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.

Texts

Texts

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.