Sagrada Familia is a massive Catholic cathedral that is one of the most recognized and appealing tourist attractions in Barcelona, Spain. The name of the church means “holy family” in the literal sense. This massive edifice is a synthesis of ingenuity, creativity, religious teachings, natural inspirations, color, and light. Despite the fact that it is a half-finished edifice, millions of travelers visit this location each year. Every aspect of this historic cathedral was built with a philosophy and a concept in mind. Because of its size and breadth, this church is also known as the cathedral. It also includes three distinct parts and 18 tall towers.
History of La Sagrada Familia Church
The construction of La Sagrada Familia church started in 1882 with the idea of a book sale. The architect of this magnificent structure is Antoni Gaudí, who created La Sagrada Familia with a combination of Gothic style and his innovative style. Pope Benedict XVI inaugurated the building in 2010 despite its incompleteness.
Considering that the source of income and cost of construction of La Sagrada Familia is collected from public donations, the construction process is done slowly. Also, because of the Spanish military wars, there have been stops in the construction of this structure. According to the predictions, the construction of this complex will be completed in 2026. The amazing thing is that, despite being unfinished, La Sagrada Familia is still on the UNESCO World Heritage List and is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Spain.
The architecture of Sagrada Familia Church
Gaudí’s goal in designing the Sagrada Familia was to promote Christian beliefs through the architecture and beauty of the building to convey the message of Christian missionaries. Gaudí’s architecture is a combination of new structures, shapes, and geometry inspired by nature, and color and light also play an essential role.
Accordingly, each of the 18 towers has a special meaning. In the middle part, there is a tower related to Jesus, and the 4 towers around it represent the 4 Gospels. The tower above the altar is also decorated with a star which is a symbol of the Holy Mary and 12 other towers represent the apostles. Look at the church from any side, you will see 18 magnificent towers. The vertical position and the great height of the church towers are designed to indicate the ascension towards the Lord.
Between the columns and on the roof, there are golden and green colored windows designed to increase the light entering the building. Interior tiles also add light to the interior by reflecting light.
Sections of the Sagrada Familia
As it was said, the Sagrada Familia church consists of three main parts: Nativity Façade, Passion Façade and Glory Façade (death and resurrection), which we will discuss further.
Nativity Façade was built between 1894 and 1930 and is the first section that was completed. This part represents the birth of Jesus. The three porticos of this section are separated by two columns, at the end of each column lies a turtle, each are symbols of the sea and the land. There are also two chameleons on each side of the gate, which are symbols of change and transformation. This section is located on the east side of the church, and the birth of Christ is displayed in its glory when the sun rises.
Passion Façade has a bitter, simple, and clean image. They are made with simple and rough lines; So that the sufferings of Christ were depicted when he was crucified. The construction of the Passion of Christ section began in 1954 and was completed in 1976. This part of the La Sagrada Familia complex is likewise on the west side. At sunset, it is situated in front of the sun’s melancholy orange lights and depicts the tragic events surrounding Christ’s death.
The largest and most notable part of the Sagrada Familia is the Glory Façade, whose construction began in 2002. The glory section is the main part of the church and allows access to the central courtyard. This section is dedicated to the heavenly glory of Jesus Christ, in which the ascension of Christ, his resurrection, and his exalted position are depicted. Interestingly, to build and complete this part, it is necessary to demolish all the buildings in the Carrer de Mallorca neighborhood of Barcelona, which are located around the church!
To reach the portico of the Glory Façade, one must cross a staircase above the underground part of Carrer de Mallorca. This road is decorated with images of hell, Satan, demons, idols, and false gods. In the portico itself, there are 7 big columns, 7 deadly sins are shown at the bottom of all the columns and 7 heavenly virtues are shown at the top of all of them.
Top 3 Attractions of Sagrada Familia, Spain
There are sights and attractions in Sagrada Familia, which we will discuss below:
When Antoni Gaudi passed away in June 1926, he was interred in the Sagrada Familia church’s crypt. Gaudi’s labor and art were preserved by the director of the Barcelona Museum of Art, who constructed a museum inside the cathedral a month after his passing. The Sagrada Familia’s construction required an extensive collection of samples and associated materials.
In addition, a fire in 1936 harmed the exhibits and put the museum’s opening off. The fire also destroyed part of Gaudí’s original designs, which were later reconstructed. Nonetheless, the second section of the church’s basement eventually saw the opening of a museum in 1961.
This collection of designs includes images, original samples that have been repaired, and samples that have been restored. To secure the completion of the church, Gaud created both large and small models at his modeling studio. Today, when visiting the Sagrada Familia, you may enter this studio, and the audio guide provides information about the building’s construction history.
The Sagrada Familia building board has allowed religious and cultural organizations to visit the “Sagrada Familia and Gaudi” complex in order to promote Gaudi’s masterpiece and the church’s principles. You may take a journey through Antoni Gaudi’s life and work during this exhibition by seeing the experimental models. You’ll learn about his efforts to develop his style, his religious convictions, and his inspiration from nature. Also, you will learn more about the history of the Sagrada Familia and the other designers of this cathedral.
This option is for deaf groups, accompanied by a guide and a tour of the Sagrada Familia church. After touring the Sagrada, the choir will have access to a special singing space for 20 minutes. You need to know that
- Visiting the Sagrada is a must for all groups and their performances.
- Musical instruments are not allowed inside the Sagrada Familia.
- Choir members are required to have appropriate clothing and should know that there is no place to change clothes.
- Only the performance of religious songs is possible and the list of performances must be prepared in advance.
- It is possible to execute only selected works.
Visiting the Towers of Sagrada Familia
To visit 18 towers, 8 of which have been completed so far. There are no connecting entrances and you can use the elevator to reach the top of the towers. By climbing the towers of the birth of Jesus, you will have a view of the east of Barcelona and the towers of the life of Christ to the center of Barcelona. To get down from both towers, you have to go down the stairs. Keep in mind that it is forbidden to lift children under 6 years old, and teenagers under 16 years old can also access the top of the towers accompanied by an adult.
Ways to access La sagrada Church
One of the most convenient ways to reach this church is to use the metro to get off at the La Sagrada Familia station.