My trusty Eyewitness travel guide refers to it as “Europe’s most unconventional church” and “Gaudi’s greatest work”… it is of course the:
- Sagrada Família:
Entry cost: 14.80* euro (adult) just for the Basilica – 19.30 if you also want to visit the towers. (you can skip the queue – and trust me, there is always a big queue – by purchasing your tickets online)
Fast facts: Address: Carrer de Mallorca, 401. It is said that Gaudi got involved with this project in 1883, a year after work on this church had started. And when he did, he decided to change everything.
He devoted all his time to this project, living on the building site for 14 years, totally withdrawn from the world around him. I guess you could say it became his sole obsession.
With his death in 1926, only one tower on the Nativity Facade (the most complete part of the church) had been completed. However since then, work has continued to ensure Gaudi’s vision is still achieved, and today several of the towers have been completed. Information we saw inside estimates that they will finally complete the project somewhere in 2040 (I reckon add about 10 years to that for unplanned delays – so I’ll be going back to check it out in 2050. And yes, I will be VERY old then).
On our Hop on / Hop off bus tour we heard a very cool quote from Gaudi. It was a response he gave when he was asked when he thought the Sagrada Família would be finished. He answered “My client is in no hurry. God has all the time in the world…” Fair enough.
Gaudi was buried in the crypt at the Sagrada Família, the place where services are held today.
To keep the construction going the church depends on donations. Part of your entry ticket money also goes towards ongoing construction, but this explains why it’s taking a while to complete.
It’s already absolutely breathtaking, as you will see. I can’t even begin to imagine how much more incredible it will be once it’s totally complete. It’s definitely my favourite Gaudi masterpiece…
There’s way too much religious symbology behind every detail for me to even try and tackle. But if you’re interested, do checkout their website for lots and lots of really great info. Whether you’re religious or not, I guarantee you this church will have an impact on your being. It’s just such a peaceful & calming space…
Right, we have one more Gaudi masterpiece to go. This one’s outdoors and it’s called Park Güell.
* We found with this one, the discount voucher we got with the Hop on / Hop off bus didn’t really make a difference as it was only for an audioguide option. It was cheaper to just do a standard entry, so that’s we did. We wanted to also do the towers, but the next trip up was too much of a wait (they only do the tower trips at certain times), so we decided to give it a miss.