Sagrada Familia | Barcelona’s Gothic Masterpiece
One of Barcelona’s most iconic symbols, the Sagrada Familia is the most visited landmark in the whole of Spain. Considered to be a great example of modernist architecture designed by architect Antoni Gaudi, many tourists from across the globe come to visit this unfinished church. If you are planning your Barcelona trip and wondering if a visit to Sagrada Familia is worth it, here is all you need to know!
Quick Facts About Sagrada Familia
- Official name: Basilica I Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia
- Location: Sagrada Familia is located at C/ de Mallorca, 401, 08013 Barcelona, Spain
- Date of opening: 7 November 2010
- Architects Involved: Francisco de Paula del Villar, Antoni Gaudi, Domènec Sugrañes i Gras, Francesc de Paula Quintana i Vidal, Isidre Puig Boada, Lluís Bonet i Gari, Francesc Cardoner, Jordi Bonet i Armengol, and Jordi Faulí i Oller
- Architectural Style: Modernist, Art Nouveau Architecture, Noucentisme, Gothic Revival architecture, Spanish Gothic architecture
- UNESCO World Heritage Site: Since 1984
- Number of Visitors Per Year: 3,000,000 visitors every year (approx. )
Facts About Sagrada Familia
What is the Sagrada Familia?
The Sagrada Familia is a unique piece of architecture built by the world-renowned architect — Antoni Gaudi — in Barcelona.
This Roman-Catholic church in Barcelona is breathtakingly beautiful and what makes it historically significant is that it holds the title of being the largest unfinished Roman Catholic Church in the world. Under construction for over a century, since 1882, the church was consecrated in 2010 and has been proclaimed a minor basilica.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the church combines Gothic Revival and Art Nouveau, and Modernista forms of architecture. Today, 9 of the total 18 planned towers have been completed and the rest of the construction is anticipated to be completed by 2026, which marks the centenary of Gaudí’s death.
Book Tickets to Sagrada Familia
Why Visit Sagrada Familia in Barcelona?
- Sagrada Familia is an iconic example of Antoni Gaudi’s exemplary style, with elements of Art Nouveau, Catalan Modernism, and Spanish Late Gothic design.
- The work revolved around the theme of nature figures, in terms of both, symbolism and the usage of organic shapes and forms.
- Inspired by nature, this man-made masterpiece is the tallest building in Europe to explore.
- Journey up the Sagrada Familia’s famous towers to witness a breathtaking panoramic view of the city of Barcelona.
- Witness the great architecture of a structure that has been under construction for over a century as you explore the different facades up close.
- Explore the historical drawings, pictures, and figures of the Sagrada Familia’s evolution, all the way from the beginning in 1882.
- Discover the life and works of Antoni Gaudi, Barcelona’s most famous architect.
- Explore the Sagrada Familia crypt, where Antoni Gaudi is buried.
- As you explore the basilica’s inside, you can view the columns towering 70 meters to the ceiling and the huge stained-glass windows through which the sunlight seeps into the interiors, to produce a dreamlike experience.
What’s Inside Sagrada Familia?
Plan Your Visit to Sagrada Familia
Where is Sagrada Familia Located?
What Are Sagrada Familia Opening Hours?
Address: C/ de Mallorca, 401, 08013 Barcelona, Spain
Find On Map
The Sagrada Familia is situated in the Eixample Right district of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.
Nearest Metro Station: Sagrada Familia Station (34 m)
Directions to Sagrada Familia
Depending on the time of the year you intend to visit Sagrada Familia, the opening hours may vary accordingly:
- April – September: Mon-Sat, 9 AM to 8 PM; Sun, 10:30 AM to 8 PM
- March – October: Mon-Sat, 9 AM to 7 PM; Sun, 10:30 AM to 7 PM
- November – February: Mon-Sat, 9 AM to 6 PM; Sun, 10:30 AM to 6 PM
- 1 and 6 January, 25 and 26 December: 9 AM to 2 PM
The international mass takes place every Sunday at 9 AM.
Best Time to Visit Sagrada Familia
Who Built the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona?
The initial architect was Francisco de Paula del Villar but the project was taken over by Gaudi who created a stunning display of Art Nouveau and Catalan Noucentisme architecture. After Gaudi’s death, seven other architects have worked on the project — Domènec Sugrañes i Gras, Francesc de Paula Quintana i Vidal, Isidre Puig Boada, Lluís Bonet i Gari, Francesc Cardoner, Jordi Bonet i Armengol and lastly, Jordi Faulí i Oller, who is the current director architect of the project.
Although during Gaudi’s lifetime only less than a quarter of the basilica was complete, he is considered the designer of the Sagrada Familia. While many are of the opinion that the work post-Gaudi disregarded his design, it has attempted to true to Gaudi’s vision. After parts of the unfinished basilica and Gaudi’s models and workshop were destroyed during the Spanish Civil war, these plans were reconstructed and adapted to be made more modern. The plan of Sagrada Familia, as it stands, is a creation of Gaudi’s genius.
More About Gaudi
What To Do At Sagrada Famiilia, Barcelona?
Enjoy the View From the Nativity & Passion Towers
Having a peep from either of the two towers is going to offer you nothing, but sheer beauty. The Nativity Tower allows you to witness the city as a whole with picturesque mountains whereas the Passion Tower offers views of the Mediterranean Sea. So, you can choose the kind of view that you would wish to have on your visit to Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.
The Sagrada Familia Towers
Take the Sagrada Stairway
On visiting the Sagrada Familia Towers, the coiled stairs spiral in shape and are a must-use. With over 500 stairs to climb, it may seem exhausting but is entirely safe and in sync with Gaudi’s architecture and style. Children below 6 years of age and people with physical disabilities are not recommended to take the stairs and are refrained from accessing the Towers.
Visit the Sagrada Familia Museum
The Sagrada Familia Museum houses an exquisite collection of Antoni Gaudi’s construction models, drawings, furnishings, and much more, in an underground exhibit. You can find the space under the Passion Facade inside the semi-basement. Take a close look at the mind of this renowned architect and how his plans were initiated.
Attend Mass at the Sagrada Familia
Mass is held regularly at the Sagrada Familia and is open to all. Mass is held on Saturdays, Sundays, and on holy days of obligation. On Saturdays and the eve of holy days of obligation, mass takes place at 8 AM and on Sundays and holy days of obligation, it takes place at 9 AM.
What’s Inside Sagrada Familia?
Thanks to Gaudi’s distinctive design Sagrada Familia stands tall as an architectural marvel. People from all over the world come to view the towers and the facades they form. However, the inside of the basilica is just as spectacular.
As you enter the basilica you will be treated by the massive columns that resemble trees of a forest evoking the sense of walking into a botanical garden, which has been lit with various hues of reds, blues, and yellows thanks to the stained glass windows. At the center of the Apse, you will find the altar. Above this, you will view the hectagon-shaped Baldachin, rife with symbolism, suspended in the air. In the hyperboloid above the presbytery, you will find the Eternal Father symbol.
The crypt, located below the apse, is also a key highlight. A UNESCO Heritage Site, it houses Gaudi’s tomb and also is a chapel where the masses are celebrated regularly.
Explore the Sagrada Familia Inside
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Brief History of Sagrada Familia
The Basilica de la Sagrada Familia, also popularly known as the Sagrada Familia, is a Roman Catholic church situated in Barcelona. The work on the masterpiece began in 1874 when talks began to emerge in order to construct a church honoring the Holy family.
Under the guidance of the original architect Francisco de Paula del Villar y Lozano, the construction work began but was soon replaced by Antoni Gaudi, where work focussed on modernist creation. Soon, by 1923, he had a vision of the basilica. The church’s first tower finished in 1925. Unfortunately, he died on 10 June 1926 and the work came to a standstill.
After his passing, for over a century, five generations of architects have worked toward bringing Gaudi’s vision to reality even after a large chunk of his ideas was destroyed when a fire broke out in 1936. In 2010, the church was finally consecrated by Pope Benedict XVI.
Detailed History of Sagrada Familia
Architecture of the Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia was envisioned by the famous architect Antoni Gaudi who was known for bringing Art Nouveau into the surface decoration of the cathedral. The church is shorter in width than most of the cathedrals in Europe and showcases a mix of Catalan Modernism, Catalan Noucentisme, Art Nouveau, and Spanish Late Gothic.
The structure has numerous steeples, seven apsidal chapels, three portals, double aisles, and 18 towers, each of which is very distinct. The interiors of the church are quite extraordinary with covered passages forming a rectangle around the church, passing through the three portals. There are no right angles present in the interiors or exteriors of the church and consists of a few straight lines in terms of design.
The areas that are open to the visitors give you a feel of walking through a castle consisting of colorful and magnificent large glass windows and ceilings that are carved intricately.
Design of the Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia Finish Date
The Sagrada Familia is believed to be completed in 2026. The year also marks the centenary of Antoni Gaudi’s death.
However, this finish date only corresponds to the remaining towers under construction. it is believed that the various sculptures and symbols that will form part of the church, as well as the main entrance, will take longer. It could be even 2040 before the church is fully completed.
View Sagarda Familia Completed
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Sagrada Familia was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984. During the additional registration process in 2005, the registered name was changed to include it as a part of Works of Antoni Gaudí.
A total of seven properties created by the architect Antoni Gaudí in or near Barcelona have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites are they are believed to stand as a testament to Gaudi’s contribution to the development of architecture and building technology in Barcelona during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The seven buildings are: Park Güell, Palacio Güell, Casa Mila, Casa Vicens, Gaudí’s work on the Nativity façade and Crypt of the Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló, and the Crypt in Colonia Güell.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sagrada Familia in Barcelona
Q. What is the Sagrada Familia?
A. Sagrada Familia, one of Barcelona’s iconic symbols, is a Basilica designed by the famous architect Antoni Gaudi. This attraction has been under construction since 1882.
Q. Where is Sagrada Familia?
A. One of Gaudi’s most famous works, the Sagrada Familia is situated in the city of Barcelona, Spain at C/ de Mallorca, 401, 08013 Barcelona, Spain.
Q. What is Sagrada Familia famous for?
A. Constructed by Antoni Gaudi, the iconic structure is famous for its unique style that combines elements of Art Nouveau, Spanish Late Gothic design, and Catalan Modernism. It has also gained fame for the being the largest unfinished Roman Catholic Church in the world.
Q. Who built the Sagrada Familia?
A. The construction of Sagrada Familia began under architect Francisco de Paula del Villar and was eventually taken over by Antoni Gaudi as the chief architect to transform the project. While seven other architects have taken over the project, Gaudi is recognized as the main architect of the Sagrada Familia.
Q. When did Sagrada Familia open?
A. Sagrada Familia began its construction on 19 March 1882 and continues to be still under construction, with just parts of the Cathedral being open to the public after the church was consecrated by Pope Benedict XVI on 7 November 2010.
Q. What are the Sagrada Familia opening hours?
A. The opening hours of Sagrada Familia vary: April to September – 9 AM to 8 PM, March to October – 9 AM to 7 PM, November to February – 9 AM to 6 PM. On January 1 and 6 and December 25 and 26 it is open from 9 AM to 2 PM.
Q. What are the mass timings at Sagrada Familia?
A. The Sagrada Familia mass is held at the crypt on Monday to Saturday, at 9 AM (Catalan) and 8 PM (Spanish). On Sundays, mass is held at 9 AM, 11:45 AM and 8 PM in Spanish, and at, 10:30 AM, 1 PM, 6:30 PM in Catalan. International Masses are held every Sunday at 9 AM.
Q. What’s inside Sagrada Familia?
A. Sagrada Familia has 18 towers, each one carrying an intricate significance of its own. If you climb these towers, you will be able to view the various depictions on the towers up close as well as a spectacular view of the city of Barcelona. Inside the main basilica, you will be able to view the main altar, the crypt, and various design elements such as the high columns that make the basilica unlike anything you have seen before.
Q. Why should I visit Sagrada Familia?
A. The Sagrada Família is one of the most iconic examples of Antoni Gaudí’s unique style. If you visit Sagrada Familia, you will not only get to experience Gaudi’s genius, bit also witness the depcitions of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. You can view the towers dedicated to prominent Christian figures such as theTwelve Apostles, the Virgin Mary, the four Evangelists and, Jesus Christ.
Q. Is it worth visiting Sagrada Familia?
A. Famously known for its Art Nouveau and Catalan Noucentisme architecture, the Sagrada has been constructed for a really long time and is worth visiting to get an insight into its design and history that the place holds.
Q. How much is a ticket to visit Sagrada Familia?
A. Your Sagrada Familia ticket prices start from €34.
Q. How do I book tickets to visit Sagrada Familia?
A. You can book your Sagrada Familia tickets online.
Christmas at Sagrada Familia
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Sagrada Familia Entrances
The Sagrada Familia – Travel Guide Tickets & Tours
History of the Sagrada Familia
Originally, it was the work of architect Francisco de Paula del Villar who was envisioned a Gothic-style church consisting of three-nave elements, exterior buttresses and high spire, all of which were typical of Gothic architecture at that time.
The construction of the Sagrada Familia is thought to have started in August 1882 and was handed over to the enigmatic young Architect, Antoni Gaudi at the end of 1883, he was just 31 years old.
Antoni Gaudi completely changed the architecture, the building soon started to take on the unique style he was world-renowned for. He knew it would take many years to finish and he worked tirelessly on the project up until his death in 1926.
The Sagrada Familia was intended to be a universal masterpiece embracing all symbols of Christianity. It is an expiatory temple, a place to commemorate the repatriation of sins made against God or the laws of the church.
All works on this enormously complicated project is financed by donations made by visitors, which explains its slow progress. It is due for completion in 2026. A symbolic date as it celebrates 100 years since the death of Gaudi.
Gaudi was a highly religious person who incorporated his faith throughout the Sagrada Familia. He actually only completed the plans of three of the most important parts, the central nave, the sacristan and the glory façade.
His plans though have been used to inspire the further construction of the other naves, facades and towers.
The interior of the Basilica has five naves which are large spaces used by visitors to sit during mass or when watching performances.
The main nave rises high above the others and connected by a transept.
It is one of the largest church buildings in the world at around 90 metres long. The five naves are connected to the transept which are 60 metres long and 45 metres wide.
The construction of the naves started in 1897 using models created by Antoni Gaudi.
Towers of the Sagrada Familia
The outside facades are bound by four impressive towers with four bell towers that represent the 12 apostles.
There are four main bell towers connected by bridges and each decorated with magnificent pinnacles. and are dedicated to Joseph, Mary and Jesus.
A total of 18 towers are planned will be dedicated to Joseph, Mary and Jesus, St. Andrew, St. Peter, St. Paul and Jacques d’Alpheus.
The exterior has three facades, each one depicting a moment in the life of Jesus Christ, they are the Nativity, Passion and Glory facades
» Nativity Facade
The nativity façade is located on the northeast side and was built first in the Catalan modernist style.
The facade has three gates with sculptures of the virtues, Faith, Hope and Charity.
The three entrances of this façade are separated by two columns which have displayed a tortoise at the base. The middle and largest gate of the Nativity facade is decorated with the three Kings and Joseph and Mary with baby Jesus on the pillar.
» The Passion Facade
Using drawings made by Gaudi, construction on the Passion façade commenced in 1954 and was completed in 1976.
The façade is dedicated passion of Christ, simplistic in its design with lots of bare stone.
It was Gaudi’s desire to impose extravagance and fear with his design. Hence there are no extruding motifs, it was to create a dark effect and give an idea of the cruelty of sacrifice.
» The Glory Facade
The glory façade is the largest and most important of the three facades as this is where access if gained to the Basilicas central nave.
Work on the glory facade only started in 2002 and is dedicated to the heavenly glory of Jesus which represents his rise to heaven.
Sagrada Familia (Sagrada Família) – Barcelona, Spain
Sagrada Familia (full name: Expiatory Sagrada Familia , cat. Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família), sometimes in Russian inaccurately called Cathedral of the Holy Families is a church in Barcelona, in the Eixample district, built on private donations since 1882, the famous project of Antoni Gaudí. One of the most famous long-term construction projects in the world.
The first project was developed by the architect Francisco del Villar (Cat. Francisco de Paula del Villar y Lozano), who was replaced at the end of 1883 by A. Gaudi, who significantly changed the original project. According to the decision of the initiators of the construction of the temple, the financing of the work should be carried out exclusively at the expense of donations from parishioners, which is one of the reasons for such a long construction.
November 7, 2010 the temple was consecrated by Pope Benedict XVI and was officially declared ready for daily worship. On the same day, he awarded the temple the title of Small Papal Basilica (lat. Basilica minor).
History of construction
The idea of creating an expiatory church dedicated to the Holy Family originated in 1874 and, thanks to generous donations, in 1881 a plot of land was purchased in the Eixample district, which at that time was located a few kilometers from cities. The first stone in the foundation of the new temple was laid on 19March 1882, and this day is considered the date of commencement of construction. According to the original design of the architect del Villar, it was supposed to create a neo-Gothic basilica in the form of a Latin cross, formed by five longitudinal and three transverse naves. A huge apse was designed, consisting of seven chapels and a bypass gallery behind the choirs, and the cloister surrounding the building was intended to connect the three monumental facades of the church. However, shortly after the start of construction, at the end of 1882, del Villar left the project due to disagreements with customers, and A. Gaudi was entrusted with the management of the work instead.
Between 1883 and 1889, Gaudí completed the crypt begun by his predecessor. A higher vault was erected over the previously created del Villar building, which allowed the windows to be opened to the outside. The vault is adorned with an amazingly beautiful keystone with a relief on the theme of the Annunciation, and the crypt itself is surrounded by a shallow moat that protects the walls from dampness and improves access to daylight.
The construction of the neo-Gothic apse had already begun when, having received an unusually large anonymous donation, Gaudí decided to seriously alter the original project, retaining only the layout in the form of a Latin cross and completely changing the shape and structure of the building. In accordance with Gaudí’s project, the building was to be crowned with a multitude of monumental towers soaring upwards, and all elements of the decoration were to receive a deep symbolic meaning associated with the Gospel or church rites.
In 1892, the architect began work on the Nativity façade. He started with this facade, because he was afraid to scare away the inhabitants of the city by implementing the plan of the Passion facade, which frankly and harshly tells about the crucifixion of Christ. In 1895, work on the neo-Gothic apse was completed. One of its features are the decorative tops of the turrets and the gutters of the drainpipes, inspired by the local flora and fauna, lizards and snails, which could be found in abundance in the surroundings. Around the same time, a part of the cloister was built, corresponding to the portal of the Virgin of the Rosary, decorated with rich ornamentation, full of symbolism. The portal of the Holy Virgin of the Rosary itself was completed in 1899 year.
In 1909-1910, a temporary school building was built on the site of the future main facade. It was created by Gaudi for the children of builders and, as a temporary structure, did not have load-bearing walls. Despite its ephemeral nature, this school has a unique design. The strength of the building is achieved through the use of curved partitions and roofing, and the division of classrooms with weight-bearing partitions allows you to easily change the layout of the interior space.
In 1911, A. Gaudí designed the second façade, the Passion façade, although the final architectural solution for the naves and vaults appeared only in 1923, and the construction of this façade began after Gaudí’s death. The creation of sketches of the third facade – the facade of Glory – also dates from the beginning of the 10s of the 20th century. Unfortunately, only structural-volumetric analyzes and sketches of a symbolic-iconographic nature have come down to us from this work. The design of the naves and ceilings of the façade included research carried out in the crypt of the Güell colony, and the final result, according to the architect, should look like a “forest of tree-like columns”, flooded with light penetrating through stained-glass windows of different heights.
On November 30, 1925, the 100-meter bell tower of the Nativity facade dedicated to St. Barnabas was completed. It turned out to be the only bell tower completed during the lifetime of the architect, who devoted more than forty years of his life to the construction of the Temple.
After Gaudí’s death, the management of the work was taken over by his closest associate Domènec Sugrañes i Gras, who had worked with Gaudí since 1902 and helped in the construction of the Sagrada Familia and many other famous buildings (for example, houses of Batlló and houses of Mila). Until his death at 19In 1938, D. Sugranes managed to complete the construction of the three remaining belfries of the Nativity facade (1927-1930), completed work on the ceramic cypress crowning the central entrance of the facade, and also conducted a series of studies on the rigidity of structures. The outbreak of the Spanish Civil War prevented the construction from continuing. To top it off, during a fire in 1936, many of the drawings and models stored in Gaudí’s workshop were destroyed. Fortunately, some of them were later restored. The construction of the Nativity facade was continued only in 1952 year. That year, the staircase was completed and the facade was illuminated for the first time, which became permanent since 1964.
In 1954, the construction of the Passion façade began. The work was based on developments and surveys carried out by Gaudi in the period from 1892 to 1917. After the completion of the crypt in 1961, a museum was opened in it, dedicated to the historical, technical, artistic and symbolic aspects of the project. In 1977, four towers of the Passion façade were erected, and in 1986 work began on sculptures to decorate this façade, completed at the beginning of the 21st century. Around the same time, stained glass windows dedicated to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and a bronze sculpture of the Ascension of the Lord were installed.
Between 1978 and 2000, the main nave and transepts, as well as their vaults and facades, were built. In the first decade of the 21st century, the vaults of the gallery were completed, and by 2010 a crossroads and an apse should appear. Two towers will be erected on them: a 170-meter tower of the central lantern, crowned with a cross, and an apse tower dedicated to the Virgin Mary. According to the plan, this part of the building should contain four more towers in honor of the Evangelists. The expected completion of all construction work is 2026, when the creation of the Glory facade, which began in 2000, should also be completed. The Finnish company Outokumpu takes part in the supply of steel structures for the completion of construction.
Architecture of the Temple
The illustration shows the mutual position of the main elements of the Sagrada Familia. This five-nave church is planned in the form of a Latin cross formed by the intersection of the main nave with a three-aisled transept. The unusually large apse, under which the crypt is located, includes seven chapels and a bypass gallery behind the choir. The cloister surrounding the building will have to connect all the facades of the church: southern facade of the Passion of Christ , the east facade of Glory and the north facade of the Nativity . The structure will be crowned with eighteen towers. Twelve of them, four on each facade (in the illustration, all the towers are shown in white circles), from 98 to 112 meters high, will be dedicated to the twelve apostles. Four 120-meter towers above the crossroads in honor of the Evangelists will surround the central 170-meter tower of Jesus, and a slightly smaller bell tower of the Virgin Mary will be located above the apse. According to the project, the towers of the Evangelists will be decorated with sculptures of their traditional symbols: a calf (Luke), an angel (Matthew), an eagle (John) and a lion (Mark). The central spire of Jesus Christ will be crowned with a giant cross. The height of the Temple, as conceived by Gaudi, is not accidental: his creation should not exceed the creation of God – Mount Montjuic. The rest of the towers will be decorated with sheaves of wheat and bunches of grapes, symbolizing Holy Communion.
The façade of the Nativity, most of which was created during Gaudí’s lifetime, is formed by three portals glorifying the Christian virtues – Faith, Hope and Mercy. The portals are decorated with realistic sculptures dedicated to the earthly life of Christ. So, above the left portal of Hope, scenes of the betrothal of Mary and Joseph, flight to Egypt and beating of babies are presented, and its top symbolically depicts Mount Montserrat with the inscription “ Save us “. The right portal of Vera contains the sculptural paintings “Meeting Elizabeth with the Mother of God”, “Jesus and the Pharisees”, “Entrance into the Temple” and “Jesus Working in the Carpenter’s Workshop”. Above the central portal, under the Christmas star, there are sculptural groups “The Birth of Jesus” and “The Adoration of the Shepherds and Magi”, and above them are figures of trumpeting angels announcing the birth of Christ, scenes of the Annunciation and the Wedding of the Holy Virgin, etc. High above the portal rises a symbolic church and her flock a cypress tree crowned with a cross surrounded by birds.
The spindly shape of the bell towers, reminiscent of sandcastles, is determined by the structure of the spiral staircases inside. Each tower is dedicated to its own apostle, whose statues are placed at the points where the shape of the towers changes from square to round. In the upper part of the towers, Gaudí intended to place tubular bells, the ringing of which would be combined with the sound of five organs and the voices of 1,500 chanters, located, according to the architect, on both sides of the longitudinal naves and on the inside of the Glory facade. On each bell tower, from top to bottom, there is the motto “Glory to the Almighty” (“Hosanna Excelsis”), above which rise polychrome spiers, decorated with a stylized image of the symbols of episcopal dignity – the Ring, Mithra, Wand and Cross.
Liturgy texts are widely used in decoration, the main gate of the Passion Facade is decorated with quotations from the Bible in several languages, including Catalan. The facade of Glory is supposed to be decorated with the words of the Apostolic Creed.
Knowing that the temple would not be completed during his lifetime, Gaudí planned many of the interior details. The desire to avoid straight lines, together with the desire to simplify the design, led to the principle decision to use geometric figures with a ruled surface, such as hyperboloid, hyperbolic paraboloid, helicoid and conoid. All these surfaces can be obtained by moving a straight line, therefore their intersection is a straight line, which greatly facilitates the articulation of various parts of the structure. The design uses another geometric figure – an ellipsoid.
Geometric shapes appeared in the project after about 1914. The master’s earlier experiments with the form of columns and other interior details do not yet contain the above-mentioned strict geometric surfaces, but indicate the architect’s desire to find certain spatial solutions known to him alone. Thus, when decorating the interior of the facade of the Nativity, Gaudí used round columns with a helicoidal or double helicoidal pattern in the upper part of the trunk, and in the portal of the Rosary, twisted columns with flutes twisted in the form of one or more helicoids are used.
Everything in the interior is subject to strict geometric laws. Round and elliptical windows and stained-glass windows, hyperbolic vaults, helicoidal staircases, numerous stars that appear at the intersection of various ruled surfaces and ellipsoids decorating the columns – this is an incomplete list of the geometric details of the Temple’s decoration.
The main load-bearing element in the construction of the main volume of the church are the columns that distribute the weight of the towers and vaults. Depending on the magnitude of the load, the columns differ in section thickness and height. The sections of the base of the columns have the shape of stars with a different number of vertices (from 4 to 12, which is determined by the load on the column) with a slight parabolic rounding of the rays on the inner and outer diameters. With height, the sectional shape of the columns gradually turns from a star into a circle, which occurs due to an increase in the number of grooves, achieved by simultaneously turning the original star template to the left and right. As you approach the vaults, the columns branch out, creating a never-before-seen structure in the form of a forest. This unusual architectural solution was originally dictated by a structural necessity: the search for the center of gravity of the part of the vault resting on the column.
Images of interior elements
- The unusual appearance of the temple made it one of the main attractions of Barcelona. According to the newspaper El Periódico de Catalunya , in 2006 the construction was visited by 2.26 million people, which puts the object on a par with the Prado Museum and the Alhambra Palace in popularity.
- Started and continued solely on private donations, construction is being carried out on a site that does not belong to the Church and is not supervised by the episcopate. As a result, sometimes observed in Russian-language texts and oral practice, the naming of the church Sagrada Familia cathedral is erroneous. It should be remembered that the main diocesan church of Barcelona remains the Cathedral of St. Eulalia (“La Seu”) in the Old City, and not the church Sagrada Familia.
- In 2008, a group of more than 400 Spanish cultural figures called for a halt to the construction of the temple. In their opinion, the creation of the great architect was the victim of a careless, inept restoration for the sake of the tourism industry.
- Completion of the construction is hampered by the difficulty of manufacturing stone blocks that form the eccentric forms of the structure. According to the computer model, each of them requires individual processing and fitting.
- According to the Spanish government, the temple will be fully completed no earlier than 2026.
- On November 7, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI consecrated the Sagrada Familia, as it was deemed fit for church services.
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