10 Interesting Facts About Sagrada Familia
Here are 10 interesting facts about the La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. This church is Spain’s most-visited tourist attraction and its Gothic architecture will blow your mind away!
There’s no doubt that Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is Antoni Gaudi’s most ambitious and most celebrated work that’s waiting to be completed. Though the artist died a long time ago, his vision of the church lives on. Construction is still going on, but it’s getting to the finish line. After 134 years of construction, the world will be able to see the spectacular Sagrada Familia in its entirety soon.
For now, there’s nothing much to see inside for a regular tourist like me. While I was there last summer, they still covered the central part of the church. It was disappointing, especially if the entrance fee was excessive. In Barcelona, everything that has Gaudi trademark is expensive. You could feel Spain’s economic crisis. The struggle is real. 🙂
Since I’m not a hardcore Catholic, the only thing that fascinated me was the architecture in itself. Looking up, the complicated, intricate, and beautiful structures of its columns to the roof blew me away. It’s the same feeling I had when I first set foot on the Great Wall of China or when I witnessed the first break of dawn at the summit of Mt. Sinai. I had goosebumps, and I had no one to talk to or share that feeling with – a disadvantage of traveling solo.
Here are 10 Interesting Facts About Sagrada Familia
1. From outside, you’ll see these towering spires or towers. There are 18 of them, which represent the 12 disciples, four gospel writers, the Virgin Mary, and Jesus Christ (the middle tower).
2. La Sagrada Familia is based on nature. Gaudi abhorred straight lines. To him, they’re boring and less appealing. If you’re a keen observer, you’ll find trees, water flows, flowers, sunlight, etc., everywhere in the interior.
3. The Pyramids of Egypt took only 20 years to build, but this church is still under construction even after 134 years. They said that they’re hoping to have it completed in 2026, Gaudi’s centennial death anniversary.
4. They buried Antoni Gaudi, the chief designer, in the crypt below the church.
5. This place of worship was originally planned as a church, but they decided to make it into a cathedral. Then, in 2010, Pope Benedict declared it as a “mini-basilica.”
6. It is the most visited tourist attraction in Spain with 2-3 million tourists a year! It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984.
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7. There’s an elevator inside that goes to the top of one of the towers. I’ll show you the view from there in the next blog post.
8. When the construction is finished, it will be Europe’s tallest Cathedral.
9. Do you know that there used to be a school here? It was built for the children of the construction workers.
10. This church has three facades: The Passion Facade, The Glory Facade and The Nativity Facade.
I would advise anyone to buy their ticket online ahead of their visit. It’s not guaranteed that you’ll be able to get a ticket at the time you’ll get there. I went there at 9 in the morning but was told to go back at 2 in the afternoon because that’s the earliest time slot available for the day. They had to control the influx of tourists in the summer to avoid overcrowding.
WHERE TO STAY IN BARCELONA
I stayed in these two hostels in Barcelona: Urbany Hostel BCN Go and TOC Hostel Barcelona. I’d recommend both. They’re in a good location and very accessible to the metro. There are also shops and restaurants all around the area. However, when it comes to comfort and amenities, I’d prefer TOC Hostel because the rooms are spacious and the beds are sturdy. They have a nice cafe and a swimming pool, too!