We went to La Sagrada Familia next and found a place to eat while we waited for our entrance time. We tried some tapas since the menu del dia (a meal of the day that provides an appetizer, entrée, drink, and dessert) wasn’t available until 1pm. I also had an orange juice, which was freshly squeezed. Forgot to take a photo before I started drinking it.
We also tried some tapas. Calcots with romesco sauce and a type of potato salad.
Anyway, after the yummy food we meandered back to the church.
As you can see it’s still under construction. They’ve been building this thing for over 130 years so far.
La Sagrada Familia translates into the Sacred/Holy Family. It is a church dedicated to Joseph (father of Jesus), Mary (mother of Jesus), and Jesus. It was started in 1882 and is planned to be finished in 2026. Antoní Gaudí was hired in 1883 as the head architect after the original one, Francisco Paula de Villar, resigned. After Gaudí passed away in 1926, his remains were placed in the church.
Other general facts, there are 3 façades. The Nativity, Passion, and Glory façades. The Nativity façade was completed while Gaudí was alive, the Passion façade was finished in 1976, and the Glory façade was started in 2002 and remains unfinished. The Nativity façade faces East, the Passion façade faces West, and the Glory façade faces South.
There are 18 spires planned, as of yet there are only 8 finished. 12 for the apostles, 4 for the Evangelists (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), 1 for the Virgin Mary, and the tallest for Jesus. When it’s finished this will be the tallest church in the world. However, Gaudí believed that the building shouldn’t be taller than God’s creation, so the church will be 1 meter shorter than Montjüic hill (184.8m) in Barcelona.
Going into La Sagrada Familia seemed slightly underwhelming at first because the outside was a bit monochromatic. But as the audioguide described the first facade (the Nativity facade) I was looking at, I realized that a lot of time and effort went into it.
The Nativity facade has a scene depicting the baby Jesus and his parents surrounded by shepherds, the wise men, angels and animals.
There is other decoration in the form of plants and other animals, to help signify life. There is a turtle/tortoise and a sea turtle at the base of the columns flanking the entrance. The turtle/tortoise on the side of the mountain, and the sea turtle on the side closest to the sea.
The next part was looking at the doors of the entrance, which were made out of bronze by a Japanese sculptor, Etsuo Sotoo. The doors are amazing works of art with different kinds of bugs and plants.
The kicker was entering the church. The ceiling escapes into a canopy. Gaudí mimicked much of his designs after nature. The columns are designed after trees.
The East side stained glass windows have cooler colors (blues and greens) where the sun rises and the West side has warmer colors (oranges and yellows) where the sun sets.
The passion façade was finished much more recently. Here you can see a lot of different details. There are different scenes depicting Jesus’ death and resurrection. The lower pillars were simulated after straining muacles and the higher lighter color pillars are after ribs. And, if you look closely at the second photo, you can see an ascended Jesus at the top.
We also were able to go up into the tower on the Passion façade and see really how high up we were. The view was amazing, and the spiraling staircase down was at times disorienting.
By the way, my apologies for the lack of some more detailed photos. I was too busy looking at everything to remember to take photos. I’ll get a link for my friend’s photos, since she took more photos of everything.
Also, internet connection has been spotty and slow in most areas. I will try to update more often.