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Very Fancy Churches

Justin Barber
3 min read

I’m back in the Bay after spending the week of Thanksgiving on vacation in Paris and Barcelona (hence the break in emails). It was the first real vacation I’ve taken in over a year and I gotta say vacations are great. Take as many as you can.

During our time in Europe, Nidhi and I visited two churches: Sacré-Cœur in France and Sagrada Familia in Spain. Both structures are magnificent!

To start, Sacré-Cœur is perched on the highest point in Paris. I gasped when I caught my first glimpse of its massive domed roof as we climbed the stairs leading to the church, and then I gasped again when we reached the summit and saw the city sprawling below. Inside, the biggest Jesus I’ve ever seen stretched his arms across the entire dome.

Sacré-Cœur at night
The inside

La Sagrada Familia, meanwhile, soars nearly 600 feet into the air and isn’t even complete yet – construction began over 100 years ago and will continue for the next several years.

While I found the exterior to be both ugly and unsettling (I know that’s sacrilegious but c’mon people it looks like a melting candle), the inside was splendid. Light from the massive stained glass windows flooded the space with an array of colors.

If there’s one thing these churches accomplish, it’s instilling awe.

Both churches were designed to foster spiritual connection. Instead, they made God feel distant – like he’s a detached, almighty being who’s far away and unconcerned with me.

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