One thing’s for sure, you wouldn’t want Antoni Gaudí as your neighbor. Imagine leaving your house one morning and bumping into him and he tells you, with a big sigh, “My house has no straight lines.” You’d get that FOR SALE sign up before you can say “stay away from my kids”.
Gaudí, for those who don’t know, was a Catalonian architect, most famously responsible for the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.
It’s a unique building, you’ve got to give it that. But despite his style, Gaudí wasn’t any different to any other builder you’ve ever known. He started the project in 1915, spent an interminably long time messing around with it, just like those builders working on your extension back in 2004, then he went and died in 1926, leaving it mostly unfinished, just like that extension you wanted back in 2004. Since 1926, numerous artists and architects have taken creative control but it’s still unfinished and won’t be completed until at least 2026, just like that extension you wanted back in 2004. And frankly, one has to wonder whether it will ever be finished, just like that extension… you get the idea.
Let’s be fair to Gaudí. He didn’t mean to die in 1926. But, on closer googling, Gaudí could’ve not died in 1926.
See, what happened was that on 7 June 1926, Gaudí was strolling to the Sant Felip Neri church for prayer and confession, happily strolling along, maybe humming a merry tune, wondering how to iron out that last straight line in the cupboard under the stairs. Unfortunately, our Gaudí wasn’t the most careful and walked in front of a number 30 tram (maybe the number 30 has extra sharp bits making it important, I don’t know, but it’s true) and he got knocked unconscious.
At this point he’s not dead, just unconscious. So what did the people of Barcelona do? Did they rush over to save their beloved genius? Did Gaudi’s neighbor hurry over to make sure his weird neighbor was actually dead? Nope. The people of Barcelona didn’t give a damn. See, as recognizable as Gaudi’s architecture is, the man himself wore shabby clothing and carried no identity documents, so everyone assumed he was a beggar, and apparently beggars who get hit by trams on their way to church in the summer of 1926 in Barcelona are just left in the street.
Eventually someone found a heart and transported him to hospital where he received “rudimentary care” because even doctors didn’t care much about patients who were poor. What is this, the US in 2017?
Anyway, this is what it looks like inside:
It’s crazy and beautiful and weird and wonderful and totally worth enduring the queue and crowds for.