La Sagrada Família (Church of the Sacred Family)#5 in Best Things To Do in Barcelona
From 1882 up until his death in 1926, Catalan Art Nouveau master Antoni Gaudí devoted himself to the construction of La Sagrada Família (Church of the Sacred Family), a towering Gothic-style-with-a-twist church. And even then, he was unable to finish; Gaudí was known for saying "My client (God) is in no hurry." The church, which is funded by private donations, is still under construction today and is said to be completed by 2026.
La Sagrada Família is not only considered to be Gaudí most recognized work, but also his best. Believe it or not, this church wasn't always Gaudí's. The architect that was first commissioned to do the church, Francesc del Paula Villar, was replaced after disagreeing with promoters of the church. When Gaudí took on the project, he changed it entirely. Instead of the original neo-Gothic style, he looked toward something more innovative. While the church does feature Gothic elements, there are plenty of unconventional details that deviate from that norm throughout, resulting in an eye-catching structure that is entirely one of a kind.
Even if you're not all that interested in architecture, you're sure to find this church — like Gaudí's other work — a feast for the eyes and full of symbolism. Gaudí's main goal for La Sagrada Família was to teach people about Catholicism through architecture. The best place to see this is right outside of the church, where you'll odes all over. The four towers represent the 12 apostles and the intricately carved facades at the base show the life of Christ, from his birth, death and resurrection. La Sagrada Família's interior are just as striking, from the smooth, nearly white stone columns to the rows of vibrant stained-glass windows.
Travelers were in complete awe of the the church's magnificent architecture. So much so that visitors who have been to La Sagrada Família before always make it a case to come back and see it again when they are in Barcelona. Visitors strongly suggested taking your time with this attraction; there's so much to observe and even more details to take in both inside and out. Considering its popularity, travelers warn that no matter what time you visit, there will always be crowds. As such, it's smart to book tickets online in advance to avoid lines.
The closest metro stop to La Sagrada Família is Monumental or Verdaguer. You can take a quick peek of the church outside for free, but you'll have to pay 15 euros for admission (or $17.50) to go in and explore (travelers highly recommend doing so). The church opens at 9 a.m. year-round but closing hours vary by season. Keep in mind that the church enforces a dress code. Anyone wearing hats, shirts that don't cover shoulders completely and shorts or skirts that don't go over the knee will not be admitted. For more information, check out La Sagrada Família's website.
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