15 Awesome facts about Sagrada Familia that you’ll love!
Sagrada Familia is one of the most iconic, historic and breathtaking churches in the world! She’s as fascinating as she is beautiful, which is why the church is Barcelona’s most visited tourist attraction. Want to know more cool facts about this incredible structure? Here are 15 awesome facts about Sagrada Familia that you’ll love!
1) Over 4.5 million people visit Sagrada Familia every year!
It should come as little surprise that Sagrada Familia receives over 4.5 million visitors per year!
It’s one of the most famous churches in the world and revered in global architect circles as one of the most original and ambitious modern structures of all time.
It’s bucket list stuff and a MUST-SEE when visiting Barcelona!
If you’re planning on visiting Sagrada Familia, I highly recommend booking a guided tour with skip-the-line access.
You’ll learn more about the history, construction and design of Sagrada Familia whilst avoiding the hours’ long snaking queues to get inside!
2) Although known as Gaudi’s masterpiece, Sagrada Familia wasn’t originally his idea
One of the most fascinating, little-known facts about Sagrada Familia is that it wasn’t actually Gaudi’s idea. It was the brain child of Catalan publisher and philanthropist, Josep Rocabella!
After a dispute over designs with then architect, Francisco del Villar, Rocabella appointed Gaudi as the new project architect.
3) Sagrada Familia means “Holy family” in Spanish
Rocabella was not only a published and philanthropist, he was the Chairman of the Holy Brotherhood and wanted to devote his new church to Jesus, Mary and Joseph – the “Sagrada Familia”.
4) Construction of Sagrada Familia has yet to be finished
One of the craziest and well-known facts about Sagrada Familia is that it is yet to be finished! Work began in 1882 and is still going on to this day.
When asked about the extremely long construction period, Gaudi once said: “My client is not in a hurry.”
He wasn’t kidding as neither of them lived to see it finished!
5) There are over 400 steps to the top
For a small extra fee you can take the stairs to the top of Sagrada Familia to see one of the best views of Barcelona.
The view is absolutely breathtaking and well-worth the extra ticket! It was by far my favourite part of my visit to Sagrada Familia.
But don’t worry there’s a lift if you don’t fancy the climb. 😉
If you’d like to see the view from the top of Sagrada Familia when you visit, I recommend booking a Sagrada Familia entry ticket with tower access.
This also includes a guided tour so you’ll learn more about the history, construction and design of Sagrada Familia.
6) Sagrada Familia was built with the aim of being seen from any point in Barcelona
As Sagrada Familia is a holy place, its creators wanted it to be seen from all over Barcelona.
This is why the glass mosaics (which reflect the sun and moonlight) were added to its highest points.
7) During the Spanish civil war, part of Gaudi’s design plans were destroyed
In 1936, Catalan anarchists forced their way into Gaudi’s workshop and destroyed part of his plans and models.
Current building works are based on reconstructed versions of Gaudi’s plans that were burned in a fire as well as on modern modifications.
8) Sagrada Familia has taken longer to complete than the pyramids in Egypt!
One of the most unbelievable facts about Sagrada Familia is that it has taken longer to complete than the pyramids! Craziness.
Plans were in place to have it finished by 2026 in time for the centennial of Gaudi’s death. However, experts now think that it won’t be ready for around another 25 years.
Oh and how long did the pyramids take you may wonder? 20 years without the modern technology we have now to build. Mind-blowing!
9) Sagrada Familia is (of course!) a UNESCO World Heritage Site
In case we needed further proof that Gaudi was an artistic genius, a project he didn’t see finished is now protected for future generations to enjoy becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.
10) Sagrada Familia is Gaudi’s final resting place
Gaudi was buried in the chapel of ‘Our Lady of Mount Carmel’ in the crypt at Sagrada Familia.
You’d think he died of old age because it was taking so long to build the church but he was actually killed when he was hit by a tram at 73!
11) It will be 560 feet high when it’s complete
Gaudi believed that no man-made structure should be made higher than anything in nature which he believed to be the work of God.
So when Sagrada Familia is complete it’ll be three feet shorter than Barcelona’s highest point, Montjuic Hill.
12) Sagrada Familia will have a total of 18 towers representing key figures in Christianity
When finished, Sagrada Familia will have 18 towers, 12 representing the apostles, four representing the evangelists, one representing the Virgin Mary and the tallest tower in the centre of the church representing Christ.
13) Sagrada Familia’s interior design was inspired by nature
Gaudi hated straight lines and angles because they don’t often appear naturally. So after analysing different elements in nature, he used structural aspects to apply to his designs of Sagrada Familia.
The interior pillars are symbolic of trees, as their shapes change in the way that trees would grow. Whereas the light that comes down from the ceiling gives the feel of the sun shining through a forest canopy.
14) There are three facades depicting the three stages in Christ’s life
The three stages are: nativity (birth of Christ), passion (crucifixion of Christ) and glory (road to God).
15) The stained glass windows represent the earth’s four elements
The cool coloured, blue and green windows represent air and water and the warm coloured, red and orange windows represent fire and earth.
They’re absolutely stunning, especially when the sun shines through the window and the colours light up the inner coves!
final Bonus fact: It’s a great day out with your friends and not to be missed on a trip to Barcelona!
What were your favourite facts about Sagrada Familia? 😄
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