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Visiting the Sagrada Familia

Every single guide I studied previous to arriving in Barcelona had the exact same number one must-see: the Sagrada Familia. Many people visiting Barcelona intend on visiting the Sagrada Familia, but end up eliminating it from the to-do list due to the long lines, crazy tourists, and notorious pick pockets wandering around waiting to sneak off with a distracted bystander's iPhone or wallet. However, I am joining the the bandwagon. If you come to Barcelona, or even just to Spain for an afternoon, YOU MUST SEE THIS AMAZING CHURCH!

The idea that this historical building is a cathedral is actually a myth: it is a church! It is a giant building that Antoni Gaudi worked on for 43 years up until his death in 1926. The church is a work in progress, but architects predict the completion date to be 2026. When complete, the church will consist of 18 towers: 12 for the apostles, 4 for the evangelists, 1 for Virgin Mary, and 1 for Jesus Christ. The tallest tower which has yet to be created will stand 1.5 times taller than the existing tallest tower. This tower will be dedicated to Jesus Christ. The entire construction has been funded by locals and tourists from the beginning. The ticket costs are helping construction workers attain the goal of completion by 2026.

Gaudi committed his entire career to creating this church. He was able to work at all hours of the day because he had no family or money. He actually lived inside of the building in an underground office space he created. When he would run out of money for supplies, he went door-to-door begging his neighbors to contribute to the project. He wanted to create something revolutionary, and I believe everyone who has encountered the Sagrada Familia would agree that he attained his goal. Every single aspect of the church building overflows with symbolism. Gaudi was obsessed with the outdoors and all things nature. He believed that organic elements and shapes should inspire our buildings because all things created by man should reflect the glory of God. He desired for a visitor of the church to be able to experience the Gospel in full glory through the elements of design, size, and color.

Walking through the Sagrada Familia was a spiritual experience for me. I feel very connected to Barcelona, the residents, and this city's past due to my time in the church. It is well worth the visit.

  • Address: Carrer del Guadiana, 13
  • Neighborhood: L'Eixample
  • Hours: Everyday! Oct-Mar 9am-6 pm, Apr-Sept 9am-8pm
  • Admission: 12 Euros
  • * Purchase tickets ahead of time online to skip the lines!

Grace Pearson is the Summer 2015 CEA MOJO Blogger in Barcelona, Spain. She is currently a senior at Belmont University.

 View looking straight up from
the center of the church.
 Gaudi designed the stained glass windows
to shine different colors through the church
at different times of the day.
 The tall pillars were designed to immolate
palm trees and seem infinite.
 Here is an example of how massive and
tall the pillar are in comparison to the alter.

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