The Sagrada Familia is one of the main tourist attractions in Barcelona, Spain. The Sagrada Familia is a Roman Catholic Church that was designed by Catalan, Spanish architect, Antoni Gaudi. Construction of the church began in 1882 by Francisco Paula de Villa. It wasn’t until 1883 that Antoni Gaudi joined in when Francisco resigned as the head architect of the project. Once Gaudi took over he transformed the church using curvilinear art nouveau and gothic forms. When the project began, the Sagrada Familia was not intended to be a Cathedral. In 1926, Antoni Gaudi passed away, leaving the Sagrada Familia less than a fourth of the way finished. Once Gaudi passes away, the project was taken over by Domenec Sugranes, one of his followers, who finished building the final three towers of the Nativity facade.
ABOUT THE HISTORY AND GAUDI
With the passing of Antoni Gaudi, the progression for the construction of the Sagrada Familia moved at a very slow pace. The only funding for the project at the time was through private donors which played a factor into why construction was moving so slowly. The construction was also delayed due to the Spanish Civil War for quite some time. In 2010, the Sagrada Familia reached the halfway point of its completion. It is currently in its final phase of raising the six immense towers. The way in which the church is constructed now, differs from how it was constructed in the 20th century. Now they use a CNC milling machine to shape the stone off-site, where as in the 20th century it was carved by hand. The expected year for the construction to be complete is 2026, exactly one hundred years after Gaudi’s death. Added on decorations to the church are not expected to be complete until 2030-2032.
FEE’S, BUDGET, & GENERAL TOURIST INFO
The cost of entry to visit the Sagrada Familia is a bit pricey ranging from 15-29 euros. The prices ranges depending on the amount of access within the church you have. The lower level tickets don’t allow you access to the towers. However, these hefty entrance fee’s do not stop the tourists from visiting. These fee’s finance the annual budget of 25 million euros for construction. This means that roughly 1.5 million people visit the Sagrada Familia per year. Tickets are available for purchase online or in person at the main ticket office. It opens to tourists at 9am year round and closing time varies from 6pm-8pm depending on the month. Ticket sales stop thirty minutes prior to closing time. Both individual and guided tours of the Sagrada Familia are offered. Tourists that choose to do an individual tour will be provided with an audioguide. The individual tour lasts approximately 45 minutes and the guided tour lasts approximately 50 minutes. An important thing for tourists to know is the Sagrada Familia facility recommends a strict dress code before entering the church. Tourists wearing skirts or dresses that don’t reach the knee, shorts, low cut tops, tank tops, sleeveless shirts, crop tops, or any clothing that is considered to be flashy and distracting will not be allowed inside the church.
TOURIST INTERVIEW AND HIGHLIGHTS OF SAGRADA FAMILIA
With all the effort that has gone into the construction of the Sagrada Familia, the board members take all potential threats very seriously. In March of 2010, the construction of the AVE tunnel began. The Ministry of Public works of Spain stated it in no way would cause any harm to the Sagrada Familia. However, the architects and engineers building the church completely disagreed. They claimed there was no way anyone could guarantee that this underground railroad would not affect the stability of the church. The Sagrada Familia board led a protest against the AVE railroad which did not end with a success. As of today, there has been no reported damage to the Sagrada Familia.
The interior design of the Sagrada Familia is just as intricate as it is on the outside. None of the pieces on the inside are flat and all consist of abstract shapes. Much of the inside decor is pointy and sharp. When designing the Sagrada Familia Gaudi’s intentions were to use his architecture to express Christian ideology. These beliefs were showed through his interior design of the church. There is eighteen towers within the Sagrada Familia with each of them having a direct reflection on Christianity. The tower in the center is devoted to Jesus Christ. Surrounding the center tower, are four
other towers through which the Gospel is represented. The Virgin Mary is represented by the tower above the apse, which is topped off by a star. The twelve apostles are represented by the twelve remaining towers. The branding columns on the exterior are meant to symbolize an invite to everyone in to practice prayer and celebrate the Eucharist. Antoni Gaudi stated, “The intimacy and depth is that of a wood, which will be the interior of the Temple of the Sagrada Familia”. As a way to allow natural light into the Sagrada Familia, Gaudi implemented skylights into the design using green and gold tiles and glass. The apse consists of stained glass which helps create an environment appropriate for introspection. The stained glass windows also play a role in providing bright light inside. Gaudi claimed that “color was the expression of life” which is why he felt it was necessary for it to be incorporated into Sagrada Familia.
The Basilica is the place of worship within the Sagrada Familia. It is help in the Chapel of the Holy Sacrament and Penitence. On the Sagrada familia website, is where the public can find dates of masses they are allowed to attend in the Basilica. It is rare that there are any open to the public, but if they are, the Sagrada Familia website is where a person would be able to find them. The next upcoming mass is April 1st at 6pm for an Easter concert. Then again on April 9th for Palm Sunday Mass at noon.