10 Facts About the Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia

Carrer de Mallorca, 401, 08013 Barcelona, Spain

I had only one site in mind for my trip to Barcelona way before I started planning and fleshing out our itinerary and it was the Sagrada Familia. I knew it is glorious from the photos I’ve seen but seeing it in person still took my breath away. Sugarface and I spent an afternoon there listening to the audio tour and detail hunting. The abundant intricacies and majestic grandeur were a feast for the eyes. If you only see one thing in Barcelona, make it the Sagrada Familia! Here’s a list of ten facts to further entice you.

10 Facts about the Sagrada Familia

  1. This cathedral is regarded as Antoni Gaudí’s unfinished masterpiece. He spent about 40 years designing and building the Sagrada Familia. It’s scheduled to be finished in ten years, around the 100 year anniversary of Gaudi’s death. (Many are skeptical about this deadline being met but I am optimistic!)

  2. The first stone was laid in 1882.

  3. Gaudí lived on site and dedicated the last years of his life to this project. He was unpaid!
  4. Only the apse, crypt, and the Eastern facade dedicated to the Nativity were completed before he died. I learned what an apse is with the audio tour; it’s an semicircular recess covered with a semi-dome.

  5. Gaudí was hit by a tram and due to his shabby dress and lack of paper identifications, the hospital mistook him for a beggar and neglected care. He died three days later.

  6. He was buried in the crypt in the cathedral.

  7. After his death, his assistant Domènec Sugrañes took over for 12 years. Since then a handful of architects and sculptors have collaborated on the finishing of this project, some of whom worked closely with Gaudí.

  8. Construction was and still is funded by visitors and donators.

  9. Occasionally, masses are held at the cathedral, but it is invite only. You can stalk the website for details on how to acquire invitations once there’s a mass scheduled.

  10. Their Twitter account gives frequent updates on the construction and also provides more fun facts!
  11. Sources for my list of fun facts: multiple guidebooks, the Sagrada website, the audio tour onsite, and our fun bike tour guide from Fat Tire Tours.

Sagrada Familia

Visiting Tips

  • Buy tickets online to save time from waiting in long lines.
  • Access to towers and spiral staircases are not included with general admission. We learned this the sad way.

  • You can buy discounted combined tickets if you purchase admission to both the Sagrada and Casa Museu Gaudí, located adjacent to another famous Gaudí creation, the Park Güell.

The following shots are from Sugarface’s phone camera!

Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia


Tell me about your favorite historic site!

  • South Austin Foodie

    I was there in 2005 and it was so not finished; DYING to go baaaack! Love all things Gaudi!

    • I kept telling Sugarface we’re going back when it’s done! Group trip!?

      • South Austin Foodie

        Claro que si! :)

  • I would love to go back there once it’s complete! Such a beautiful building!

  • San

    Such a fascinating building!

  • One of my favorite sights in the world! My favorite thing about it is that Gaudi’s work on it showed his spiritual journey and architects after him have given their own interpretation and representation of their own journeys.

  • mef

    It looks like a really beautiful place. I’m glad you and Sugarface got to explore it and share!

  • Fung

    Wasn’t the audioguia amazing? (We couldn’t stop saying audioguia after our trip to Spain.) I love Segrada because when you see new photos of the cathedral, you stalk all the photos to see if you can spot progress since the last time you’ve been.

    • Now I can’t stop saying audioguia! Audioguia, audioguia, audioguia.

  • lisasyarns

    Wow, that is just stunning. The amount of detail is just unbelievable. I really really hope they meet their goal of completing it in time for the 100 year mark!

    I think my favorite historical building is the Notre Dam. It’s so grand and beautiful and the attention to detail is so great. But I think my favorite place is the ground in the back of the church. Everyone congregates in the front of the church to wait to get in, but on the other side of the church there is a beautiful garden area with trees and benches and such. I spent a good chunk of time there reading when I was in Paris in 2013 and it was such a beautiful, peaceful place to read.

    • I remember sitting across the Notre Dam in Paris with my bestie, drinking mulled wine. We did this after touring it but I’m sad to say we didn’t see the beautiful garden in the back you speak of! Ah, if only it was easier to travel.

  • WOW! Absolutely gorgeous and stunning. I can see how it took your breath away in person!