[ This is the first post in a new series I’m going to work on called Photo Spots. The purpose of this series will be to give details about renowned, interesting, or unknown photo spots around the world. These spots could be either a place that I have visited personally or someplace that I have heard of that I thought were photo-worthy. ]
I was listening to National Public Radio (NPR) today and heard a concerning story about Sagrada Familia, the UNESCO World Heritage site in Barcelona, Spain. Today’s episode of The World had an episode that talked about how a train might threaten this Barcelona landmark.
I don’t remember where I first heard of or saw an image of Sagrada Familia, but after I did I soon thought…wow, that would be something to photograph. Sagrada Familia is the unfinished masterpiece of architect Antoni Gaudi. The temple’s land was bought in 1881 and the foundation stone of the temple was set in 1882. Eventually, disagreements with the original architect, Joan Martorell, lead to Gaudi, who had been an assistant of Martorell, to be named architect of the temple. His redesigned plan for the temple can almost be considered organic when viewed from a distance with it’s 18 total spindle-shaped towers and layers of Christian symbols and sculptures integrated into the design.
Gaudi worked on the temple for over 40 years, devoting the last 15 years of his life to the project. Gaudi passed away in 1926 and the temple’s construction has been supervised by numerous architects since. Time has not been kind to the temple. During the Spanish Civil War the unfinished building was damaged and Gaudí’s models and workshop were destroyed. Lately, computerized modeling has been utilized to assist the construction, which is optimistically targeted for completion around 2026.
What I learned today, is that Spain’s government is building a high-speed train between Barcelona and Madrid. This train puts the Sagrada Familia at risk because it’s path includes a tunnel that runs within 6 feet the Sagrada Familia. The train is targeted to travel at 200 mph and many citizens and architects are concerned that the vibrations from the train will crack and ruin the temple. The tunnel has already been blamed for the damage to many houses and buildings along the sections that have already been completed. And there is a huge dispute on going between citizens and politicians over the tunnel’s proximity to the temple.
While civil projects are needed and there is probably huge economic value that the high speed train will create, it would be sad to see the train damage the historic Sagrada Familia before it is even completed. As The World’s news segment says: it would be sad to see a train destroy Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia, especially consider Gaudi died when he was struck by a train on his way to the temple’s construction site in 1926.
Here are some links to online image collections I have found of the Sagrada Familia:
- Tourist Guide Barcelona’s photo tour
- Corbis image search results
- Google image search results
- Flickr image search results
- PBase image search results
- PhotoShelter image search results
So, if you find yourself near Barcelona, Spain, what kind of great shots can you take? Add a comment with a link to your images, or send me an email and I’ll add them to this list.
Get out and shoot…before the tunnel gets completed!