Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

Day two of Barcelona was jam-packed. First up on our itinerary was the Sagrada Familia, Antoni Gaudi's magnum opus.

We had 2 p.m. tickets to enter the church. Tickets are necessary and sell out quickly, so make sure to book them online in advance.

Unfortunately, both towers of the church were closed due to security reasons following the terrorist attacks, but we were thankful that we could still see the inside.

Sagarada-Familia_Barcelona-Spain_1.jpg

Just as Gaudi drew much of his inspiration from nature, religion also played an integral role in his life and art. After the original architect Francisco Paula Villar resigned one year into the project in 1883, Gaudi took on the assignment of constructing the church, and devoted his remaining years to it.

Sagarada-Familia_Barcelona-Spain_2.jpg

The facades of the church tells three stories, with scenes of the Nativity and Jesus's birth on the East, scenes of the Passion and Jesus's suffering during crucifixion on the West, and the yet-to-be-completed scenes of the Glory and the road to God on the South.

Sagarada-Familia_Barcelona-Spain_3.jpg

From a distance, the church seems to have the texture of jagged rock, but once you get up close, you can see the incredible detail on every inch of each facade. Every surface tells a story, and it's clear what Gaudi was envisioning. There's so much to absorb that you could spend hours examining every structure.

Sagarada-Familia_Barcelona-Spain_4.jpg

We also appreciated the injections of color and nature, which you don't see on a typical church, in areas of the Nativity side, like the fruit in the photo above.

Sagarada-Familia_Barcelona-Spain_5.jpg

In contrast to the dark, weathered and highly decorated Nativity facade, the inside of the church is remarkably bright, light and clean.

Sagarada-Familia_Barcelona-Spain_6.jpg

When you enter the church, it literally feels like you're entering heaven -- or at least an unearthly space. With the incredibly high ceilings and the multicolored light streaming in from the stained glass windows, it's truly ethereal.

Sagarada-Familia_Barcelona-Spain_7.jpg

There are also insane details in the structure inside. The spires of the staircases, the sunbursts covering every inch of the ceiling, the impossibly tall columns holding up the roof that look like giant trees extending to heaven, it took our breath away.

Sagarada-Familia_Barcelona-Spain_8.jpg

With all the traveling that we do, we've walked through our fair share of churches and historic landmarks, so we can safely say that the Sagrada Familia is truly the most incredible structure we've visited. No other church can compare to its grandness and majesty.

Sagarada-Familia_Barcelona-Spain_9.jpg

It's been nearly 100 years since Gaudi's death, and the church still isn't scheduled to be complete until 2026 -- the centennial anniversary of his death. We can't wait to return after its completion to see it in its full glory.

Sagarada-Familia_Barcelona-Spain_12.jpg

Sagrada Familia
Carrer de Mallorca
401, 08013 Barcelona, Spain