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Basílica de la Sagrada Família

Attractions, Religious buildings and sites Sagrada Família
5 out of 5 stars
(5user reviews)
Sagrada Família
FOTO: ShutterstockSagrada Família
Sagrada Família
Sagrada Família
sagrada familia
FOTO: Sagrada familia
Sagrada Familia façana naixement
Foto: Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia
© Ricoh Theta

Time Out says

'Send Gaudí and the Sagrada Família to hell,' wrote Picasso. While it is easy to see how some of the religious clichés of the building and the devotional fervour of its creator might annoy an angry young Cubist, Barcelona's iconic temple still manages to inspire delight in equal measure.

Gaudí dedicated more than 40 years (the last 14 of them exclusively) to the project, and is buried beneath the nave. Many consider the crypt and the Nativity façade, which were completed in his lifetime, as the most beautiful elements of the church. The latter, facing C/Marina, looks at first glance as though some careless giant has poured candle wax over a Gothic cathedral, but closer inspection shows every protuberance to be an intricate sculpture of flora, fauna or human figure, combining to form an astonishingly moving stone tapestry depicting scenes from Christ's early years.

Providing a grim counterpoint to the excesses of the Nativity façade is the Passion façade on C/Sardenya, with bone-shaped columns and haunting, angular sculptures by Josep Maria Subirachs showing the 12 stations of the cross. The vast metal doors, set behind the sculpture of the flagellation of Jesus, are particularly arresting, covered in quotations from the Bible in various languages. The Glory façade on C/Mallorca, the final side to be built and the eventual main entrance, is currently shooting up behind the scaffolding and is devoted to the Resurrection, a mass of stone clouds and trumpets emblazoned with words from the Apostles' Creed.

The most amazing thing about the Sagrada Família project, however, is that it is happening at all. Setbacks have ranged from 1930s anarchists blowing up Gaudí's detailed plans and models to lack of funds. The ongoing work is a matter of conjecture and controversy, with the finishing date expected to be somewhere within the region of 25-30 years; it was hoped the masterpiece would be completed in 2026 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Gaudí's death, although this now seems unlikely. It's still something of an improvement on the prognosis in the 1900s, when construction was expected to last several hundred years; advanced computer technology is now being used to shape each intricately designed block of stone offsite to speed up the process. The latest tribulation to the architects is the municipal approval of plans to build the AVE bullet train tunnel just a few feet away from the temple's foundations.

An estimated five million tourists visit the Sagrada Família each year, with more than half of them paying the entrance fee. (A combination of ticket revenues and charitable donations funds the continuing construction work, on which spending currently runs to about €1 million a month.) A ticket allows you to wander through the interior of the church, a marvellous forest of columns laid out in the style of the great Gothic cathedrals, with a multi-aisled central nave crossed by a transept. The central columns are fashioned of porphyry - perhaps the only natural element capable of supporting the church's projected great dome, which is destined to rise 170m (558ft).

An admission ticket also gives visitors access to the museum in the basement, with displays on the history of the construction, original models for sculptural work and the chance to watch sculptors working at plaster-cast models through a large window.



Address: Mallorca, 401
Sagrada Família
Transport: Sagrada Família (M: L2, L5)
Price: General admission €17. Tour with guide €26. Self-guided audio tour €25 (with access to spires, €32; with entrance to Gaudí's House Museum in Park Güell, €27). Discounts available for students, under-18s, seniors, groups.
Opening hours: Nov-Feb: Daily 9am-6pm; Mar: Daily 9am-7pm; Apr-Sep: Daily 9am-8pm; Oct: Daily 9am-7pm; Dec 25, 26 and Jan 1, 6: 9am-2pm. Last ticket sold 30 mins before closing time.

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5 out of 5 stars

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2 people listening

It's funny to think that people are giving the Sagrada Familia a "rating" using a 5-star system. But I guess this is the age we live in! It's not enough to look at pictures. You have to see the place for yourself. I live closeby and every time I walk by I get goosebumps. I'd recommend taking a tour with someone who can explain the facades and a bit about Gaudí's life ( He was a fascinating man with a tragic ending. The facades are full of stories too. Volumes have been written about this place and his other work!


This church needs little introduction or selling, but if it’s not already on your Barcelona list then add it. It’s hard to get the full scale of the basilica standing up close, if you can ride the city cable car as well for panoramic views. Inside it’s breathtaking, if you go early morning or late afternoon you get the best of the light coming in through the stained glass windows. I didn’t get the audio and if you don’t, do some research - it adds so much more depth when you understand the tree like symbolism; that it's one meter shorter than Montjuic; and it’s been under construction for over a century. Gaudi is everywhere in Barcelona but never more so than in this cathedral.

Perpetually unfinished, the Sagrada Familia is a Roman Catholic church that exemplifies the influence Gaudi played in the city and is arguably his masterpiece. The massive facades on the outside depict the Nativity, the Passion, and the Glory, and spires rise up creating an impressive exterior. The interior shows off Gaudi's signature style, with many intricate architectural details. Construction has been ongoing (for over 100 years) and is partially funded through ticket sales. The cathedral is a splendor, and an important attraction for the city.


I second the comment below. I do not understand how no one has written about how stunning this cathedral is! It's beauty is astounding, and the intricate detail that has gone into it so far is awe inspiring! It's super easy to get to on the metro (or hop-on hop-off bus) and you cannot miss it once you're there. I would 100% recommend booking your visit in advance, which you can most likely do at your hotel when you're there, or like I did, at home in advance before I went. I would also recommend booking to go up one of the towers too. You get a lift up, and walk back down, but the views from the top are beautiful, and you get a lovely breeze (not something that is easy to come by in Barcelona!!) I will admit it is quite claustrophobic walking back down the steps, but it totally worth it!


How has no-one written a review about this glorious cathedral yet?! Perhaps it's because there are no words apt enough to properly describe the awe you feel when walking into this cathedral, it is absolutely mind blowing. All the different architectural characteristics and the light from each specially stained window, every facet of this building has a different purpose but the collective one is to completely floor you and it resolutely achieves it.