Barcelona: La Sagrada Familia

We arrived in Barcelona a little before 1:00 pm on Friday. I had pre-purchased tickets online for the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia, one of Barcelona’s most popular tourist attractions. However, the tickets were only good for entry that day between 2:00-3:00 pm. We rushed to the hotel, dropped our bags off, and took a taxi over to La Sagrada Familia. If there was one thing I was determined to see in Barcelona, the Sagrada Familia was it.

Construction of the church was started in the late 1800s and continues today, solely with the money obtained from donations and entrance fees. It was, for the most part, designed by Antoni Gaudi.

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Nativity Façade:

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Passion Façade:

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Gaudi was part of the Catalan Modernista movement; but had an organic, nature based style that set him apart. For example, several of the columns had a turtle at their base.

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At the peaks of some of the windows are fruit baskets which can be seen more closely when you go up into one of the towers.

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And, inside the church, the columns were designed to look like trees.

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ImageAlso inside the church are the most beautiful stained glass windows I have ever seen.

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Finally, there are great views of Barcelona from the towers. You can go up to the top of either the Nativity or the Passion towers. We went up the Nativity tower.

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You take an elevator to the top of the tower; but walk back down the stairs. If you do this, be careful. The steps are not even, and if you’re not watching, you could easily fall. I got my only injury of the trip (surprisingly) by scraping my arm against the wall of the tower while I was looking out the window and going down the steps at the same time. (I obviously wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing.)

I am very happy that we made it to the Sagrada Familia. That being said, I would not have been as impressed if we had not gone inside. The outside of the Sagrada Familia was a little too decorative for me, but the interior was breathtaking. The light coming in through the stained glass windows among the canopy of the tree shaped columns was amazing. It was truly a sight that everyone should see at least once in their life.

Here is the website for La Sagrada Familia, should anyone be interested in looking up more information:

http://www.sagradafamilia.cat/sf-eng/?lang=0

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