Sagrada Familia in Barcelona: Gaudi’s Unfinished Masterpiece
Sagrada Familia, where to start? This astonishing piece of architectural perfection is Antonio Gaudi’s most prominent –yet still unfinished–project. I have lived in Barcelona for four months now, however I hadn’t actually gone inside Sagrada until last weekend. Within seconds of entering the church I was blown away. I couldn’t believe anything, a church for that matter, (which sadly become monotonous at times) could be so original, innovative and inspiring. The magnitude and the dimensions, the illumination and the uniqueness. This awe inspiring piece was something I had to write about without delay. It was so gratifying, so bright, so full of life, and it was unlike any church or building I had ever seen before. It was brilliant.
The construction of Sagrada began in 1882. A year later, Gaudi became involved. Shortly after, this became Gaudi’s main project, changing the design considerably and instilling Gothic and Art Nouveau forms. He worked on it until his death in 1926 and since his passing, various architects have been brought in to carry out Gaudi’s original ideas and vision. With the completion of the spires Sagrada Familia will stand as the tallest church in the world.
Millions flock to this church every year to see what is now a landmark in Spain’s most heavily visited city, Barcelona. Much of the church is designed around religious and natural symbolism. For instance, the columns in the church represent trees in a forest. The columns are larger at the base and curve as they extend to the ceiling, appearing as huge tree trunks with branches and clusters of leaves. The columns and stained glass’s subtle lighting contribute to Gauid’s style of setting you in a deep, overgrown, forest-like setting.
Some things to consider when planning your visit to Sagrada Familia:
1. It is ALWAYS busy and crowded and purchasing tickets online is cheaper and much more time efficient. You can purchase tickets online before and cut the line with easy entry. They have specific time frames for when you can buy tickets so don’t wait too late. For instance, if it’s noon and you want to go see the church at 1pm, chances are all those tickets for that time are sold out. Buy ahead of time. Day before is best!
2. If you want to go up into the towers, it is worth it, but many times this option can be sold out even if ticket times for entry are not. The time slots when you purchase your tickets are different for the towers and the church, meaning many times the slots which fit for both will be taken…You may be able to buy entrance to the church from 2pm-215pm, but the only tower entrance times are 9am or 5pm for example. Therefore, if you want to do the towers make sure you really buy your tickets early.
3. Make sure to check out the two museums. Underneath the basilica on the Passion Façade side, there is a massive underground museum. Entrance to this is on the outside of the church, follow the signs. On the other side ( the Nativity side) there is a smaller museum within the basilica. This is a condensed museum explaining the symbolism and important facts about Sagrada Familia. It gave me so much insight and only took about twenty minutes to read everything! Yes, I read EVERYTHING!
Although these pictures don’t do this church justice, it’s a glimpse and will hopefully push everyone to one day visit this amazing place. It is believed that in fifty years, the church will maybe once and for all, be complete.