Sagrada Familia, the symbol of Barcelona, if you visit Barcelona this is an amazing architectural wonder that you MUST SEE, it will amaze you with it's unique and strange design, shapes an colour that no other church in the world has.
If you are in a hurry to plan your visit I must tell you that the best way to see it is to schedule a visit and book your ticket and hour online on the official site of Sangrada Familia (http://www.sagradafamilia.org/en/tickets/), the other option is to just go and wait in line to buy a ticket, but you will find out some huge queues of people waiting there for 2-3h.
And now some interesting facts about Sagrada Familia.
The Expiatory Temple of the Holy Family, known as the Sagrada Familia, goes back to 1866 when Josep Maria Bocabella i Verdaguer founded the Spiritual Association of Devotees of Saint Joseph, which in 1874 began campaigning for the construction of the temple for the Holy Family.
The first stone was laid on St Joseph’s day, 19 March, 1882, in a ceremony presided over by the Bishop of Barcelona, Josep Urquinaona just one year after 1881, when the Association purchased a 12,800m² plot of land to build the temple on.
It signalled the start of construction, first in the crypt located under the apse, following the Neo-gothic design drawn up by the architect Francisco de Paula del Villar y Lozano, the Sagrada Familia’s first architect. After a short while, due to disagreements with the promotors, he resigned from the post of chief architect and the job fell to Antoni Gaudí.
Taking over the project, Gaudí transformed it with his architectural and engineering style, combining Gothic and curvilinear Art Nouveau forms. Antoni Gaudí, one of the most famous figures of Catalan culture and world architecture, spent over 40 years designing the Temple of the Sagrada Familia.
Gaudi was inconsistent in his Architecture studies, but stood out in the subjects of design, drawing and mathematical calculation. In 1878, after qualifying in Architecture, he received his first official commission. As his professional reputation grew he undertook larger projects commissioned by the bourgeoisie such as, amongst others, the Casa Calvet, the Casa Batllo and the Casa Mila.
After taking over the project in 1883, Gaudí continued work on the crypt, which was finished in 1889. Later he began work on the apse, while donations were received at a steady rate. Gaudí’s design consisted of a large church with a floor plan based on a Latin cross and soaring towers. It was to be immensely symbolic, both architecturally and sculpturally.
In 1892 the foundations for the Nativity facade were started. This facade was built first because, as Gaudí himself put it, “If, instead of building this decorated, richly ornamented facade, we had started with the hard, bare and skeletal Passion facade, people would have rejected it.” In 1894 the apse facade was finished, and the Rosary portal, one of the entrances to the cloister on the Nativity side, was finished in 1899.
The first bell tower on the Nativity facade, 100 metres high and dedicated to Saint Barnabus, was finished on 30 November 1925. This was the only tower Gaudí saw completed.
Gaudí devoted his last years to the project, and at the time of his death at age 73 in 1926, less than a quarter of the project was complete.
In the end the plan for The Sagrada Familia is to have three grand façades: the Nativity facade to the East, the Passion facade to the West, and the Glory facade to the South. The Nativity Facade was built before work was interrupted in 1935 and bears the most direct Gaudí influence.
He worked for 43 years on the temple until 1926. In 1914 he left all other work to concentrate exclusively on this sole project until his death on 10 June 1926 when he was struck by a passing tram. His funeral cortege, which went through much of Barcelona and finished in the Sagrada Familia, was a grand event in the city in recognition of his status as the greatest architect Barcelona has ever seen. Gaudí was buried in the chapel of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the crypt of the Sagrada Familia.
After the death of Gaudí, his close collaborator Domènec Sugrañes took over the management of the works until 1938. In 1930 the bell towers on the Nativity facade were finished, and in 1933 the Faith portal and central cypress tree were also completed.
Parts of the unfinished basilica and Gaudí's models and workshop were destroyed during the war by Catalan anarchists. The present design is based on reconstructed versions of the plans that were burned in a fire as well as on modern adaptations. Since 1940 the architects Francesc Quintana, Isidre Puig Boada, Lluís Bonet i Gari and Francesc Cardoner have carried on the work.
The columns of the interior are a unique Gaudí design. Besides branching to support their load, their ever-changing surfaces are the result of the intersection of various geometric forms. The simplest example is that of a square base evolving into an octagon as the column rises, then a sixteen-sided form, and eventually to a circle. This effect is the result of a three-dimensional intersection of helicoidal columns (for example a square cross-section column twisting clockwise and a similar one twisting counter-clockwise).
- Detail of a tower of the Passion Façade decorated with the word Sanctus.
- The towers are decorated with words such as "Hosanna", "Excelsis", and "Sanctus"; the great doors of the Passion façade reproduce words from the Bible in various languages including Catalan; and the Glory façade is to be decorated with the words from the Apostles' Creed.
- The three entrances symbolize the three virtues: Faith, Hope and Love. Each of them is also dedicated to a part of Christ's life.
- The Nativity Façade is dedicated to his birth; it also has a cypress tree which symbolizes the tree of life.
- The Glory façade is dedicated to his glory period.
- The Passion façade is symbolic of his suffering.
- The apse tower bears Latin text of Hail Mary. All in all, the Sagrada Família is symbolic of the lifetime of Christ.
Construction on Sagrada Família is not supported by any government or official church sources. Private patrons funded the initial project, now the money from tickets used to pay for the work, and private donations are accepted through the Friends of the Sagrada Família Foundation.
In 2001 the central window of the Passion facade was finished and stained glass by Joan Vila-Grau representing the Resurrection was installed. The four columns of the crossing were also finished.
2010 was a milestone in the history of the Sagrada Familia as the temple was consecrated as a place of worship by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.
As of today, 70% of the work on the temple has been executed, and the goal is to completed on 2026, the centenary of Gaudí's death.
Visitors can access the Nave, Crypt, Museum, Shop, and the Passion and Nativity towers. While visitors could previously access the towers directly at no cost, their access currently is possible only by lift and a walk up the remainder of the towers, over the bridge between the towers and descent via the opposite tower by spiral staircase.
Sagrada Familia Opening hours:
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
Special Opening in December 25, 26, January 1 and 6, from 9 am to 2 pm