The Passion La Familia Sagrada Basilica

I thought people might like to spend some time with these sculptures known as The Passion Facade or The Facade Of The Suffering Way as we enter these final days of Lent. They are on the outside of the extraordinary La Familia Sagrada Basilica in Barcelona and are amazing. We last visited in June 2011, but sadly the queues were so long we only had time to walk around the outside.

This great video (about 14 minutes long) shows the interior and then after 5 mins or so, explores the themes and symbolism of the three facades of The Passion, The Nativity and The Glory- the latter is still under construction.  


If you can't watch the videos I have put the still photos below - they are much better than the ones I took !

The video below "God's Architect " is a 12 minute extract from a 30 min CBS Documentary on The Story of Antonio Gaudi's Wonderful Sagrada Familia Basilica in Barcelona. It has an annnoying advert at the start but only for a few seconds - so this  is worth a few minutes of your time.

The Passion façade was designed by Gaudi during the time he suffered from a serious illness.  Gaudí wanted to symbolise the desolation, the pain and the death of Jesus Christ.  The twelve stages of The Via Crucis work were carried out later in 1989 -2005 by the sculptor Josep Subirach. Subirach's stark style, in contrast with Gaudi’s original sketches are based on sharp edges.

Unlike the Nativity façade there are no references to the joy of life, such as the ornamentation of flowers and animals, and the dramatic representation of the feeling of the irreversible loss of death is heightened.

There are fourteen standard stations of the cross, which can be found on the walls of just about any Catholic church in the world.  But some variations exist. I think this has 12, maybe 13.

The Last Supper
1. The last supper.
2. Peter and the soldiers.
3. Judas kiss.
On the left magic square – each row and column add up to 33, the supposed age of Christ at his death. Snake behind Judas represents evil.

4. The flagellation of Jesus.
Symbols: rod representing abuse, three steps – three days to Resurrection, 4 drums – 4 arms of the cross, alpha and omega – above on the wall – representing the beginning and end.
5. The denial of Peter.
Jesus before he died he said to Peter ” Truly I say to you, that before a rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times ”

6. The judgement of the Roman governor Pilate. Pilate (on the right) doubting in his decision.

7. Pilate washes his  hands off and offers a criminal substitute of Barabbas in place of Jesus. On the right hand side you can see Pilate’s wife walk away as she disagrees with his verdict.
8. Jesus falls under the cross. Veronica is holding the veil with the imprint of Jesus face.Veronica, as legendary figure, is faceless – symbolizing that her legend was not in the bible. Man on the left hand side is one of the evangelists, and he has Gaudi’s face – Subirach’s tribute for Gaudi.
Two soldiers on the left wearing helmets exact like the chimneys in La Padrera.
There's also this extra image of the three Mary's I found so I;m not sure which numbered station this one is in the sequence.
  Click here for another awesome image of the three Mary's close up.
9. The Roman soldier Longinus who pierces the side of Jesus with his lance.
The lance pierces the wall of the church symbolizing the body of Christ.
10. The four soldiers playing dice for the cloths of Jesus.

11. The crucifixion.
Unusual horizontal cross with “I” shape from the word INRI (Iesus Nazareneus Rex Ludaeorum) – Jesus The Nazarene King of Jews. Skull representing death.

12. The last sculptures to the far right shows the entombment of Christ. 

 Image source.

One little detail many people don’t notice can be found far above the entrance, at the archway between the towers. By looking closely to towards the right side, one can see a golden statue of the risen Christ.  

  Video interview with Subirachs

No comments: