La sagrada familia: Sagrada Família – Official ticket vendors

Sagrada Familia – Arup

At a glance






La Sagrada Familia Foundation


Arts and Culture


Structural engineering
Vertical transportation design

Partners & Collaborators

Antoni Gaudí’s La Sagrada Familia church, in Barcelona, is finally due for completion in 2026, one hundred years after his death. Gaudí’s expressive and flowing vision has been an adventure in structural design and construction technology ever since he started work on the project in 1883.  

In 2014, with the building 60% complete, the Sagrada Familia Foundation approached Arup to help with the remaining structural design, particularly how to produce the remaining six towers, dedicated to the Four Evangelists, The Mother of God  (Mare de Deu) and Jesus Christ. 

Project Summary

new towers designed in prestressed stone

172.5mwill be the height of the central Jesus Tower when complete

40%of the project will be completed between 2016 and 2026

Pure masonry

The team were aware that towers built in traditional masonry or earthquake resistant reinforced concrete (with stone cladding) would make the towers too heavy for the foundations and crypt below. Instead we developed a scheme using the stone itself as structure, producing a beautiful finish and reducing the weight of the tower by a factor of two. This approach also reduced build cost and accelerated the construction programme.

The work of the Arup team has allowed us to build the central towers with the innovative technique of prestressed stone. We value their rigour and the research for the most effective, clear and simple solutions. ”

Jordi Faulí
Architectural Director, Sagrada Familia Foundation

The resulting design used pre-stressed stone masonry panels as the primary structural element. Pre-stressing provides greater strength to the panels, allowing them to be accurately fabricated remotely, transported to site and easily assembled on site by crane. This solution also allows the panels to resist stresses imposed by wind and earthquakes.

Arup modelled each and every component in 3D  to a construction level of detail (including nuts, bar threads, couplers, fillets and chamfers). Carefully designed connections ensure that when panels are craned into place, they fit together like Lego blocks, without further adjustment. 

Our pre-stressed stone panel method echoes the pure masonry construction used in the earlier construction of Sagrada, while the more modern off-site manufacture approach guarantees consistently high quality. Installing a 5m tall by 4m wide panel now take 30 minutes, saving time and enabling a safer construction process – important as the basilica will remain open during the final years of the build. 

Human, digital, physical 

In all our work on the Sagrada Familia we have used a new generation of digital tools to produce workable structural designs. This parametric approach combines deep human knowledge of the structural variables in the Towers’ form and position, with powerful algorithmic tools that could model the hundreds of subtle variations of geometries for the design. This human-plus-digital ethos was the best way to make Gaudí’s design pragmatic to construct in a realistic timeframe, and would have been unrealistically laborious to carry out without cutting-edge technology.

Our experience working alongside 2BMFG Architects and the Sagrada Familia Foundation has demonstrated how the near-limitless capacity of digital tools, used creatively by human beings with their experience and insight, can solve almost any engineering challenge – even on projects as singular as Gaudí’s church. Design of the towers is now complete and construction of the tower dedicated to The Mother of God had reached the ninth level by February 2017. 

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A cross-section through the Jesus Tower and its nucleus.

This digital model is then used to automatically cut the individual blocks of stone that are accurately fabricated into a panel using laser cut plywood templates; pre-stressed with machined stainless steel bars; and assembled on site.

Watch the video below from La Sagrada Familia Foundation to discover more about how the central towers are being raised: 

Watch this video from La Sagrada Familia Foundation to discover more about how the central towers are being raised.

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The next chapter

We are now helping the Sagrada Familia team with the design of nucleus, stair and lift within the Jesus Christ tower, the roofs for the Nave and the pinnacles that will complete the tops of the towers for this breath-taking church.  

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Partners & Collaborators

Architect: Gaudi, La Sagrada Familia Foundation

AD Classics: La Sagrada Familia / Antoni Gaudí

AD Classics: La Sagrada Familia / Antoni Gaudí

The Passion Facade © Expiatory Temple of the Sagrada Família

  • Written by Rennie Jones

Construction of the Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família began in 1882, more than a century ago. The temple is still under construction, with completion expected in 2026. It is perhaps the best known structure of Catalan Modernisme, drawing over three million visitors annually. Architect Antoni Gaudi worked on the project until his death in 1926, in full anticipation he would not live to see it finished.

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Construction of the aisle vaults, 1997 © Expiatory Temple of the Sagrada Família

Gaudi was appointed architect in 1883 at 31 years of age, following disagreements between the temple’s promoters and the original architect, Francisco de Paula del Villar y Lozano. He maintained del Villar’s Latin cross plan, typical of Gothic cathedrals, but departed from the Gothic in several significant ways. Most notably, Gaudi developed a system of angled columns and hyperboloidal vaults to eliminate the need for flying buttresses. Rather than relying on exterior elements, horizontal loads are transferred through columns on the interior.

Ground Level Plan

La Sagrada Familia utilizes three-dimensional forms comprised of ruled surfaces, including hyperboloids, parabolas, helicoids, and conoids. These complex shapes allow for a thinner, finer structure, and are intended to enhance the temple’s acoustics and quality of light. Gaudi used plaster models to develop the design, including a 1:10 scale model of the main nave measuring five meters in height and width by two meters in depth. He also devised a system of strings and weights suspended from a plan of the temple on the ceiling. From this inverted model he derived the necessary angles of the columns, vaults, and arches. This is evident in the slanted columns of the Passion facade, which recall tensile structures but act in compression.

Tiled vault © Renate Dodell

Gaudi embedded religious symbolism in each aspect of La Sagrada Familia, creating a visual representation of Christian beliefs. He designed three iconic facades for the basilica, the Glory, Nativity, and Passion facades, facing south, east, and west, respectively. The sculpting of the Nativity facade recalls smooth, intricate corbelling and was overseen by Gaudi. The Passion Facade is characterized by the work of Josep Maria Subirachs, whose angular sculptures extend the modernist character of the temple. The sculptor Etsuro Sotoo is responsible for the window ornaments and finials, which symbolize the Eucharist. 

Detail of the Passion Facade © Renate Dodell

The central nave soars to a height of 45 meters, and is designed to resemble a forest of multi-hued piers in Montjuïc and granite. The piers change in cross section from base to terminus, increasing in number of vertices from polygonal to circular. The slender, bifurcating columns draw the eye upward, where light filters through circular apertures in the vaults. These are finished in Venetian glass tiles of green and gold, articulating the lines of the hyperboloids.

© John Kennan

Once completed, La Sagrada Familia will feature eighteen towers composed to present a unique view of the temple from any single vantage point. Four bell towers representing the Apostles crown each facade, reaching approximately 100 meters in height. At the north end, a tower representing the Virgin Mary will stand over the apse. The central tower will reach 72 meters in height and symbolize Christ, surrounded by four towers representing the Evangelists.

The Nativity Facade © Expiatory Temple of the Sagrada Família

Even as construction continues, older portions are undergoing cleaning and restoration. The temple has relied entirely on private donations since its inception, and has seen many delays due to lack of funding. A particularly significant setback occurred during the Spanish Civil War, when Gaudi’s workshop was destroyed, including much of the documentation he left behind. 

1925 © Expiatory Temple of the Sagrada Família

Subsequent generations of craftsman and architects have relied on the remaining drawings and plaster models to advance the project, adhering to Gaudi’s vision as closely as possible. As a result, the design of the temple is a collaboration spanning centuries. Gaudi himself viewed the project as the collective work of generations. “I will grow old but others will come after me. What must always be conserved is the spirit of the work, but its life has to depend on the generations it is handed down to and with whom it lives and is incarnated. ” [1]

© Expiatory Temple of the Sagrada Família

In recent decades, La Sagrada Familia has adopted contemporary digital design and construction technologies. Architects and craftsmen use Rhinoceros, Cadds5, Catia, and CAM to understand the complex geometries and visualize the building as a whole. Plaster models are still used as a design tool, now generated by a 3-D printer to accelerate the process. A digitally rendered video was recently released showing La Sagrada Familia’s expected appearance upon completion.

[1] Basílica de la Sagrada Família. La Fundació de la Junta Constructora del Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família. Website. 7 October 2013. 

  • Architects:
    Antoni Gaudí

  • AreaArea of this architecture project Area : 
    4500 m²
  • Photographs

    Photographs :Expiatory Temple of the Sagrada Família, John Kennan, Jose Gonzalvo, amazinao, Famke Veenstra, Renate Dodell, Eugene Zhukovsky, Todd Heiden

  • ManufacturersBrands with products used in this architecture project

    Manufacturers :  Troll

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.

Cite: Rennie Jones. “AD Classics: La Sagrada Familia / Antoni Gaudí” 16 Oct 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed . < ISSN 0719-8884

Excursions to the Sagrada Familia in 2023 🧭 prices from €20 in April-May

Excursions to the Sagrada Familia in 2023 🧭 prices from €20 in April-May

  • 1 person

  • On foot,

    , …

  • Elena


    39 reviews

    Gaudí — one day alone with a genius

    Get to know the brightest masterpieces and the life of an unsurpassed architect €19,000

    28 for excursion



    13 reviews

    Secrets of the Sagrada Familia

    Interesting details about the construction and significance of Antoni Gaudí’s famous masterpiece

    €65 for the tour


    1. 005

    Sagrada Familia: Temple Tour

    Take a trip into the mind of Gaudí and learn all about his great project

    € 140 € 126 for the tour



    35 reviews

    Sagrada Familia: the bible in stone

    Understand Gaudí’s greatest creation and explore its details

    €85 for the tour



    26 reviews

    7 masterpieces of Barcelona in 4 hours by car!

    Discover all the main sights of the city and understand their history

    €340 per tour



    2 reviews

    Gaudi’s most famous masterpieces in 3 hours Wonka

    €118 per tour

    Easy to book online

    Choose a tour, pay 20%-23% of the price online, and the rest of the money goes to the guide on the spot. If you want, ask the guide any questions before paying

    – Convenient!


    4. 92

    48 reviews

    Understand Gaudí’s creations

    Symbolism of the Sagrada Familia temple and masterpieces of Catalan Art Nouveau

    from € 150 for the tour

    6 reviews Victoria


    Gaudí – genius or madman?

    Examine the legendary buildings, hear about the fate of the genius and evaluate its influence on the appearance of Barcelona

    € 189 for a tour of


    No reviews

    Barcelona and Modern – Gaudi and not only

    To study the most beautiful facades of the city and understand the greatness Surnames

    from € 130 per tour



    5 reviews

    Sagrada Familia – symbols and myths

    Understand the beauty and significance of the temple-symbol of Barcelona

    from € 118 per tour



    6 reviews

    Catalan Art Nouveau territory

    Creations of Gaudí and other modernist architects on a walk through Barcelona 90 004 € 98 for excursion


    No reviews

    Bus around Barcelona!

    See the highlights of the city in 4 hours and walk through the Gothic Quarter, Eixample and Barceloneta


    3. 0

    1 review

    Explore the secret places of Barcelona with the heroes of Dan Brown

    See the Black Madonna, go up to the attic of the Gaudí house and unravel the secrets of the Sagrada Familia

    See all 901 50 90 Barcelona 5

    See all

    183 traveler reviews

    Private guides in Barcelona

    3 excursions

    10 excursions

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    Unusual excursions on Excursions to the Sagrada Familia

    Spring is a great time to spend interesting and useful time in Barcelona and its suburbs. One of the most interesting sights is the Sagrada Familia. The next excursion in April is Gaudí – one day alone with a genius, which will take place on April 24 at 09:00. Cost €128 per tour. The tour is conducted by a guide – Elena.

    In 2023, Tripster has 11 excursions for April-May with detailed descriptions and routes. Travelers who have already been on excursions left 183 reviews with live photos. Prices start from €20

    Excursion in Barcelona can always be booked online, and before that, check all the necessary information, travel conditions, meeting point with the guide.

    Frequently asked questions from travelers under the heading: “Excursions to the Sagrada Familia”

    What excursions in Barcelona should you go to in April?

    Five of the most popular excursions in April 2023:

    1. Round trip: from the Roman era to 21st century Barcelona
    2. Welcome to Barcelona!
    3. Barcelona – a journey through time
    4. On foot in Barcelona
    5. Visiting the most interesting places in Barcelona

    What excursions are offered in Barcelona this coming weekend?

    1. Round trip: from the Roman era to 21st century Barcelona
    2. Welcome to Barcelona!
    3. Barcelona – a journey through time
    4. The most interesting places in Barcelona
    5. First time in Barcelona

    What excursions in Barcelona can you visit with children?

    Five of the most popular excursions in Barcelona for visiting with children:

    1. Virgin Barcelona: Children’s version
    2. The incredible adventures of children in Barcelona
    3. On the sagrade of the name-children
    4. Interactive walk in the old city for children
    5. Village la Geltrú or Little Havana

    Which guide to choose?

    The best guides in Barcelona according to Tripster visitors:

    1. Mila – Guide in Barcelona
    2. Elena
    3. Eugene – Guide in Barcelona
    4. Kirill
    5. Ludmila – Guide in Barcelona

    How much are tours in Barcelona in April?

    Prices for excursions in 2023 vary from €20 to €520

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    Sagrada Familia.

    Construction | izi.TRAVEL

    The history of the Sagrada Familia – Sagrada Familia in Spanish – began in 1872. That year, the Catalan bookseller Josep Bocabella went on a pilgrimage to Italy. First – to the Vatican, and then to the city of Loretto, where angels long ago moved the house of Christ’s earthly parents – Mary and Joseph. The Bocabella route is easy to explain. After all, he founded in Barcelona a religious Society of worshipers of St. Joseph – the earthly husband of the Virgin Mary. Sagrada Familia in Loretto is considered one of the most beautiful in Italy. And Bocabella decided that when he returned to Barcelona, ​​he would also build a temple dedicated to Jesus Christ – the Son of Man and his earthly family.

    On his return from Italy, Bocabella discussed the idea of ​​building the Sagrada Familia with other members of the Society of Saint Joseph. And all together they decided to build not just a temple, but a redemptive temple. Hence the main condition: to build a church only on voluntary donations. So that every Christian – rich or poor, local or visitor – can personally express his love and gratitude to the Lord. This approach to fundraising is also connected with the fact that St. Joseph the carpenter in the Catholic tradition patronizes the workers. Therefore, the Sagrada Familia was also conceived as a symbol of brotherhood between the rich and the poor. Hence the unofficial name of the church – the Cathedral of the Poor. By the way, the first project of the Sagrada Familia was developed in 1872. But he didn’t survive. And even the name of the architect is unknown.

    Four years later, in 1876, the famous master Francisco Villar began to design the temple. And Antoni Gaudi worked as a draftsman in his workshop. He was not yet 25 at the time. But this time the construction never started. The Society of Saint Joseph could never get a suitable plot. Bocabella wanted the church to be in the center of Barcelona, ​​but no amount of money could buy land in the Old Town. As time went. And in the end, Bocabella agreed to a site in the Eixample region, north of Avenguda Diagonal. It is far from the old center, but the territory is three standard blocks. That is, almost 400 m long and 133 m wide. Enough to build a truly great church. By the way, the plot cost 172,000 pesetas.

    Gaudí began work on the Sagrada Familia in 1883. And the construction of the expiatory church, as it began, is still going on. For example. The foundation of the Nativity façade began to be built in 1894. Approximately six years later, Gaudi basically completed the construction of the portals of the eastern facade and proceeded to their sculptural design. And the work on the eastern facade was completely completed only in 1930, when the bell towers were completed.

    Gaudí began designing the western façade, the Passion façade, at 1910 g. In the same year, his teacher, Josep Vilaseka, died. And the death of the teacher was not the last. From 1910 to 1918 the architect lost almost all his friends. The most difficult thing for Gaudi was the departure of Eusebi Güell, a like-minded person and patron. The builder of the Sagrada Familia was left alone. And the redemptive church became his only object. Gaudí devoted all the last years of his life to the temple. But at the time of his death, the Sagrada Familia was about 15% finished.

    After the death of Gaudí in 1926, the construction of the Sagrada Familia was led by Dumenek Surganes and Francis de Quintana. Under them, 4 apostolic bell towers of the eastern facade were completed. After 10 years, work was interrupted by the Civil War. Gaudi’s workshop burned down with all the models and many drawings. And the bell towers, which they managed to mine, were not blown up only because the Republicans equipped them with machine-gun nests of the air defense system.

    Work resumed in 1940, but only nominally. For many years, the Gothic apse and four towers of the Nativity Façade towered over the city as a monument to Antonio Gaudí and his great design.