The Sagrada Familia (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.
The Sagrada Familia church is considered to be the best example of Modernist architecture designed by the legendary architect Antoni Gaudí. Every day, thousands of tourists flock to this peculiar and not yet finished temple.
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 church that was meant to have 18 towers. However, he died before he could complete this chef d’oeuvre, having only completed one tower.
Gaudí passed away in 1926, leaving his most important project, which he was completely 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 from the many visits to this impressive visit and various donations.
Most impressive components
Although it's not yet completed, the Sagrada Familia is an impressive temple packed with religious symbolism. These are some of its most splendid components:
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, and another dedicated to Jesus. 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 Basilica has three symbolic façades:
- Nativity Façade: The façade represents Christ’s birth. It's 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.
Gaudí was deeply influenced by nature and its many forms. Inside the Sagrada Familia, 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 Familia is when 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.
Guided tour in English
The Basilica of the Sagrada Familia has become the symbol of Barcelona and a visit to it's a must. Since there is always a long queue to visit it, you can buy the tickets online to avoid wasting time waiting.
The best way to discover the Sagrada Familia and its history and learn about Antoni Gaudí is to book a skip-the-line Sagrada Familia guided tour. For more information, check out our tours:
November – February: 9 am until 6 pm.
March and October: 9 am – 7 pm.
April – September: 9 am – 8 pm.
October: 9 am – 7 pm.
- Sagrada Familia:
- Adults: € 26 (US$ 28)
- Students and under 30s: € 24 (US$ 25.80)
- Seniors: € 21 (US$ 22.60)
- Children under 11: free
- Sagrada familia + towers: € 36 (US$ 38.70)
Sagrada Familia Guided Tour € 54 (US$ 58.10)
Metro: Sagrada Familia, lines 2 and 5.
Buses: Temple Expiatori de La Sagrada Família, lines 19, 33, 34, D50, H10, and B24.
Hospital de Santa Creu i de Sant Pau (934 m) Torre Glories - Old Torre Agbar (1.3 km) Egyptian Museum in Barcelona (1.4 km) La Pedrera (Casa Milà) (1.4 km) Casa Batlló (1.6 km)