY! My wife and I stopped and did a double-take when strolling by this lovely wall, across the street from the famous Prado Museum in Madrid.
A little research revealed that the wall was designed by Patrick Blanc, who specializes in creating vertical gardens. This wall, which is four stories tall, has more than 15,000 plants representing 250 different species. The plants are watered by a drip irrigation system.
The wall was once part of a power plant dating to 1899, but today the building within it has been converted to an arts and cultural center.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)

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