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
- 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!)
- The first stone was laid in 1882.
- Gaudí lived on site and dedicated the last years of his life to this project. He was unpaid!
- 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.
- 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.
- He was buried in the crypt in the cathedral.
- 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.
- Construction was and still is funded by visitors and donators.
- 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.
- Their Twitter account gives frequent updates on the construction and also provides more fun facts!
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.
- 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!