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The Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Famíla (Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family) is the most iconic symbol of Barcelona and the most visited landmark in the whole of Spain. It is considered to be the best example of Modernist architecture designed by Antoni Gaudí and every day thousands of tourists explore this curious but unfinished temple.

History

Barcelona, Sagrada Familia
Barcelona and its symbol, the Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia, Fachada del Nacimiento
Sagrada Familia, Nativity Façade
Sagrada Familia, interior
Inside the Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia, vistas desde una de las torres
Views from the Sagrada Family viewpoint

The construction of the structure began in 1882. It was designed initially in a Neo-Gothic style. A year later it was commissioned to the Spanish Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, who redesigned it entirely. He drafted a remarkable and original basilica that was to have 18 towers. However, he died before he could complete this chef d’oeuvre, having only built one of the church’s towers.

Gaudí passed away in 1926, leaving his most important project, which he was devoted to, unfinished. Nevertheless, thanks to his architectural plans, his work continues to be built to this day by renowned architects. The money for the construction is obtained by the many visits to this impressive visit and various donations.

Most impressive components

Although it isn’t completed, the Sagrada Família is an impressive temple packed with religious symbolism. These are some of its most splendid components:

The towers

Currently, eight of the eighteen towers have been completed. Gaudí had planned for 12 of them to be built in memory of the Disciples, four to commemorate the Evangelists, one in memory of Mary, mother of Jesus and another in dedicated to Jesus Christ.  Each tower’s height will depend on the religious hierarchy they represent.

You can climb to the top of two of the church’s towers, on either side of the temple and get impressive views over two parts of the city and examine the building’s outside architecture up close.     

The façades

The Basilica has three symbolic façades:

  • Nativity Façade: The façade represents Christ’s birth. It is beautifully decorated and full of life.
  • Passion Façade:  This part of the Basilica is a little more bare and simple than the rest of the façades. It represents the suffering of Jesus during his Crucifixion.
  • Glory Façade: This is the main façade, which is larger and more spectacular. It symbolizes Jesus’ death and resurrection and his present and future Glory. Aware that he wasn’t going to be able to finish it, Gaudí left several sketches so that his successors could finish the work correctly.

The inside

Gaudí was deeply influenced by nature and its many forms. Inside the Basilica, he designed the pillars in the shape of elegant and slender tree trunks, creating a concrete forest in the temple’s interior.  

When will the structure be completed?

One of the most common questions related to the Sagrada Família is when will the structure will be completed. This is a difficult question to answer. Since it was founded in 1882, it has been built thanks to donations. This is why the Sagrada Família is taking so long to complete and it could take several years to finish.

The symbol of Barcelona

The Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family has become the symbol of Barcelona and is well worth visiting. Since it is a very popular tourist attraction and; therefore, there are long lines, we recommend reserving your tickets online, so as not to waste time queuing.

Location

Carrer Marina, 41.

When to visit

November – February: 9 am until 6 pm.
March: 9 am – 7 pm.
April – September: 9 am – 8 pm.
October: 9 am – 7 pm.

Fares

Adults: 15€. (With audio guide 19,50€).
Children (less than 11 years old): free entry.
Students and people less than 30 years old: 13€.
Seniors: 11€.
Elevator towers: 4,5€.
Sagrada Familia + Casa-Museo Gaudí: 16,50€.

Transport

Metro: Sagrada Familia, lines 2 and 5.
Buses: Temple Expiatori de La Sagrada Família, lines 19, 33, 34, 43, 44, 50, 51, B20 and B24.

Map

The Sagrada Familia, location map

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