It’s an even more amazing building inside than out. I felt like I’d stepped into the main engine room of a gas turbine on Mars (think Total Recall). It’s hard to believe that Gaudí was allowed to build something like this (do they have planning permission in Spain?), but thank goodness he was - and to be fair, his work is all over Barcelona, so presumably they must have liked it. It’s a shame to my mind that it’s a Christian building, as it could easily have been something else, unlike most churches, but clearly religion was the main driving force behind Gaudi’s work.
The other thing that becomes more obvious once inside, and having toured the museum, is that the building is still under construction. It’s quite strange that the money can be found for this, as one just can’t imagine that being the case in the UK, say, where most churches, cathedrals, etc. are permanently short of funds. I’m happy with that, as I’ve always felt the grandeur of these buildings is one of the things that induces religious feelings in people (see The God Pill in the Economist of July 15th for more information on another way this can happen). But the architecture of this edifice almost makes its existence as a church justifiable. Almost.
Photos to follow.