Garajonay National Park, in the center of the island of La Gomera, one of the Canary Islands (Spain). It was declared a national park in 1981 and a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986
The park provides the best example of Canarian laurisilva, a humid subtropical forest that 66 million to 2.58 million years ago covered almost all of Southern Europe.
Details of the east facing Nativity Facade, Sagrada Familia Basilica, Barcelona, Spain
Constructed between 1894 and 1930, the Nativity façade was the first façade to be completed. Dedicated to the birth of Jesus, it is decorated with scenes reminiscent of elements of life. Characteristic of Gaudí’s naturalistic style, the sculptures are ornately arranged and decorated with scenes and images from nature, each a symbol in their own manner.
Antonio Gaudi’s magnificent baldachin and crucifix hangs over the high altar in the Sagrada Família Basilica in Barcelona, Spain.
Click “The Most Uniquely Amazing Architectural Achievement in Europe is… ” and “Supervised by God’s Architect” for more Gaudi.
Albert Blancafor’s pipe organ designed for Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia Basilica in Barcelona, Spain.
Modernista Lamp Post designed by architect Pere Falqués for the city of Barcelona in 1906. Gaudí’s Casa Milá can be seen in the background. Image converted to B&W with Silver Efex Pro, touched up with Aperture, decreased noise with DFine 2.
God’s Architect, Antoni Gaudí, appears to have designed this window to allow him to look down from the heavens and offer divine inspiration to those constructing his masterpiece.
Young Gaudí was a well groomed man with a penchant for expensive suits, gourmet food, and the theater. As he grew older, he became increasingly more devoted to his profession and less concerned with grooming and the fine life. He ate more frugally, dressed in old, worn-out suits, and neglected his appearance to the point where people thought he was a street beggar. In fact, on June 7th, 1926, Gaudí was taking his routine stroll to a local church when he was hit by a street car. People passing assumed from his appearance that he was homeless, and no authorities were contacted until it was too late. He later died after ultimately being transported by taxi to a local hospital.
Gaudí’s Sagrada Família Basilica
Antoni Gaudi (1852-1926), known as God’s Architect, was a Catalan (Spanish) architect and a critical player in the Catalan Moderistá architectural movement. Considered the Great Master of Catalan Modernism, he is Barcelona’s most famous Moderista artist.
Gaudí’s masterpice is Barcelona’s still-uncompleted Sagrada Famíia Basilica (Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família ), which he worked on from 1883 until his death in 1926. Describing Sagrada Família, art critic Rainer Zerbst said, “It is probably impossible to find a church building anything like it in the entire history of art” and called it, “The most extraordinary personal interpretation of Gothic architecture since the Middle Ages.”
Here is an HDR shot of the ceiling of the nave. Gaudi was inspired by the forms found in nature, as is evidenced in the columns seen here in the nave. They are designed to represent trees, with the upper portions dividing into branches as they form the vaults of the ceiling. The ceiling also contains numerous small windows which let light filter in like the canopy of a rain forest. The Sagrada Familia has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site. I consider this one of the most unique pieces of architecture that I have seen in all of Europe, and consider it a definite “must see”.