THE SAGRADA FAMILIA
How much heard, how many read, how many pictures considered — and yet to truly appreciate the great miracle of architecture, the Sagrada Familia Sagrada Familia, only arriving in Barcelona, having seen him live, his hands feeling rough, just rough bark covered walls. To compare this Cathedral? With luxurious flower-a giant, towering over the city? With a sparkling fountain? With tongues of fire?
Genius Antonio Gaudi-and-cornet (1852-1926), the Creator of Sagrada the Surname, did everything to his temple resembled not an architectural structure but a natural phenomenon. The Cathedral was supposed to grow, like a tree, all its design needs to repeat the stalks of grass, palm trees, calyx flowers. Architect — maybe too bold — decided to imitate God commanding the flowers to grow a black ground, — he, too, had raised his temple, patiently, like an old gardener who grows Apple trees, knowing that the fruit he could not wait.
All twenty years of construction of Gaudi spent in sustained and concentrated prayer, realizing that to do something for themselves, on their own people. Yes, he was Catholic and probably, judging strictly, the way his prayers were not acceptable to Orthodox believers. And yet he prayed earnestly, prayed humbly and so engrossed in his prayer that, for the first time after twenty years of seclusion out on the street, not noticed the changes and was shot down just launched in Barcelona by tram. Work on the Church over them was not, he would not be able to finish it: construction is underway on this day, and, apparently, only children of the current co-creators of Sagrada the Surname will be able to see the Church as a whole. By the way, this time the architects largely deviate from the plan of Gaudi, and Barcelona’s locals with mistrust and discontent look at a strange sculpture artist Subirachs adorning the portal of the passion of Christ: this is not Gaudi, Yes, by and large, and Christianity isn’t so much.
What a great Ukraine enjoy seeing the masterpiece and the Catholic Antoni Gaudi? Why we, Russian Orthodox people, not a sin, but the advantage to study his creation, to admire them, and something to learn from them?
There was a time when Europe lived under their own laws, created their own culture, sang their songs, and built cities, castles, temples, as demanded by the European soul, no looking back, no one asking the advice. It was in the Middle ages, in the era of the dawn of Europe, when he created the “Song of Roland” and “the Nibelungenlied”, when erected Reims Cathedral and Notre-Dame Cathedral, when the Europeans built their lives according to the law of God and the knightly code of honor. It was actually Europe is an independent, original, self-sufficient, and then she stumbled on the antique, were all ashamed of their “savagery” and went to all these the Renaissance, the reformation, the Enlightenment, the times of endless borrowing. And now only the great Gothic churches reminds us that once Europe had its own original culture.
What did Antonio Gaudi? He just stepped over several hundred years and borrowings continued the tradition started by the great Gothic architects. It continued, not copied once someone built. The Sagrada Familia is a true Europe of the new time, Europe as such, purified from a bad witness of antiquity, from deadwood positivist speculations and materialism. Sagrada Familia survived and is growing again to Heaven, and so is still alive the European spirit is alive and is able to create.
I do not want to suggest that the great Barcelona Cathedral is a pattern for all Christian churches in the world. We, as you know, your own pride (not quite Christian-like it sounds — let it be “his own glory”) — we have Russia, there is Orthodoxy, there is an amazing beauty original temples built, though obscure, but by great architects…
Who taught Russian builders, who dictated them, who insisted that the Church looked just so and not otherwise? Byzantium? The West? Antiquity? No one like God. Remember the Kizhi island. His Church is not built, they just grew out of this rocky Northern land, as pines are able to grow among the bare stones.
In the treaties that concluded the world of the peasantry with the architects that will certainly read: “the Church building, as the measure and beauty show”. But the Measure and Beauty is only in the hands of God — to see them, you need to see God.
We, modern people, need to turn to God as boldly as our forefathers, and, stepping over a century of imitations, to return to the Church of the Intercession on the Nerl, to the cathedrals of Novgorod and Vladimir, Moscow “Naryshkin Baroque”. And not to blindly copy these masterpieces — they are impossible to copy (shape — Yes, and the spirit — alas!). But, you can breathe the air breathed by Russian architects, you can look at the world through their eyes, and then Russia of the twenty-first century will flourish with new temples to be still and heal the deep wound inflicted on our country is godless the twentieth century.