"La Sagrada Familia" Sagrada Familia Tip by Laura_Mexico
Sagrada Familia, Barcelona: 476 reviews and 1,080 photos
This is a work of architecture a bit too modern and exotic for my taste, but it's a "must see" in Barcelona due to the fact that it was designed by their most famous and important artist/architect: Antoni Gaudi.
I first saw the building while on my bus tour on my 2002 trip, and then I stopped by and paid my ticket to go inside. There wasn't much to see there back then, however: the building was -- and still is -- unfinished and undergoing permanent construction. Apparently it still needed extensive work (i.e. several years) in order to be concluded, and the available funds were a concern. It's a pity it could not be finished by its original author, but they have respected his original design as much as possible and I consider they've made a good job so far.
The church itself has some impressive dimensions; it used to be rather dark inside and you could only see the inner part while climbing to the top of the towers. But I guess the best thing you could get from going up was the view you had of the city, because the inner part was not accessible to the public as it was full of dust and scaffolding, so it wasn't a pretty view anyway. There isn't much room for panoramic viewing, but it is nice to see the town from above.
The external decoration of the church (the sculptures of saints, etc.) is pretty amazing as well: big in size and modern in style. I didn't think it was a very pretty construction but it's Barcelona's symbol after all.... so you may want to take a look at it.
Now, ten years later I wasn't really excited at the idea of going back, but my hubby wanted to see the inside of Sagrada Familia badly, even though we were warned there would be looong lines of people trying to get in. We even tried to buy the tickets from an ATM of La Caixa bank (it is possible, but apparently there are very few tickets available through this means) but we didn't succeed. So we went to visit this place after visiting Parc Guell and other Gaudi buildings and were pleasantly surprised to see a VERY SHORT line (2-3 people) to get in. So we bought our ticket + audio guide (16 EUR the whole thing, which I think is very expensive) because the staff at our hostel recommended taking the tour with the audioguide in order to understand the whole concept of the building, and I think it was pretty informative. And I must say I was utterly surprised to see how much the building had changed in 10 years.
The building is now officially a church and masses can be held in it. The inside is almost totally finished, so people can go in and appreciate the altar, the stained glasses, the building's structure in general. There is A LOT of light and color inside the church nowadays, and nothing is conventional at all. There is a lot of symbolism hidden in the whole building, as it is explained by the audioguide. You can spend some good 2 hours admiring the whole complex and understanding what its creator was trying to do. There even is a small museum attached with models and drawings by Gaudi of what he wanted to achieve, and the construction work continues (now it is more focused in the facades and towers outside), and I think it will continue for many years to come. But it was a pleasant surprise to see that many things have been achieved in these last years.
Address: Carrer de Mallorca 401
Directions: Metro: Line 2 or 5 Station: SagradaFamilia
Phone: 93 207 30 31
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