Is impossible to be indifferent to Sagrada Família. I still can remember how impressed I was 20 years ago when I first visit the site. It was like nothing I've ever seen. And yet, it was like my childhood fantasies came to live in a fantastic way. When I was a little girl, love to make sand castles, specially the ones you do with wet sand, letting it run from your fingers to build long pointy towers. In my imagination those castles were inhabited by fairy princess always in search of an adventure. And then there I was climbing the tower of one of those magical palaces. Seemed like Gaudí had find my dream, improved it and build it. You can grasp how fascinated I was.
Last summer I returned to Sagrada Família. This time it was also possible to visit the interior of the church and it is nothing less than overwhelming. Is pure beauty in form and color. If the exterior impresses you with the immensity of details, the interior with its clean lines and games of lights hits another dimension. Gaudí conquered me once again, and he not even needed it.
The Sagrada Família is one of the most iconic churches in the world and is with no doubt the undisputed symbol of Barcelona. In construction since 1882, the Basílica is a work in progress and is expected to be completed by 2026. Although he was not the architect initially chosen to design the Basílica, soon Gaudí was commissioned to carry out the project to which he devoted much of his time and energy. Until the time of his death, in 1926, Gaudí was able to complete the crypt and the Nativity facade. The building work continued with the help of the drawings and models left by the architect, many of which can be seen in the museum installed in the Basílica.
The exterior of the Basílica has three monumental facades, each one representing one of the three crucial events of Christ's live. The Nativity facade (facing Carrer Marina), representing his birth, where the love of Gaudí for nature reveals itself on the plants and animals sculpted in stone. The Passion facade (facing Carrer Sardenya), describing the passion, death and resurrection of Christ. And the Glory facade to his present and future Glory (facing Carrer Mallorca).
The orientation of the Basílica gives the light a big part in the way we see this work of art. The rising sun lights up the Nativity facade with a pure light of joy, while the more dramatic afternoon and sunset light over the Passion facade heightens the severe character of its theme. The Glory facade receives the mid-day sun that light up the main entrance to the basilica. Color is also a central element, in the tiled pinnacles, on the enameled doors and, of course on the amazing stained-glass windows.
The design will be completed with four domed structures and a group of 18 towers. 12 shorter ones on the facades, representing the Apostles, and six taller ones representing Christ, the Virgin Mary, and the four Evangelists and their Gospels.
The Sagrada Família Church of Atonement has a central nave with four aisles at the sides and a transept with a central nave flanked by two aisles forming a Latin cross. The semi-circular apse is located at the top of the cross and encloses the basilica at the back. Also for the inside of the church Gaudí has planned for the light to be harmonious and inviting to introspection. Therefore, colored light comes both from the stained-glass windows and from the lucarnes located between the branching columns. These skylights built with gold and green glass accentuate the impression of light filtered through the leafs of towering trees in the woods that Gaudí wanted the temple to be like.
You can also visit the museum and go up the towers on foot or using the lift to enjoy breathtaking views of Barcelona. Is better to plan ahead and book your tickets online, choosing one of the time slots available (and get there on time) for is very difficult to get tickets for the day.
Basílica de la Sagrada Familia
Carrer de Mallorca, 401, 08013
Phone: 935 132 060
Opening Hours and Ticket Prices:
November to February, daily from 9am to 6pm.
March and October, from 9am to 7pm.
From April to September, daily from 9am to 8pm.
January 1st & 6th, December 25th & 26th, from 9am to 2pm.
Basic Ticket - 15 € | Top Views - 29 € | Children under 11 - free | Discounts for Students and Seniors
To get there you can take the subway L2 or L5, exiting at Sagrada Família station. There are also several city buses that stop close by.