Where to start with The Sagrada Familia? It’s an awesome piece of architecture from the outside, and the inside is a plethora of beauty.
The idea was originally that of wealthy publisher Josep Maria Bocabella, who was inspired by his recent visit to the Vatican. Work began on the church in 1882 and it actually wasn’t until 1884 that Antoni Gaudi was appointed as Architect Director. The building of the church was not done quickly and it is reported that only 15 – 25 percent of the work was completed by the time of Gaudi’s death in 1926. Still to this date, building work on the church is still being done (hence the cranes in some of my pictures) and it is expected that this may not be completed for another 10 – 15 years. The work has been carried on by various architects over the years, who have continued with Gaudi’s vision.
On entering The Sagrada Familia, I was blown away by the stained glass windows and the way they lit this impressive structure. They sent shafts of beautiful greens, purples, yellows, blues and more, all around. There’s so much to look at. With some churches, the stained glass can be quite dark, this isn’t the effect you get in The Sagrada Familia. Perhaps it’s because the building is so large and light, but I think a lot of it is down to the way the colours playfully mingle with each other. As the sun moves, the colours move with it. It’s quite enchanting.
The building is very detailed from the outside, with three façades. The Nativity façade facing the East, the Passion façade facing the West, and the, yet to completed, south facing Glory façade. The Nativity façade is highly decorated and depicts the birth of Jesus with sculptures showing the elements of life. The Passion façade shows the sins of man. The scenes shown are in three levels. The lowest level depicting Jesus’s last night before crucifixion including The Last Supper. Each level tells a story.
Construction on the Glory Façade began in 2002. This final façade will represent the road to God including death and judgement. There are going to be seven columns to represent the seven deadly sins.
I can see why so many people visit the church. It’s literally one of the most impressive pieces of architecture I’ve ever seen and to know that the build of this has been going since the 1800s is even more impressive. The crypt in the church is also the final resting place for Antoni Gaudi.
We bought our tickets in advance as it can be very time-consuming to buy them on the day. Also on busy days, is it very unlikely you’ll be able to buy tickets for the same day, so best to plan ahead. Entrance tickets are £25 for adults and £15 for children.
The Sagrada Familia post is part of my Barcelona series. Find out what else there is to see and do in Barcelona.
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