The Sagrada Familia is Barcelona’s most visited monument and for a good reason! It’s a spectacular ongoing project that continues to build on Antoni Gaudí‘s genius creation. The iconic chapel remains one of the finest examples of architecture in the world with over 3,000,000 visitors coming from all over the world to marvel at its beauty. As construction began in 1882, there has been five generations that have overseen the building of this incredible complex which is said to finally be completed in 2026. These reasons and so many more, make the building one of Spain’s must-see destinations! Here is the LivSpain list of top five reasons why it really is worth it to visit the Sagrada Familia!
#1 The Natural Symbolism
Gaudí’s work has been described as ‘gothic naturalism’. The temple is infused with elements of the natural world, ranging from animals, seashells to trees and fruit the architecture echoes and celebrates nature from top to bottom. This is unique to the temple, and one of the reasons it’s so compelling and enchanting to visitors from all around the world. You will never be able to truly picture the beauty of the inside without visiting it for yourself!
#2 Creating Art With Light
Gaudí’s use of light is nothing short of inspiring. Walk into the basilica and you’ll experience an explosion of color like nothing you’ve ever seen before! His masterful use of light is yet another link between this incredible complex and the natural world with the use of a range of different colors. The daily movements of the sun are used to highlight and enhance the facades that represent the life of Jesus; birth; passion, death and resurrection; and his glory. Depending on what time of the day that you visit the basilica, you’ll have a completely different experience, making it worth visiting over and over again! In addition to the facades, natural light also washes the basilica’s natural elements in light making a daytime visit a riotous celebration of nature, divinity, and humanity.
#3 Celebrating Christian Belief
The magnificent basilica and its surrounding structures are a perfect blend of Gothic and Byzantine style cathedral architecture. The combination of these styles, plus Gaudí’s reverence of nature make it not only architecturally unique but also a vibrant shrine to Christian belief. Once finished, there will be 18 towers: each tower was designed with huge significance to the Christian religion. The middle tower is for Jesus Christ as it is the highest and most exalted tower. Surrounding the central tower are four others that represent the Gospels. Further out, there are twelve towers to represent the twelve apostles. Jesus Christ’s mother, the Virgin Mary, is recognized in a special tower adorned with a star. All of these elements combine elegantly and are a moving and breathtaking monument to Christianity and the teachings of Christ.
#4 Gaudí’s Double-Twisted Columns
Part of what makes this UNESCO World Heritage site such a spectacular example of Barcelona architecture is Gaudí’s dual inspiration: Christianity and nature. The double-twisted columns echo both inspirations as they resemble the slender trunks of trees in a private wood and give the basilica more stability so it can safely be built higher. These columns were unlike anything that had been designed at the time, giving it a unique take on construction that sets apart the monument from any others. These architectural elements are a great example of Gaudí’s genius mind; as they combine the beauty and purpose!
#5 Heavenly Elevation
As soon as you enter the basilica you can feel an incredible sense of elevation. This unique effect is due to the helicoids and geometrical devices that look like stretched out twists. Helicoids can be found sprinkled throughout this house of worship, from the double-twist columns to the spiral staircases. They provide a fluid connection between the earthly and heavenly planes and give visitors the sense of ascension.
No trip to Barcelona would be complete without a visit to the Sagrada Familia. Visitors have described it as a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience that left them with both a feeling of calm and renewed sense of wonder as well as a connection with nature. This connection is understandable since Gaudí didn’t just draw inspiration from the natural world, he studied the way it worked. He was fascinated by the movement of stars, which influenced his helicoidal columns. He watched how animals and plants carried and supported weight, testing those methods in his own architectural endeavors to great success!
To truly feel this mix of incredible sensations you cannot just admire it from outside, you should go inside and marvel at its impressive architecture to believe it! It really is worth a visit!