What to visit / Themed routes / Gaudí Route / Basilica of la Sagrada Família

Basilica of la Sagrada Família

The Sagrada Família is Antoni Gaudí's best-known work and has become an undisputed symbol of Barcelona. Extravagant, ambitious and controversial, this unique modern temple has been under construction since 1882, and is expected to be completed by 2030.

The foundation stone of this colossal basilica was laid in 1882, and building work is still progress. Although the architect Francesc de Paula Villar was originally commissioned to carry out the Sagrada Família's project, just a year later he was replaced by the young Gaudí, who devoted himself fully to the task until the time of his death in 1926. During his lifetime, Gaudí completed the crypt and the Nativity façade at the side, which have been declared a World Heritage Site. The surviving models and drawings have made it possible to continue with the building work, which continues to be funded by private donations.

Sagrada Família is intended to be a symbolic building, and this explains why it has three monumental façades: the eastern one dedicated to the birth of Christ, the western one dedicated to the Passion of Christ, and the Glory façade, which is the biggest of all, and is devoted to religious faith. The four towers on each façade represent the 12 Apostles. A dome-shaped tower will eventually crown the apse, symbolising the Virgin Mary, and the four tall towers dedicated to the evangelists will encircle the central spire which will be built over the crossing and represent the Saviour. You can go up the towers on foot or using the lift, and enjoy breathtaking views of Barcelona.