Sagrada Familia Temple – Barcelona – Photos

Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia

I visited the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona during my Spanish trip to visit the Sitges Quilt Show.  I’m ashamed to say that when I first saw it I thought that all the cranes and builders were doing restoration work.  In fact the building is still under construction.  Work began on it in 1882 and although the interior of the church is complete and has been consecrated, the exterior is still being built.  they are hoping to complete it by 2026 to commemorate the death of Antoni Gaudi in 1926.

Gaudi was the second architect to work on the construction and more or less devoted his life to it.  The church is beautiful on the outside, but totally, eyewateringly, exquisite on the inside.  I feel that I want to call it a cathedral, but apparently it is technically a minor basilica because it does not have a bishop.

Exterior detail

Exterior detail

Sagrada Familia exterior

The outside of the Sagrada is a mix of colours because the stone has been added over such a long period.  The design is extraordinary for its attention to detail.  There are holes in the stonework to allow the sounds of the music to reach out to the people of Barcelona. Eighteen spires will eventually reach above the church, representing Mary, the twelve Apostles, the four Evangelists and of course Jesus himself.  His spire will be the tallest.

Statues everywhere

Statues everywhere

Every aspect of the building has a religious reason behind it.  There are statues and columns and readings every where you turn.  A real feast for the eyes.



This section has passages of the Bible engraved in the stone.   Some words are highlighted in white against the blue of the other words.

Light shining through the stained glass windows

Light shining through the stained glass windows

Interior of Sagrada Familia

Step inside and the light is the first thing to hit you.  The stained glass windows are enormous .  They are designed so that the light shining through them is shaded through a particular colour range.  For example the windows nearest the door produced green/blue light which faded to gold from the windows further down the side.  The effect is stunning.

Blue stained glass

Blue stained glass

Here they are coloured blue, highlighting the statue.

Everything about the interior is planned to the last detail.  They are still using the plans and drawings produced by Gaudi before he died.  The length and breadth of the church are particular multiples – the only trouble is that I can’t remember what they are multiples of.  Sorry – that’s my age catching up with me!

Columns represent trees

Columns represent trees

The columns are made in different stones partly to represent different aspects of the bible, but also so that the ones that need to bear the greatest weight can be made from a stronger stone.  They are designed to represent trees and you can see the branches of the trees at the top of the columns.  This particular photo was taken in a mirror which allows you to see more clearly into the heights of the Sagrada Familia – so the branches are actually at the bottom of the photo.

The Altar

Sagrada Familia altar

Sagrada Familia altar

With all the stunning beauty and decoration throughout the church, the altar is a lovely contrast – very simple.  You can just see the top of the altar at the bottom of the photo with Christ suspended above it in a halo of lights.

View of the inside

View of the inside

I have been lucky enough to visit many beautiful places in my travels over the last few years.  I think that this building must definitely rank amongst the most beautiful that I have seen.

This view of the overall interior gives you some idea of the size of it.  There are no little chapels or anything to distract from the overall beauty.  Gaudi had wanted to give the feel of a forest and he certainly succeeded in that.

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  1. Querida Rose
    Muy bellas fotos!! Gracias. Un abrazo con mucho afecto.

  2. Rose, These photos are stunning.
    Whenever I see buildings of interest like this cathedral I think
    of the workmen, tradesmen and stained glass artist who bought the
    architects drawings to life. It took me awhile to study this week’s
    quilt pattern to see the reverse placement of the flowers.
    The floral dance quilt on the sewing quarter channel the flowers looked liked trumpet lilies.
    Hope they intend having you back you were a natural.
    Thanks Rose.

    • Thanks so much, Mary. I prefer the thought of trumpet lilies to the producer’s idea of pigs’trotters! Yes I am hoping to do some more demonstrations for Sewing Quarter. I’m planning on working on some new designs over the weekend.
      I agree with you about the workmen – we tend to think of Gaudi’s Sagrada when in fact over the years thousands of workmen have contributed to it.

  3. I am so jealous, My Daughter and son in law had planned to visit Europe and asked me to join them in the Spain and Portugal section. Unfortunately His Grandmother passed away and we didn’t get there, I have been wanting to view the Sagrada Familia for many years I am hoping next summer will be a go.
    Thanks for the lovely quilt pattern and Photos.

    • Hi Elizajane. I hope that you do manage to get to Spain. It’s a wonderful country. When you visit the Sagrada it’s worth buying your entrance tickets online in advance. They are hoping to complete the Sagrada by 2024 to coincide with 100 years since Gaudi’s death.

  4. Rose those photos are gorgeous. The blue stained glass is my very favourite but I love the greens too. Quilt ideas for you there??
    While we are nearing winter, you’ll be having warmer weather. All our Autumn coloured leaves are mostly lying sodden on the ground after some welcome rain and unwelcome wind yesterday. Very dry here.
    Cheers from Ballarat, Judi.

    • Hi Judi. Definitely some quilt inspiration in the Sagrada. It was wonderful the way the light was coloured all through the building because of the colour in the windows. Yes, we have definitely had some lovely spring weather. Unfortunately today we have a bad storm forecast so the craft market that I was hoping to go to has been cancelled.

  5. Carol S. says:

    Beautiful, Rose! Thank you again for sharing your wonderful pictures! God Bless, Carol S.

  6. sheila Lymn says:

    hi Rose what would we do with out you sharing your travels with us,thank you and yes WOW you were great on Sewing quarter ,I can now see how you put your work together mmm interesting ,felt like a fly on the wall
    love as always Sheila xx

    • Hi Sheila. Many thanks for your kind comments. I really enjoyed being able to share my photos of the Sagrada. My nerves for the Sewing Quarter appearance were unjustified – everyone there went out of their way to relax me.

  7. Sandra Barnett says:

    Oh Rose,
    No I have never been in that building I certainly would have remembered it. It is fantastic and gorgeous Love the way he designed it and that they are still following his plans even though he is dead.
    Thank you for this tour You always bring such interesting things back from one of your trips. Thank you so much. It is a joy to see them.

    • Hi Sandra. I think that I’m lucky to be able to share my holiday pics. The beauty of that trip was being able to combine the quilts of the Sitges quilt show with some amazingly beautiful buildings in Barcelona.

  8. Fay Morris says:

    I have seen the outside but the queue wanting to go inside was too long and we were unable to wait. So I am very glad to see part of what I missed inside.
    Great that you are able to wake up happy memories in others. Happy Easter

    • Hi Fay. We did the same – looked at the queue and walked away. We were there long enough, though, that we could book tickets online and then go back the next day. I am so glad that we did see the inside. I’m hoping to go back in a few years when it has been completed.

  9. Thank you for sharing those beautiful pictures with us, Rose. Such an amazing work of art!

    • Hi Gerri. An eyewateringly beautiful building – and so much of the detail still following Gaudi’s plans, even nearly 100 years after his death.

  10. Irena mangone says:

    Beautiful. Rose thank you for sharing. A blessed Easter to you.

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