The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is one of Antoni Gaudi’s masterpieces. Although construction began in 1882, the church is still unfinished to this day. You can now read in my travel magazine why the Pope still gave the Church a special honorary title and what there is to discover.
Barcelona is one of the most popular city break destinations in Europe. The city is bursting at the seams, especially in the summer months. In my opinion, rightly so. Because in which European metropolis do you already have the opportunity to combine sightseeing with a beach holiday? Barcelona is diverse and colorful, all over the city you will encounter the works and buildings of the Catalan artist Antoni Gaudi, some of which have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Gaudi’s works are examples of the Modernism movement, in which, among other things, modern architecture was combined with ancient materials. Between all the buildings worth seeing, however, one thing catches the eye: the Sagrada Familia , an extraordinary basilica.
Antoni Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece
You walk through Barcelona’s Eixample district, the travel guide always in your hand. You just walked past Casa Milá – it has to be here somewhere, doesn’t it? And then they appear out of nowhere: The impressive, over 100 meter high towers of the Sagrada Familia, probably the most famous church in Barcelona. This is so large that it towers over all buildings in its vicinity. You continue to follow the road, because now you want to see the masterpiece up close. When you arrive in front of the church, you stretch your neck – with the magnificent and detailed facades you don’t even know where to look first. At least now you know that your travel guide has not exaggerated, because the Sagrada Familia is really one of the highlights of the city. The fact that the church, the construction of which began in 1882, has not been completed to this day hardly detracts from this gigantic sight.
After all, there is always work being done on some facade. The city’s ambitious goal: on the 100th anniversary of Antoni Gaudi’s death in 2026, the construction of the Sagrada Familia should finally be completed after 144 years. During this long construction period, of course, some architectural styles mixed with one another. In and on the building there are elements of neo-Gothic, modernism and modernism, which can be admired above all on the two facades of the church. But the style in which the Sagrada Familia has been built to this day is unique in the world. Nowhere will you find a comparable church building. The nativity facade on the northeast side of the basilica, which Gaudi made his life’s work, shows the birth of Jesus and parts of his life. The attention to detail gives an idea of why it took so long to decorate this facade. Three portals symbolizing the Christian virtues of faith, love and hope encompass this biblical story.
According to thedressexplorer, the Passion facade on the southwest side of the church is the exact opposite of the Nativity facade. Instead of the rich decorations you will find clear structures and large figures. The six inclined columns that support the facade are particularly eye-catching. The different styles already show that the same master was not at work here. In 1986 the sculptor Josep Maria Subirachs started decorating the Passion facade and the work is far from over. Work on the facade of glory has not even begunon the southeast side of the Sagrada Familia, 21 columns and two chapels are planned here. The pompous Sagrada Familia will continue to grow and change until 2026, so there will always be new reasons for you to visit the building.
In addition to the facades, the towers, some of which even tower above the facades, are also in progress. Eight of the planned 18 towers, dedicated to the 12 apostles, 4 evangelists, Mary and Jesus Christ, are already in place and can even be viewed from the inside. If you have enough stamina, you can enter the towers via a steep spiral staircase without a handrail, otherwise you can of course also take the elevator, which will take you to the top in no time at all. The towers are connected by bridges, once you have reached the top, you can visit all towers without having to descend again.
The Sagrada Familia – Outside and Inside Hui!
If you now think that the splendor of the facades can hardly be surpassed, then you should stand in line as quickly as possible to see the basilica from the inside. The waiting times can be very long depending on the season and time, it is best to come early in the morning, then the chances of being able to enter the Sagrada Familia without waiting are greatest. When you enter the basilica, you will be blown away by its size and richness of color. The thick columns are made of different materials and therefore also differ in their thickness and structure. All the pillars converge under the roof of the church and are reminiscent of the crown of a tree. Gaudi liked to be inspired by nature and so it is not surprising
Entry & opening times:
- April to September daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- March and October daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- November to February daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Admission € 17 per person, with a guide € 26
The whole scenario is perfectly staged by the light that shines through the stained glass windows. The eye-catcher of the interior is the raised altar with a canopy decorated with grapevines. Behind the altar, the Christmas facade shines , which is also a feast for the eyes thanks to its bright colors. By the way: At the moment we are still looking for an organ that is able to fill the entire basilica with sound, as such an instrument does not yet exist.
In 2010, the church was consecrated as the papal minor basilica in this huge chancel . This consecration is an honorary title for churches. The fact that the Sagrada Familia received this without being completed simply speaks for its breathtaking architecture.
If you have the opportunity, you should also visit the crypt . This part of the building has been completed, services are held here regularly, so it can happen that the crypt is not open to visitors. Antoni Gaudi was also buried in the crypt in 1926 , after he had contributed a large part to the completion of the Sagrada Familia. The city also dedicated a museum to him in the middle of the basilica, where you can learn more about his working methods.
Visit the Sagrada Familia!
When you visit the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, you are not only looking at a great church, but also a piece of the city’s history. The basilica is an absolute must for me, so don’t let the waiting time put you off, it’s definitely worth it! If you want to explore the whole city, it is worth buying the Barcelona City Pass, because then you get free entry to some sights and additional great discounts. So go ahead, what are you waiting for? Browse through my current Barcelona offers and secure a suitable bargain.