La Sagrada Familia or Sagrada Familia is a church of the Roman Catholic faith in Barcelona. It was designed by the famous Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí. It is located on Carrer de Mallorca in the center of Barcelona. The construction of this renowned work of Gaudí and a landmark in the city started in 1882, but it is still incomplete. However, it is scheduled to be completed in 2026. The church has become famous because of its expansive dimension and unique design. It is often referred to as “the cathedral”. La Sagrada Familia is a top sight in Barcelona, not to be missed if you are visiting the city.
The Sagrada Familia is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Pope Benedict XVI has also granted it the status of a minor basilica in 2010.
La Sagrada Familia Facts
|Location||In central Barcelona, next to the Place de Gaudi park.|
|Address||Carrer de Ventalló, 48, 08025 Barcelona|
|How to Reach||Sagrada Familia metro station|
Bus lines: 19, 33, 34, 43, 44, 50, 51, B20 and B24
|Open Times||November to February – 9 AM to 6 PM|
March – 9 AM to 7 PM
April to September – 9 AM to 8 PM
October – 9 AM to 7 PM
December 25, 26, January 1 and 6 – 9 AM to 2 PM
|Main Attractions||Stained glass work, tower view, The Gaudi Museum|
|The 3 Façades||Glory – South, Nativity – East, Passion – West|
Sagrada Familia means ‘Holy Family’ in Spanish.
La Sagrada Familia Architecture
- March 1882 – Joseph Bocabella, a bookseller, is inspired by the Loreto Basilica in Italy and wants something similar in Barcelona. The construction is funded by donations.
- 1883 – Francisco De Villar is appointed the architect. He designs the church in Gothic style. Francisco completes the work on the apse crypt of the church.
- Antoni Gaudi – Enter Antoni Gaudi. He is assigned as the architect. Gaudi redesigns the entire project. However, the church was only 20% complete when he dies in 1926.
- Work on the church continues after Gaudi’s death till the Spanish Civil War in 1936. Parts of the building and its plans were destroyed during this period.
- Construction resumes in the 1940s based partially on Gaudi’s plans. New designs and modifications carried out.
- The 1980s – Computers introduced to create plans and store them.
- 2015 – Chief architect Fauli declares the building to be 70% complete. The structure is expected to be completed by 2026 and the design elements by 2032.
Learn why Sagrada Familia is still unfinished even after such a long time here.
A popular landmark in Barcelona, La Sagrada Familia already attracts 2.8 million visitors every year.
Top 4 Attractions
1. The Towers – The church will have 18 towers when complete. The central tower is dedicated to Jesus Christ. It stands at 170 meters making this the tallest religious building in Europe. The other towers are dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the 4 Gospels, and the 12 apostles of Jesus. They give the central tower the prominence of height it demands. Gaudi designed the church in a way that symbolizes man’s upward movement towards God. You can go up to the top of the completed towers. There are elevators and stairs. From the top, you will get a wonderful panoramic view of Barcelona.
2. The Façades – The Sagrada Familia when complete will have three faces or façades. The south façade, which is still under construction, is called the Glory. The one to the east is called the Nativity, and to the west is the Passion façade. You can see intricate sculptures on the completed Nativity and Passion façades. See the sculpture of Christ on the Passion side. He looks pained and tortured. Nature and animals are depicted on the Nativity side in great intricate detail.
3. Stained Glass – You will find extensive colored stained glass inside the church, which provides light and color into the building. The east-facing Nativity façade gets the light of the rising sun, symbolizing joy from the birth of Jesus. The midday sunlight filters in through the glass in the Glory façade illuminating the 16 glass lanterns. This provides light to the church entrance. The setting sun’s rays filter in through the West-facing Passion façade.
4. The Gaudi Museum – The workshop of master architect Antoni Gaudi is now a museum in the basement of the Passion façade. This was destroyed in a fire before but was reopened in 1961. Here you can see the original plans, plaster models of the church, and a video on the history of the construction of La Sagrada Familia.
Plan Your Visit
- The entry ticket is just to visit the interior of the church. You need to pay extra for the audio guide and for the climb up the tower.
- Buy your ticket online to beat the queues. Remember, this is one of the top places to see in Barcelona. There can be a big queue, especially in the summer.
- Visit La Sagrada Familia in the early morning or late evening to enjoy the sunlight shining through the stained glass inside the church. You will also have fewer people at these times.
- Seniors, children, and students get a discount on their tickets.