As a travel photographer, you are always chasing the sun. Often the limited amount of time you have to spend in a place mixed with your lack of knowledge of its physical layout makes it difficult to get the kind of photos you want. There are some maxims that produce good results like waiting for sunrise and sunset but often times building placement or surprise construction can foil the best-laid plans. For example, I arrived in Barcelona the week of a large electronic festival so as I made my way to the cathedral they were also setting up a large stage and partitions. On top of that, I had no idea that as the sun set it cast an ugly shadow on the Cathedral which obscured my ability to photograph the 250 gargoyles that guard the entrance.
The Barcelona Cathedral's full name is the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia. Saint Eulalia was martyred at the age of 13 in 303 for refusing to announce her Christianity. The church itself was built over a thousand years after her death. After completed it took another 450 years for the lateral towers that were in the original design to finally be built. I've always been fascinated with cathedrals and churches after reading Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth. So it was fascinating to go and visit a cathedral that was build before the Americas were ever colonized.
The inside of the cathedral is deceptively large. When I first entered the sanctuary I was blown away by the vaulted ceilings. This living museum still holds mass and people were praying as I ambled through this hallowed ground. There was always something visually interesting everywhere whether it was the molding on the pillars or the many religious dioramas. Outside in the cloister, there are 13 geese which represent the 13 tortures that Saint Eulalia faced by the Romans.
After exploring the ground floor I made my way to the roof which only costs me 3 euro's because I visited the cathedral during its free hours in the morning. A quick ride up the elevator and I was able to see the entire city from the rooftop. I got a close-up view of the lateral towers and was able to capture the picture above.
I'm happy that I came back to the cathedral twice because its beauty cannot be absorbed in one viewing. I need to go back with a friend so that I can have a proper photoshoot on the rooftop with the city of Barcelona as my backdrop. Make sure you subscribe below so you never miss an addition to the Archive!