The cloister

As we are outside, let’s talk about the cloister. It runs all the way around the church, interrupted only by the facades and the apse. You can see the structure, with its Gothic windows, to the left and right of the Portal of the Nativity.

Gaudi designed it with two purposes in mind. On the one hand, it would insulate the church from noise from the outside, and on the other, it serves as a place for holding processions and moving between the various areas of the basilica without interrupting worship. This was a fairly novel idea, as the cloister is usually found to one side of a church, with space for a garden in the middle, rather than running round the church itself, as Gaudi designed it here.

As you will see, it is on three levels, which evolve from Neo-Gothic architecture to a far more naturalistic style, rather like the evolution of Gaudi’s own style. Could you describe these shapes? There are fruits related to the Eucharist, such as ears of wheat, or grapes. On this side, the Nativity, we see those that appear in the Spring, while on the opposite side, the Passion, are those typical of the Autumn.

When you enter the church, take a look at the intersection of the cloister with the Doorway of Faith. You will see the profusely decorated door of Our Lady of the Rosary, with the central theme of Temptation. The most unusual feature you can see here is, without a doubt, the carving of the Devil handing a bomb to a man. Yes, you heard right… a bomb! It is a reference to the bloodshed caused by Anarchist attacks, which were very frequent in late 19th- century Barcelona.

(c) (R) 2013, MUSMon com S.L.
Text (a) Diego Laforga Marcos (2013)

Source: Own work
Author: Carlos Marcos (2013)