While visiting Spain I highly recommend taking a tour of the Roman Catholic Church in Barcelona. José María Boca Bella came up with a plan to build a church for the Holy Family, and called on his first architect, Diocese Francisco del Villar, who originally created the church in Gothic Style, and the crypt was the first thing built in 1882. After a year, he had disagreements with Bella and resigned from the job. Then architect Antoni Gaudi was hired, and worked on the church until his death in 1926. The design of the church and the intricacies are so elaborate that people began to call it a “Cathedral” even though it didn’t house a bishop. Construction has continued since the time of ground breaking and will not finish until 2026. Most of the inside is now finished, and now you are able to view the original details of the work that Gaudi put into it.
The details of the church are so breath taking, you need to linger for a long while to take it all in. From the moment you approach the beautiful building you are taken by its spirals and towers, 18 in all. Each one is different from the next and each one is meant to represent specific biblical representations, with the central tower representing Christ. The design of the towers was also a representation of the elevation toward God. The façade also holds representations of Jesus’ life and death, and was built to be complimented by the suns rotation. As it moves across the stone of the building it highlights the various scenes. The three entrances represent faith hope and love.
When entering the building, you are overcome by the height of the columns and the beauty of the architecture. The stunning way the columns look like trees and shine through skylights and stained glass. The stone used in the columns bring a natural beauty to them.
The floor is a beautiful polished cork. Cork is a strong material made for high traffic areas, come in a variety of colors and is great the acoustics in large buildings. There are gaps in the floor of the apse so visitors can see the crypts below.
An organ was installed in 2010. It has over 1400 pipes, but is awaiting the installation of other organs to be installed throughout the church. When completed there will be over 8000 pipes throughout the church. The organs will have the ability to be played individually or all together on one console.
Just the history alone should be an invitation for visitors to see the Barcelona Sagrada, but it is the beauty of the building, maybe the strange looking structure that draws people to visit. To some it may look like a carnival tent, while to others it is symbol of God and Jesus, and the thought of what heaven may hold for us. Gaudi’s ideas for this building outlived his ability to finish the structure and remains to this day under construction. It has become a Barcelona attraction and is an affordable place to visit. It is a must see!