History and information of the Basilica symbol of Barcelona
The Sagrada Familia is unquestionably the symbol of the city of Barcelona. This is the one place that no tourist should miss out on seeing as much for the stunning stroll around the inside of the church as for the experience itself.
Five generations have already passed since the first stone that is part of the majestic church of The Holy Family was laid: this took place in 1882 when the ambitious project of the genius that was AntoniGaudí was actually launched. A man whose architectural style and techniques were unique the world over. Gaudí conceived this place of worship taking the traditions of earlier Gothic and Byzantine cathedrals and managed to achieve a symbiosis between the shapes and symbolism of Christianity, taking his inspiration from the natural world and paying great attention to light and color. As a result of this, each one of the famous eighteen towers of the Sagrada Familia has its own strong symbolism: Jesus Christ is located in the center, surrounded by the four evangelists; the unique apse tower which is crowned by a star, represents the Virgin Mary and the twelve remaining towers, the twelve apostles. After the death of Barcelona's most famous architect in 1926, work on the construction of the Sagrada Familia continued without interruption, despite the horrendous acts of vandalism which were suffered during the Civil War: it is estimated that the building will reach completion in 2026, exactly 100 years after the death of its creator and in accordance with his original wishes.
The Sagrada Familia: useful information
The opening times for the Sagrada Familia ,throughout the year, are from 09:00 until around 19:00 in the evening, except at Christmas, when the doors close at 14:00. The cost of entry can vary from €15.00 to €29.00 depending on the type of visit that you choose, (for example, if you wish to use an audio-guide or if you wish to visit the towers). The church is located in the central area of the city, although it is quite a distance from the busiest streets, if you want to get there without any stress: if you are coming from the center, you can walk along Carrer d'Aragó in an easterly direction and then climb towards Carrer de la Marina. In any event, it is also easy to travel there on the Metro lines either on the Violet L2 or the Blue L5 towards the station of the same name. There are also plenty of buses that travel to the area of the Sagrada Familia: routes 19, 33, 34, 43, 44, 50, 51, B20 and B24. It is also worth knowing that students who carry a student card can take advantage of discounted pricing, as well as children, pensioners and groups.
Important Information: from the 1st of January 2019, in order to access the Sagrada Familia with an official guide, individual tickets are no longer valid. It is vital to remember to purchase tickets that show "group with a guide."
Interesting information about the Sagrada Familia
Of the eighteen towers that were envisioned by Gaudí, at present, only eight have actually been built and those who wish to visit them should not succumb easily to physical fatigue, just be ready for a slight financial surprise. In fact, on the basic ticket, a visit to the towers is not included which can solely be experienced by using the lift to ascend, whereas the descent is only possible via the entrancing spiral staircase with its spectacular displays of light. In 1914, Antoni Gaudí decided to abandon all the other projects he had in hand in order to dedicate himself completely to the realization of the basilica of The Holy Family, in which, his spirit lives on today. Barcelona's most illustrious architect was buried in the chapel of the Virgen del Carmen, right inside the church's crypt.
Visiting the Sagrada Familia
Barcellona.shop can provide you with the opportunity of visiting the Sagrada Familia by booking a fascinating tour right on this web page. You can choose the shared tour of the Sagrada Familia, on which a bilingual tour guide will relate the history of the exterior of this amazing church and will then lead the group on a tour of the interior which will take everybody's breath away. For an complete visit, you can choose the tour of the S. Familia + the towers, which will allow you to use the lift to go up one of the basilica's original towers, enabling you to admire stunning views of the city from on high. When it comes to the descent, this will be made via the extraordinary spiral staircase. There is also the possibility of visiting Park Güell and the Sagrada Familia, with transport included! This is a great opportunity to experience a day of effortlessly exploring two of Barcelona's most stunning attractions: in fact, by buying one of our tours, you will already have your entry to these tourist attractions included so you won't have to worry about how to go about making a booking.
The facades of the Sagrada Familia
The inspirational creation of the Sagrada Familia presents three facades, of which, two have already been completed. The Facade of the Passion and the Facade of the Nativity.The third facade which is still incomplete, is the Facade of Glory.
The Facade of the Passion
The Facade of the Passion is located on the west side of the Basilica, overlooking Carrer Sardenya and is a work by Josep Maria Subirachs who worked on it from 1987. His style is unmistakable: straight, geometric lines which form a strong contrast with the full and also cavernous style of the building, the positive and the negative in regards to symbolism. At the same time, the sculptor re-emphasizes Gaudí's project in accordance with the original designs which convert the Sagrada Familia into an open book about the stories that are told in The Bible and in particular, in the Gospels. The result is an ordered set of sculptural groups that relate a story, an anecdote or even a legend.
The Facade of the Passion actually provides a certain order in which it should be viewed chronologically and follows the form of an "S" starting at the bottom left hand side until you reach the highest point on the right. In this order, you will see representations of the Last Supper which is seen first, followed by the sculpted image of a soldier by an olive tree in which, where you can see Malchus's ear, the slave who accompanied the soldiers who were led by Judas Iscariot to arrest Jesus in the Garden of Olives. This representation is explained in the story of The Passion as it is narrated in The Bible: Peter suddenly woke up on the arrival of the soldiers and with his sword, he cut off the ear of Malchus but he was stopped by Jesus who said the words "All who draw the sword shall perish by the sword." The story on the Facade of the Passion at the Sagrada Familia continues with Judas's kiss of betrayal, at whose feet lies a serpent which symbolizes evil and which is divided by the first of the three large doors of the facade. On the lower part of the Facade of the Passion, there are actually three doors, each of which reflects the voices of the evangelical texts which narrate the various stages of Christ's Passion: on the door to the left, can be seen the prayer from the Garden of Olives, on the central door, the interrogation by the Sanhedrin is represented and on the right hand door, there is reference to Pontius Pilate and the crown of thorns which also comes from an extract of the text of Dante's "Paradise." All the texts that can be seen are written in Catalan.
The story continues with the flagellation which shows Christ tied to a column and which is divided into four parts which make reference to the symbolism of the cross. The iconography of the Passion is also explicit in the representation of the Three Days of the Passion which are represented by a knot, (which symbolizes martyrdom), a cane (which represents scorn) and a dwarf palm (which symbolizes the Resurrection). It carries on with the narration of Peter's denial of Christ three times before the cock crows and a labyrinth can be seen which represents the sacrifice that must be made in order to reach God. Also visible on the Facade of the Passion is a "magic square" which is also referred to as "the magic table" or the "esoteric table" whose mathematical combinations always come to the number 33: Christ's age when he died. Going up on the left, you can see a man with a spear and the soldiers who are fighting over Christ's robes in a game. The main scene is that of the Crucifixion in which a skull can be seen beneath the cross, a symbol of death which is positioned on a rough stone which then leads to the Resurrection in the Holy Sepulcher of the body and soul after death.
The Facade of the Nativity
The Facade of the Nativity is the only one to have been finished whilst Gaudí was still alive and was constructed between 1894 and 1930. It is specifically dedicated to life which is celebrated in the happy event of Jesus's birth. This is on the northeast side of the Sagrada Familia and has been the object of tourists' admiration for the longest time.The original sculptures are the work of Carles Mani, Llorenç and Joan Matamala with contributions from Jaume Busquets, Joaquim Ros i Bofarull and Etsuro Sotoo. The decorations which adorn this side of the basilica evoke life in all its myriad aspects, including those that are quite everyday and populist and can be identified by the representation of work tools and domestic animals.