Friday, 26 September 2014 10:00

La Sagrada Familia Basilica

Antoni Gaudí's church Sagrada Família began construction in 1882. This breathtaking masterpiece is entering its final construction stage with the raising of six immense towers that will make it Europe’s tallest religious building, surpassing Germany’s Ulm Minster.  The complete structure is expected to be finished by 2026 in time for the 100th anniversary of Gaudi’s death.

One of Gaudí's most famous works, the church on average receives more than 3.2 million visits each year, making it one of the biggest tourist sites in Spain.  The entrance fees of 15-20 euros (AUD 23-34) finance the construction budget of 25 million euros ($28.38 million) a year.  When you begin exploring the building you will see the contrast in the stone colour between the front and back of the building, as well as the actual style of construction appearing to be somewhat different between the new and old parts of the building. Regardless of the differences in stages over the past number of years the Sagrada Familia it is a truly magnificent building and an absolute must-see when you visit Barcelona.

The church is huge in its dimensions, so it is often called the "cathedral", although it is without a bishop's headquarters. As you walk through the interior you will be in awe of the great heights, beautiful glass windows and colours that shine through them on all sides. On the outside, no matter how different the facades of the Sagrada Familia are, they all have one major thing in common - they are full of symbolism, so make sure you give yourself a lot of time to examine the details of the facades, where many embassies and biblical stories are hidden.

 

Other famous spots for Gaudi architecture include:
  • Park Güell - A magical park with amazing buildings, sculptures, and tile work. You will also find Gaudí's old home in Park Güell which is now open to the public as a small museum.
  • Casa Batlló - Modernist building by Gaudí on Passeig de Gràcia.

 

Visiting:

"The Expiatory Church of the Sagrada Familia is made by the people and is mirrored in them. It is a work that is in the hands of God and the will of the people." Antoni Gaudi

Construction of the church has all been through donations, as well as the entrance fees to get in.  The basilica is open October to March from 9am to 6pm and April to September 9am to 8pm. While the Sagrada Familia is impressive in the dark, lit up against the night sky, it really should be viewed during the day. It is best to get there early to avoid the long lines to get in. During peak season you could be in line for hours, so in this instance it is best to be an early bird.

Unless you are on a tour group yourself, than once inside avoid them at all costs.  You are most likely to have a better experience and get better photos if you are on your own.  If you do want to join a group then consider an offical tour in English.  It's a bit more expensive and they run every day at 11am, 12pm and 1pm.

 

Getting There:

Metro: Lines 2 and 5. Sagrada Familia Station
Address: Mallorca Street 401, 08013

 

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