2 days in Barcelona, Spain -12/9/18 - 12/10/2018

Day 2- Sagrada Familia -12/10/2018

The last time we visited the Sagrada Familia we could not get in to see the inside because the line was wrapping around the basilica and all the tickets were sold out. 

In the winter you don't even have to reserve your tickets ahead of time, you can show up and buy them at the entrance.

The Sagrada Familia is a unique basilica located in Barcelona and designed by the well-known architect Antoni Gaudí. Despite the fact that the construction of the basilica started back in 1882, the Sagrada Familia is still not finished. Nevertheless, millions of people visit the Sagrada Familia every year and with the entrance fees, the construction could be accelerated. In 2011,the organization of the Sagrada Familia reported that the Sagrada Familia should be finished in 2026, 144 years after the start.


The basilica has 3 facades and this one is the Nativity facade located at the Eastern entrance. Constructed between 1894 and 1930, the Nativity façade was the first façade to be completed.



Dedicated to the birth of Jesus, it is decorated with scenes reminiscent of elements of life. Characteristic of Gaudí's naturalistic style, the sculptures are ornately arranged and decorated with scenes and images from nature, each a symbol in its own manner.


Closer look at the Nativity scene facade.



 We came a bit early and the basilica is not open yet.  There is a small line to buy tickets and to get in.


Details on the upper part above the Nativity facade.


People are waiting to get in.. This is a very small line, you should see the line in the summer which is totally crazy.


Entering the basilica via the Nativity facade.


The leaf-covered doors of the Nativity Facade in Gaudi's Sagrada Familia are yet another example of Gaudi's modernism style. If you look closely, you can see bronze ants and ladybugs throughout the leaves and a lizard right in the middle of the door.


The inside is gigantic and designed to allow daylight to enter from all the stained glass windows.  It is really a magnificent place!


The interior of the Sagrada Familia is also strongly marked by Gaudí's personal style and inspired by nature.


To avoid the use of Gothic buttresses (support for wall), he created columns shaped like tree trunks, giving the feeling of being in a forest rather than inside a church.


Gaudi's contribution, allows the design to sustain a massive weight and helps better distribute light and sound.


Inside the light and color of the Basilica is surprising bright.  Usually when you enter a church/Basilica the interior is always very dark.  Not here it is so bright and colorful.


Closer look at the stained glass windows.


The inside is huge and can fit up to 14,000 people so imagine how crowded this place is during the summer that they cannot accommodate all the tourists.



The central nave rises above the others significantly. To each nave a door is assigned to the unfinished glory facade. There are also two side portals that lead to the penance chapel and baptistery.


The altar.


Organ located at the altar.


The benches also have a modern feel.

Ceiling on top of the altar that looks like the sun and Marigold flowers to me.


Closer view of the ceiling


Columns that are designed to look like tree branches..


Ceiling details located on the side way of the basilica.


Stained glass windows light reflection to the ceiling.




The Crypt is the oldest part of the Basilica and the place where Gaudi was buried in 1926.


View from the crypt looking down.



The light changes flooding the basilica with warm colors.


Beautiful stained glass windows.



Gaudi decided to encourage worship and introspection by allowing light to flood in through numerous windows, vaults and skylights.


Gaudi incorporated color to the tiles, glass, vaults, and stained glass windows.  The colored glass is darkest closest to the ground and becomes more translucent the further up it goes.



The lighting is a feast to the eye.

Gaudi incorporated the names of saints and holy places around the world.  Joan-Vila-Grau has been working on them since 1991 according to guidelines established by Gaudi.






From inside the basilica you have access to the Passion facade.  It is enclosed so you cannot get in this area from the outside.

Bronze door leading to the Passion facade.  You can see the word "Jesus" in gold standing from the rest.


The door contains text from the New testament depicting the Passion of Christ.


If you walk around to the exact opposite side of the basilica, you will find the Passion Façade. Started in 1987 and still currently under construction, this is the second of the three planned facades. As you gaze upon this exterior, you will immediately realize that it is a stark contrast from the Nativity facade at the entrance.  Every sharp cut and harsh edge of the figures that decorate this outside wall are a far-cry from the traditional softness and organic shapes that are found upon the Nativity façade.  Going against Gaudi’s original plans, this intentional design choice gives the somber scenes depicted a sense of gravity and deliberate sorrow.


In contrast to the highly decorated Nativity Façade, the Passion Facade is austere, plain and simple, with ample bare stone, and is carved with harsh straight lines to resemble the bones of a skeleton. Dedicated to the Passion of Christ, the suffering of Jesus during his crucifixion, the façade was intended to portray the sins of man.



Another bronze door located at the Passion Facade.


Our visit is now over and we are on our way out.



Next..Day 2-Montjuic castle





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