Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, commonly known as the Sagrada Familia, is the icon of Barcelona and one of Gaudí’s masterpieces. It’s so unique on a world scale that it has been named a UNESCO World Heritage even before being finished.
The construction of the basilica started over 130 years ago, in 1882, but its famous architect Antoni Gaudí became involved a year later. He devoted the last years of his life to the building of this marvellous church, although he was able to see only a quarter of it complete by the time he passed away.
In 2010 it was consecrated by the pope Benedict XVI and proclaimed a minor basilica. The anticipated completion of the church is set for 2026, the 100th anniversary of Gaudí’s death.
The design of the Sagrada Familia is unrivalled as it combines styles so distinct but put into perfect harmony by Gaudí’s brilliant mind. Never before had the Gothic style been seen so well-matched with Art Noveau and Catalan Modernism.
Although the Sagrada Familia was never meant to be a cathedral (the seat of a bishop), it’s ground plan obviously relates to other grand Spanish cathedrals like the Cathedral in León, the Cathedral in Burgos and the Cathedral in Seville.
Until the interior was completed, what had differed the Sagrada Familia from other churches was its abundant façade and its distinct spires. You should know that there is not one but three monumental façades: the Nativity façade to the east, the Passion façade to the west, and the Glory façade to the south, all of them depicting a different Bible motif. The spires are also highly symbolic and they represent the Twelve Apostles, the four Evangelists, the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ, which is the tallest of all. A simple calculation indicates that there is the total of 18 towers, from which you can have a wonderful view over Barcelona.
All the Sagrada’s visitor had to wait a long time for the interior to be complete, but it was worth it in the end. The colours, the unique Gaudiesque columns, the abstract curves and the geometrical shapes will leave you speechless. And don’t forget to look up – the ceiling is like a giant kaleidoscope which has stopped moving.
Opening Times: La Sagrada Familia: Oct – Mar: 9.30 a.m. – 6.00 p.m., Apr – Sept: 9.00 a.m. – 8.00 p.m., 25th Dec – 6th Jan: 9.00 a.m. – 2.00 p.m
Towers: 9.00 a.m. – 30 minutes before the church closes.
Price: La Sagrada Familia: Standard Ticket: 13,50 €, Pensioners, Students, visitors under 18: 11,50 €,
La Sagrada Familia + Gaudí House-Museum: 17,00 €,
Towers: 4,50 €.
Now, during the during the La Mercè festival (22nd – 24th September 2013), you can visit the church for free! Go to the official website and claim your tickets before they run out!
Tip! Regardless of the time of the year there are always long queues outside the Sagrada Familia. Sometimes you even have to wait between 40min up to 1,5h, so we strongly advice you buy your tickets online!
Address: Carrer de Mallorca, 401, Barcelona, Spain. Metro Sagrada Familia (L2, L5).
written by: Ania
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