Friday, December 22, 2006

Barcelona: The Great Enchantress

Currently wanting to listen to:
The Dears
Gang of Losers

Lately I have been reading a book by Robert Hughes about Barcelona. Ever since I learned about the incredible architecture there from my History teacher in Mohawk I have dreamed of going there. Next year, the Lord willing, I will be there (sadly for only one day). Barcelona is probably best known for Antoni Gaudi the architect of the Sagrada Familia, Casa Milo and Casa Battlo. Seriously amazing stuff. The more I read about the guy, the more I like him. He was fiercely conservative and a very pious Catholic. He was intensely deep and I am sure many people couldn't understand him. Like many famous architects he was not rich and cared nothing for money. He would only take a commission if he had full artistic control (sounds like an indie band). His work influenced many modern architects like Frank Gehry.

So I want to post this quote from this book which is quoting another architect from Barcelona with the same independent Catalan spirit.
"Only societies without firm fixed ideas, which fluctuate between todays thinking and yesterdays, without firm faith in tomorrow's - only those societies fail to inscribe their history in durable monuments"
Domenech i Montaner (1849-1923)
Looking back on that statement in our americanized world it seems all the more true. North Americans know relatively little about architecture and history. It seems so sad to me. I hope I can gain something culturally by visiting Europe and seeing all that history with my own eyes.
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