We rose late on Sunday and after a large breakfast took a taxi to the Sagrada Familia, perhaps the most outstanding building in Barcelona. We were pleased and surprised at the cleanliness of the streets and the width of the many transsecting avenues. After a 15 minute ride, we were dropped off in front of the church, the masterpiece of Antoni Gaudi.
The church, about 100 years in building, still has many years to go to be finished. It has three main facades. The one on the east represents the Nativity, the one on the west the Passion and Death and Glory is planned for the south. Each facade has four towers to represent the twelve Apostles, while the dome over the apse is meant to be symbolic of the Virgin Mary. Since Gaudis death a number of people have been working, raising money and arranging for a continuation of the structural work to finish the Masters original design.
There is a nice park directly opposite the Sagrada Familia where on can sit in the shade under the trees and admire the building from afar. Having satisfied ourselves that we saw the most important aspects of the building, we returned to the hotel, had a rest and went for lunch at an outdoor cafe off the La Rambla. The half roast chicken was well prepared and very tasty.
In the afternoon we took a taxi to the Passaig de Gracias where we admired the building designed by Gaudi, known as La Pedrera. 0n the way back towards the center of town we ambled down the Passaic de Gracias, admiring the broad avenue and the many great buildings. We spent some time walking in the vicinity of Carrer d’Arago where there are three exceptionally interesting buildings. One designed by Antoni Gaudi, much in the style of La Pedrera and two others, Casa Amattler and CasaBattlo, each with a unique and characteristic style (see pictures).This small section is known as Mancana de la Discordia (loosly translated as "city block of discord) because of the vast difference in architectural styles of the three buildings in this block. First one sees the classic work of Antoni Gaudi, clearly resembling the work seen at La Pedrera; next is Casa Amatller which was designed by Josep Puig i Cadafalch, a neogothic structure which is decorated with polychrome ceramic on the facade; finally there is Casa Lleo Morera with its modernist floral facade, designed by Lluis Domenech i Montaner.
The city blocks here tend to be fairly long and soon we were tired enough to return to the hotel get rested and prepare for supper at the Tapas bar, and pack the bags, for the next morning we had to get up at 5:30 to make the 8:30 plane to Munich, with a one hour connection to Boston.