The Basílica de la Sagrada Família, also known as the Sagrada Família  is a large Roman Catholic church in Barcelona.  It was designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí who lived from 1852 until 1926.

Although the Sagrada Família is still incomplete it’s a UNESCO world heritage site.  It was consecrated in 2010 by Pope Benedict in front of a 6,500 strong congregation including King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia.  It was estimated that a further 50,000 followed the mass from outside.

Antoni Gaudí began work on the project in 1883.  When Gaudí died less than a quarter of his project was complete as it relied on private donations plus the construction was stopped during the Spanish Civil War (1936 – 1939).  Progress was restarted intermittently in the 1950’s and there is an anticipated completion date of 2026 the centennial of Gaudí’s death.  (although information leaflets estimate 2028).

It is said to be one of the most extraordinary interpretations of Gothic architecture.

Gaudí’s original design was for a total of eighteen spires, representing in ascending order of height the twelve apostles, the four evangelists, the virgin Mary and the tallest of all, Jesus Christ.

It will have three facades: the Passion to the west, the Nativity to the east and, yet to be completed, the Glory to the south.

The Glory façade will be the largest and will be representative of a persons ascension to God.


It will also have various scenes representing purgatory, hell and the seven deadly sins.

By 2010 eight spires have been built corresponding to four apostles at the Nativity façade and four apostles at the Passion façade.

The central spire of Jesus Christ is to be surmounted by a giant cross with a total spire height of 170 metres (560 ft). 

Once complete the spires will make Sagrada Família the tallest church building in the world.


13.00 € (more for guided and audio tours, discounts for children and disabled visitors)

Buy your ticket at the ticket office (in order to avoid long queues tickets have specific appointment time). The admission charge ONLY includes admission to the church.

The admission charge does NOT include the tower lift(3€).



October to March, 9.00 to 18.00.

April to September, 9.00 to 20.00

25 and 26 December – 1 and 6 January, 9.00 to 14.00

Don’t forget to visit Park  Güell during your Barcelona trip.  Designed and built by Guadí between 1900 and 1914 it is an amazing, colourful garden complex which houses Guadí’s home.  Take the subway to the Grácia district, then it’s a long uphill walk (although taxi’s lay in wait for those who prefer not to walk).  Take advantage of the many small bars on the walk up to stop for a cold drink and a tapa (more on Park Güell in another blog yet to come)


3 responses »

  1. M&M says:

    I am amazed how contempory the Basilica is. His drawings are so fluid and powerful and as usuual great pics. Though I suspect that by 2028 the concepts and belief system contained in the Basilica will be viewed as how things were.

  2. Anita Mac says:

    Awesome – so sorry to have missed it when I was last in Barcelona. It is at the top of my list for the next visit! Can’t wait.

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