Fast Facts

  • Location: Calle Mallorca, Barcelona, Spain
  • Attraction Type: Church
  • Significance: Church, Architecture, Towers, Sculpture. Its construction started in 1895 under private funding and is expected to be over in 2026.
  • Best Time to visit: Strasbourg has wonderful climate all throughout, and can be visited at any time of the year.
  • How to Reach: Take the Blue Line Metro L5 or the Purple Line L2 and get off at Sagrada Familia.
  • Timings: 09:00 — 18:00 (October — March) 09:00 — 20:00 (April — September)
  • Admission Fee: 11 Euros
  • Nearest Airport: Barcelona International Airport

This is one piece of architecture that has become a legend even before its completion. The grand project of Sagrada Familia has the ambition of becoming the last great sanctuary of Christendom, and it has dimensions to match it. The construction of this masterpiece of Antoni Gaudi, noted Catalan architect, started in 1895 under private funding and is expected to be over in 2026. However, parts of this Roman Catholic Church are expected to be made open for worship and Church services from September 2010. The church is totally privately funded and the building projects are carried out exclusively on the basis of the donations made by visitors and patrons worldwide.

Construction History of Sagrada Familia Like most ancient Gothic cathedrals that took over centuries to complete after many stops and starts, the fate of the development of the Sagrada Familia was often guided by contemporary historical and political situations. Gaudi started the work in accordance with the plans of the Construction Board of La Sagrada Familia Foundation, founded by the bishop of Barcelona. Gaudi worked on it for 40 long years, including the last 15 years of his life that were devoted exclusively to this project. His death did not necessarily stop work, till the Spanish Civil War struck in 1936. Many of his designs, the model and his workshop and parts of the church, yet unfinished, were destroyed. Since 1940, parts of his designs were recovered and construction resumed.

At present, the construction is being looked after by New Zealand based architect Mark Burry, and J. Busquets. Etsuro Sotoo and Josep Subriachs of the Passion faí§ade fame are looking after the sculptural side of the designs. A great degree of technological assistance, including computers, are being in use since the 1980s. From 2004 onwards the church, though unfinished, has been attracting a large number of visitors, making it one of the top attractions of Barcelona.

Architectural Details of La Sagrada

Towers: A strong Christian symbolism dominates the architecture of the Sagrada Familia Church. There are a total of eighteen towers of varying sizes, each of an iconic nature. They stand for the twelve apostles, the four evangelists and the Virgin Mary, and of course, Jesus Christ. The tower for Christ is the tallest of all, followed by those devoted to the apostles and the evangelists. The evangelists are represented by their traditional symbols that surmount their towers, with a bull for St. Luke, a winged man as St. Matthew, an eagle for St. John and a lion for St. Mark. The Central Tower, devoted to Jesus Christ, reach for a towering 170m. Gaudi kept it 1 meter lower than Montjuic so as not to exhibit the vanity of exceeding god’s work. The lower towers are surmounted not by individual symbols but by sheaves of wheat, chalices and grape bunches, representing quite overtly, the Eucharist.

Facades: Equally fascinating are the faí§ades of Sagrada Familia. There are three grand faí§ades. The Nativity faí§ade to the East is the earliest one to be built, under the supervision of Gaudi, and that influence is clear in the sculptural style and detail. The West Faí§ade or the Passion faí§ade is the most modern and also the most controversial. Designed by Josep Maria Subirachs, this faí§ade presents an emaciated Christ going through the torturous acts of flogging and crucifixion.

The Interiors of La Sagrada

The interior of Sagrada Familia is one of the most fascinating representations of Gaudi’s creativity. The arrangement of the columns, naves, and asps creates an illusion of gradually increasing space among the spectator on immediately entering the church. Although built on the lines of a traditional Roman Cross, there are clear Cubist and Art Nouveau influences in the overt geometrical layout of the space. Of particular interests are the ever-changing surfaces of the columns, starting from a rectangular base, and then evolving into octagonal columns giving rise to a 16 sided form eventually culminating in a circle. Similar geometric experimentations can be seen at various parts of the church, including the structure above the Glory faí§ade. A strong influence of the liturgy can also be seen in various parts of the church.

Do not forget to visit the Gaudi Museum in the church during your visit. It beautifully documents the various phases of the development of the church, including original sketches, models, and plans by Gaudi himself. Although much was destroyed in 1936, much has been revived and restored.

Accommodation in Barcelona

Being one of the top tourist attractions in Barcelona, the church can easily be accessed from all parts of the city. As a result, you can opt for accommodation anywhere and still approach the church with comparative ease. Barcelona has a large number of hotels: luxury and budget, BnBs, inns, and hostels. You will find something catering to all ranges of budget. Some of the most popular hotels and inns in Barcelona include Hotel Cram, Husa Meson Castilla, and Ace Hotel. You can also check out Hostal Gat Raval, Hostal Gat Xino and Sercotel Hotel.

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