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Basilica de la Sagrada Familia (Holy Family) , Barcelona, Spain

Sagrada Familia

Gaudi wanted the inside of the church to feel like being in a forest with open space and yet a comforting, tranquil feeling.  The pillars, each made of different types of stone depending on the weight they have to bear, branch out like trees.  The ceiling lets light in like a forest canopy.

I’d been to La Sagrada Familia in 2010 on a very bad blind date, which is a whole story unto itself that I shall not go into as I don’t like to make readers cry.  In any case, I didn’t go inside that time but spent the time outside marveling while I fought with a short, old, German guy who was my “date”.  This time was so much better.

I can not possibly describe this building and explain the history here.  Wikipedia has a very comprehensive page if you’re interested.  I will tell you a tip first and then my impressions.

The tip…

If you plan to visit La Sagrada Familia there is no need to wait in line for tickets inside, as we did.  It is much easier to buy your tickets for an appointed time at any la Caixa bank ATM machine (these are all over Barcelona).  The cost at the door is 18 euros and I believe la Caixa charges the same.

Quick History

Construction on this building began in 1882.  Gaudi got involved a year later.  It is expected, with the use of stone-carving machinery and computers to be completed in 2026, the centennial of Gaudi’s death.  If work were to continue as it was going in the early 1900’s, without computers and modern machinery, it would not be completed for several hundred more years.  When the tallest spire is added, it will be the tallest church in the world.

My Impression

Gaudi was deeply religious. Somehow he expanded his mind so far outside the realm of normal it could only be described as genius.  The fact that he put in motion a plan that was so entirely outrageous and difficult and that it has been followed by thousands of people to create what I saw today is what blows me away.  Every tiny detail, and there are thousands and thousands, is so thoughtfully designed.  And the intricacy and science behind the construction – it is inconceivable.   The last time I felt that sense of awe and total amazement about the ingenuity of man, was when I saw Machu Picchu for the first time.

If you ever have a chance to visit, do not pass it up.  It will change you as it did me.  Promise!

La Sagrada Familia

One facade of La Sagrada Familia. The other faces are entirely different. This was the first completed and represents the Nativity and the whole of nature celebrating.

The Nativity Facade

A close up of the Nativity Facade – La Sagrada Familia

The Nativity Facade - La Sagrada Familia

The Nativity Facade – La Sagrada Familia

The Nativity Facade - La Sagrada Familia

The Nativity Facade – La Sagrada Familia

Inside. The stonework is so intricate it's like lace.

Inside. The stonework is so intricate it’s like lace.

 

Passion Facade

The “Passion” Facade which represents the pain and sacrifice of Jesus. It is cold, stark, and harsh.

Passion Facade

Passion Facade which represents the pain and sacrifice of Jesus.

La Sagrada Familia

Inside La Sagrada Familia looking towards the Nativity Facade entrance.

La Sagrada Familia

Altar of La Sagrada Familia – The gold triangle high above is supposed to represent the ascension.

 

Inside La Sagrada Familia

Inside La Sagrada Familia

Inside La Sagrada Familia

Inside La Sagrada Familia

 

La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia

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