Sagrada Familia is, by all means, a true symbol of Barcelona. It’s also one of the most visited attractions in Spain at all. The impressive size of this temple, as well as its unique facades are definitely admired by all tourists, while the incredible interior, the beautiful stained glasses and the symbolism in each single little detail – well, they are all worth it to be seen and there are all hard to be depicted in words. Hence, I’ll try to be as objective as possible in this material, where the focus is the brilliant Sagrada Familia, of course.
- Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia is the full name of this cathedral. It’s also known as “Antonio Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece” or “Barcelona’s temple”
- The construction work of Sagrada Familia started in 1882 year and the first architect of this temple had been Francisco de Paula del Villar y Lozano. However, right after the first year of the building process, he had dropped down and the Gauidi undertook the project.
- The primary plans for Barcelona’s temple had been in classical neo-gothic style. Inspired by the nature and Christianity, Gaudi, though, offered a new design conception.
- As a matter of fact, the construction work has been still in process. Here’s why the turn-cocks and the builders around the temple are yet constant and ordinary view to see in the area. The end of the construction work of Sagrada Familia is expected to come in 2026 year, when, by the way, the 100 year of Gaudi’s death is feted.
- The project is fully financed by lots of charity organizations, private donations, as well as by the fees visitors pay to see Sagrada Familia.
What can you see in Sagrada Familia?
The Façade of the birth of Christ is actually the first completed façade in the temple construction. It symbolises the holiest day in Christianity and faces East or the rising sun. The façade is also richly decorated with various elements that remind of different scenes from Christ’s life. It’s the only façade Gaudi was actually able to see before his death.
The second façade is the Passion façade. It distinguishes from the Façade of the birth of Christ by many strict straight lines and the free space between all the symbols. Dedicated to the Passions of Christ, the façade symbolises human’s sins and Christ’s pains and death during his crucifying. Turn right to the west, the Passion façade faces the sunset.
The Glory façade is going to be the biggest and the most impressive façade. It’s dedicated to Christ’s divine glory. The construction started back in 2002 year and the building work is still in progress.
Sagrada Familia is going to have 18 towers in total and each of them symbolises key figure from the New Testament. The lowest towers symbolises the twelve disciples, four of the towers are dedicated to the four evangelists, one is devoted to Holly Maria’s glory, while the tallest, which as a matter of fact, is expected to reach up to 170 meters, is the general Jesus Christ’s tower.
Gaudi had studied the way the branches naturally keep the trees crowns straight and integrated it into Sagrada Familia’s project plan. The pillars, which support the roof, bear resemblance to trees and rise high. Except for being incredibly beautiful, this structure helps the perfect distribution of both: the light and the sound in the building.
The light, itself, enters the interior through the finely drawn windows. The availability of many shades on the glazes makes this light amazingly pleasant, soft and irresistible.
Right under the altar the crypt is placed, where, by the way, Gaudi was buried, himself, on 12th of June, 1926 year. You can have a glance at the crypt through the windows, too, or visit it during the official crypt working hours.
The visit in the museum is included in Sagrada Familia ticket price. In the museum, meanwhile, you can see original paintings and photographs from Gaudi’s epoch, as well as authentic pieces of the remains after the destructive fire during the Civil war in Spain from 1936 year. In addition to these, you get the chance to take a look at lots of old church pieces of furniture, as well as to follow the entire working process or to meet the contemporary techniques integrated in the finishing building process that takes place now to complete Sagrada Familia plan.
What should you know before visiting Sagrada Familia?
I will try to give you a couple of tips based on my personal experience. I spent six days in Barcelona during the Christmas holidays. Within these days the cash-desks at Sagrada Familia were all closed, the tickets were all sold out and even the online tickets for three days ahead ran out, while the next possible date for a visit of the towers were after a whole week. After quite eager search of online tickets, I made it to see the basilica and the museum, but unfortunately I missed the experience with the amazing towers.
That’s why it would be quite useful for you to follow these tips:
- To skip the enormous queues at the cash-desks and to guarantee a visit of the temple, book an online ticket for Sagrada Familia in advance.
- The tickets for a visit of the towers are limited, so if you insist on seeing them, get a ticket earlier.
- Have in mind that the main ticket does not include a fee for the towers. In other words, if you want to see them, know that you will have another ticket or a ticket that includes a visit of the towers.
- Before buying a ticket, read carefully what exactly it includes!
- When you plan a visit around or during holidays and weekends get informed about the working time of Sagrada Familia in advance as this is the period when the attraction is crowded.
- It’s a temple, so it’s necessary for you to conduct your clothing style with the building specification. Visitors with bared clothes (naked necks, neckline belly or legs) are not allowed. Your shoulders must be covered, while your pants or skirt should be with a length of at least up to the middle of your thigh.
- There’s a security check at the entrance.
- A tour with an audio guide is offered in 16 different languages, including English
- Kids under 11 years old are not allowed
There are two options for a tour – a standard one that lasts 45 minutes and an express tour with a total duration of 25 minutes. During the last hour before closing you are allowed to choose only an express guide tour.
A tour with a guide
- Available in 5 languages, including English
- The duration of this tour is 50 minutes and once it ends you can, though, continue your tour on your own
- A group is formed of minimum 10 people, who are supposed to be on mandatory guided by a professional and official tour guide
- The maximum number of people per group is 25
The tour in Sagrada Familia can last as long as you wish. The last visit is possible not later than 45 minutes before the end of the working time. If you want to stay for longer, better book a ticket with an earlier start.
The general ticket is free of charge for people with disabilities and for kids under 11 years old. Though, in these cases it is a must to book a ticket anyway.
- The basilica and the museum are equipped with loading platforms
- Due to the availability of many and quite narrow staircases, the towers are not accessible by people with reduced movability
- The basilica offers wheelchairs for people with disabilities and you can order one at:
phone number (+34) 935 132 060
or through this e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can check out the working time of Sagrada Familia here.
Carrer de Mallorka, 401
The entrance is placed by the side of Carrer de la Marin