La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain: A Complete Guide

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History has its own woven stories and theories around us. It is quite surprising how some significant pieces of history remain unfinished or incomplete yet are beautiful in their way. La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is one such iconic landmark that is sure to visit and explore at least once in your lifetime. 

Basílica de la Sagrada Família is a church that has its legendary beauty and specialized architectural design which bring out its unique beauty. Though the church is still on its way to see the completion, it is estimated that by the end of the year 2026, this place is expected to be complete.

The whole fact that, despite the ongoing construction, this place never fails to attract a huge population of locals and tourists.

Sagrada Familia History:

Going back to the actual history from where it all began, in the year 1874 a local religious organization drafted an idea to build a church to honor the holy family in the land of Barcelona. Ideas were made and the complete layout was drafted under its original architect, Francisco de Paula del Villar y Lozano. It’s right, Lozano was the first designer who laid the plan of the church which later was led to changes by Gaudí. It is said that Lozano faced some differences with his team and creative leads due to which he dropped the project in between which was later continued by Gaudí. With Gaudi’s plan in execution, the church saw some major changes in the architecture and interior design which was shifted completely from neo-gothic to modern architecture. Gaudi then later dedicated himself completely to this project but only could live to see the rise of the first tower of the church, the Nativity façade. 

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After his death, the architects have tried their level best to implement nothing but only the design he created but unfortunately, there were changes made as some parts were extremely difficult to understand. But with Gaudi’s plan as a guide, the plan has been continuing so far with certain changes and new additions but on an overall note, the place has been progressing great.

The best highlight of Sagrada Familia

There’s no doubt to the fact that this place is incredibly beautiful but the main highlight of the church remains its first pillar, the Nativity façade, which was constructed under Gaudi’s supervision himself. The man behind the iconic layout of this plan had some other idea but unfortunately couldn’t live to see it come alive.

1. Crypt

Crypt is the oldest part of the church that was designed in complete Neo-Renaissance style and some rich designs and decors. Gaudi is buried right here on the right side of the altar. The mosaic floors here have vines, leaves, and root pattern designs on them which makes them one of the most beautiful parts of the church. 

2. The Sagrada Familia Museum

Paying a deep tribute to all the hard work and effort Gaudi put in behind designing this masterpiece, there is a museum here wherein you can find all the designs, plans, models, scales, and all those things which show how dedicated was Gaudi in creating this basilica and what revolutionary ideas he had visioned for this place. The place was set up mainly to make people realize Gaudi’s role in crafting the church’s design.

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3. Glory Facade

This is believed to be the most largest and elaborated facades of all others. The structure here symbolizes the main elements of this life and hereafter i.e, death, heaven, hell, judgment, glory, and justice. The main column here in the portico is represented with seven deadly sins and seven stages of heaven. 

4. Passion Facade

Passion façade was developed with a very interesting concept and message by Gaudi. He dedicated the whole theme and design of this place to symbolize the crucifixion and suffering of Jesus. the place has a unique sense of sentiment here wherein it talks about the pain, injustice, and sins of a man. The Passion Façade faces the sunset and has embellishments that speak about the last night of christ’s life.

5. Gaudi’s tomb

Another best highlight of this place is the basement corridor which leads you to Gaudi’s tomb in La Sagrada. Book a ticket to visit the top tower of this church to witness the real bird’s eye view of Barcelona.                 

When to visit Basilica De La Sagrada Familia

We recommend visiting this masterpiece during the early morning hours to avoid crowds or maybe in the evening just before sunset so that you can witness the beautiful golden rays spilling across the blue/green church glass windows. It feels magical to be in here at this hour of the day. 

Tickets

It’s best to book your tickets online beforehand according to your travel plans. It is comparatively cheaper and easy to make your way through the basilica directly. 

Moreover, the line is often very long here for tickets and the authorities regulate a certain number of visitors in the church for a day. So to avoid all that hush and bush, book your tickets in advance.

Make sure you book your tickets for the entrance and to visit the Sagrada towers separately. The crypt here is the UNESCO world heritage site. You cannot afford to miss this place particularly among all. It’s amazing.

Photography rules in La Sagrada Familia

The place is stunning and one cannot resist taking exclusive pictures here. but as per the Basilica rules, you cannot use flash for taking pictures or tripod stands for particular location photography. To respect the holy essence of the place, they maintained it all these years by not allowing the place to become a spotlight center for photography purposes. You can take pictures to keep them as a memory but not use the location for any professional reason.

Dressing rules 

  • Visitors cannot wear hats
  • Short, skimp clothes are not allowed
  • Explosive clothes aren’t allowed. Plunging necklines and backlines are a strict no.
  • Only long-length skirts are allowed, no short skirts.
  • No special clothing, simple everyday dress code to be maintained while visiting the place.

How to reach La Sagrada

One of the best ways to reach this place is by opting for public transport. There’s a train station nearby through which you can reach here easily. Also, there are local buses which easily facilitate people to reach the place. There’s a separate entrance for all the general public to collect their tickets at the arrival spot. 

The place is incredibly beautiful and most of the time, people miss a spot to notice the little details here. traveling by local transport enables you to visually enjoy all details in and around the place as well.

Timings

November – February 9 am to 6 pm.

March & October 9 am to 7 pm.

April – September 9 am to 8 pm.

25 and 26 December, 1 and 6 January 9 am to 2 pm.

Read More, Best Things to do in Barcelona, Spain

We hope this blog was helpful enough for you to plan on a visit to the La Sagrada Familia. Make sure you don’t miss out on noticing any details of the place. It looks absolutely beautiful and stunning from every side and angle. Also, there’s a lake across the basilica from where you can enjoy a better view of the exterior entrance with water reflecting the beautiful building and trees passing with a fresh breeze. 

We’d also recommend you to visit the Carmel Bunker spot from where you can enjoy the beautiful Barcelona view and notice how magnificent is the Basilica.

Let us know what you think of this place.

Stay safe, stay happy.

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