Going towards the facade of the Nativity

In front of you stands the Facade of the Passion, which I never lived to see. But before you hear all about it, go inside the church and cross it to look at the doorway on the other side, which is that of the Nativity. I spent a large part of the 45 years I worked on the Sagrada Familia building this doorway, which is why I want to talk to you about it first. While you cross the transept and go out of the door that you will see ahead of you, let me tell you that my decision to begin on that side was strongly criticised by the church’s backers. This was because the façade you have just left behind you was the one that faced towards Barcelona in those days, and it was the one that was seen by worshippers, whose donations have, from the beginning, served to build the church. Of course, that was before the city’s industrial growth eventually meant the church was surrounded on all sides.

But I also had my own good reasons to work in that order. I decided to start with the façade devoted to the birth and childhood of Jesus because it is a much gentler and more approachable subject. It had to face the East, because that was where the sun rises each day. The harsh and sober subject of His death, however, might well have led to strong criticism and even have put the continuity of the church imagery at risk – along with the donations that the devoted parishoners made to the building work.

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

Source: Own work
Author: Carlos Marcos (2013)