Sagrada Família

Coordinates: 41°24′13″N 2°10′28″E / 41.40369°N 2.17433°E / 41.40369; 2.17433
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(Redirected from La Sagrada Familia)

Basílica de la Sagrada Família
Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família
Sagrada Família in 2024
Ecclesiastical or organizational statusMinor basilica
LeadershipJuan José Cardinal Omella, Archbishop of Barcelona
Year consecrated7 November 2010; 13 years ago (2010-11-07)
by Benedict XVI
LocationBarcelona, Spain
Geographic coordinates41°24′13″N 2°10′28″E / 41.40369°N 2.17433°E / 41.40369; 2.17433
Architect(s)Antoni Gaudí and Francisco de Paula del Villar
StyleGothic Revival and Art Nouveau and Modernista
General contractorConstruction Board of La Sagrada Família Foundation[1]
Groundbreaking19 March 1882; 142 years ago (1882-03-19)
Completedconstruction ongoing
Direction of façadeSoutheast
Length90 m (300 ft)[2]
Width60 m (200 ft)[2]
Width (nave)45 m (150 ft)[2]
Spire(s)18 (13 already built)
Spire height170 m (560 ft) (planned)
MaterialsThe main material used is stone.
Official nameNativity Façade and Crypt of the Basílica de la Sagrada Família
Part ofWorks of Antoni Gaudí
CriteriaCultural: (i), (ii), (iv)
Inscription1984 (8th Session)
Extensions2005 (29th session: addition of items 320-004 to 320-007)
Designated24 July 1969
Reference no.RI-51-0003813

The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família,[a] otherwise known as Sagrada Família, is a church under construction in the Eixample district of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It is the largest unfinished Catholic church in the world. Designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926), in 2005 his work on Sagrada Família was added to an existing (1984) UNESCO World Heritage Site, "Works of Antoni Gaudí".[4] On 7 November 2010, Pope Benedict XVI consecrated the church and proclaimed it a minor basilica.[5][6][7]

On 19 March 1882, construction of Sagrada Família began under architect Francisco de Paula del Villar. In 1883, when Villar resigned,[4] Gaudí took over as chief architect, transforming the project with his architectural and engineering style, combining Gothic and curvilinear Art Nouveau forms. Gaudí devoted the remainder of his life to the project, and he is buried in the church's crypt. At the time of his death in 1926, less than a quarter of the project was complete.[8]

Relying solely on private donations, Sagrada Família's construction progressed slowly and was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War. In July 1936, anarchists from the FAI set fire to the crypt and broke their way into the workshop, partially destroying Gaudí's original plans.[9] In 1939, Francesc de Paula Quintana took over site management, which was able to go on due to the material that was saved from Gaudí's workshop and that was reconstructed from published plans and photographs.[10] Construction resumed to intermittent progress in the 1950s. Advancements in technologies such as computer-aided design and computerised numerical control (CNC) have since enabled faster progress and construction passed the midpoint in 2010. In 2014, it was anticipated that the building would be completed by 2026, the centenary of Gaudí's death,[11] but this schedule was threatened due to work slowdowns caused by the 2020–21 depths of the COVID-19 pandemic.[12] In March 2024, an updated forecast reconfirmed a likely completion of the building in 2026, though the announcement stated that work on sculptures, decorative details and a controversial proposed stairway leading to what will eventually be the main entrance is expected to continue until 2034.[13]

Describing Sagrada Família, art critic Rainer Zerbst said "it is probably impossible to find a church building anything like it in the entire history of art",[14] and Paul Goldberger describes it as "the most extraordinary personal interpretation of Gothic architecture since the Middle Ages".[15] The basilica is not the cathedral church of the Archdiocese of Barcelona, as that title belongs to the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia (Barcelona Cathedral).



Sagrada Família was inspired by a bookseller, José María Bocabella [es], founder of Asociación Espiritual de Devotos de San José (Spiritual Association of Devotees of St. Joseph). After a visit to the Vatican in 1872, Bocabella returned from Italy with the intention of building a church inspired by the basilica at Loreto. The apse crypt of the church, funded by donations, was begun 19 March 1882, on the festival of St. Joseph, to the design of the architect Francisco de Paula del Villar, whose plan was for a Gothic revival church of a standard form. The apse crypt was completed before Villar's resignation on 18 March 1883, when Antoni Gaudí assumed responsibility for its design, which he changed radically.[16] Gaudi began work on the church in 1883 but was not appointed Architect Director until 1884.[citation needed]

20th century[edit]

On the subject of the extremely long construction period, Gaudí is said to have remarked: "My client is not in a hurry."[17] When Gaudí died in 1926, the basilica was between 15 and 25 percent complete.[8][18] After Gaudí's death, work continued under the direction of his main disciple Domènec Sugrañes i Gras until interrupted by the Spanish Civil War in 1936. Parts of the unfinished basilica and Gaudí's models and workshop were destroyed during the war. The present design is based on reconstructed versions of the plans that were burned in a fire as well as on modern adaptations.[13] Since 1940, the architects Francesc Quintana, Isidre Puig Boada, Lluís Bonet i Garí and Francesc Cardoner have carried on the work. The illumination was designed by Carles Buïgas. The director until 2012 was the son of Lluís Bonet, Jordi Bonet i Armengol. Armengol began introducing computers into the design and construction process in the 1980s.[citation needed]

21st century[edit]

In this model, the remaining parts to be built are shown in brown (2023).
New stonework at Sagrada Família (left) is visible against the stained and weathered older sections (right).

The central nave vaulting was completed in 2000 and the main tasks since then have been the construction of the transept vaults and apse. In 2002, the Sagrada Família Schools building was relocated from the eastern corner of the site to the southern corner, and began housing an exhibition. The school was originally designed by Gaudí in 1909 for the children of the construction workers.[citation needed]

As of 2006, work concentrated on the crossing and supporting structure for the main steeple of Jesus Christ as well as the southern enclosure of the central nave, which will become the Glory façade. Computer-aided design technology has allowed stone to be shaped off-site by a CNC milling machine, whereas in the 20th century the stone was carved by hand.[19] In 2008, some renowned Catalan architects advocated halting construction[20] to respect Gaudí's original designs, which, although they were not exhaustive and were partially destroyed, have been partially reconstructed in recent years.[21]

Since 2013, AVE high-speed trains have passed near Sagrada Família through a tunnel that runs beneath the centre of Barcelona. The tunnel's construction, which began on 26 March 2010, was controversial. The Ministry of Public Works of Spain (Ministerio de Fomento) claimed the project posed no risk to the church.[22][23] Sagrada Família engineers and architects disagreed, saying there was no guarantee that the tunnel would not affect the stability of the building. The Board of the Sagrada Família (Patronat de la Sagrada Família) and the neighborhood association AVE pel Litoral (AVE by the Coast) led a campaign against this route for the AVE, without success.[citation needed] In October 2010, the tunnel boring machine reached the church underground under the location of the building's principal façade.[22] Service through the tunnel was inaugurated on 8 January 2013.[24] Track in the tunnel makes use of a system by Edilon Sedra in which the rails are embedded in an elastic material to dampen vibrations.[25]

The main nave was covered and an organ installed in mid-2010, allowing the still-unfinished building to be used for liturgies.[26] The church was consecrated by Pope Benedict XVI on 7 November 2010 in front of a congregation of 6,500 people.[27] A further 50,000 people followed the consecration Mass from outside the basilica, where more than 100 bishops and 300 priests were on hand to distribute Holy Communion.[28]

In 2012, Barcelona-born Jordi Faulí i Oller took over as architect of the project.[29][30] Mark Burry of New Zealand serves as Executive Architect and Researcher.[31] Sculptures by J. Busquets, Etsuro Sotoo and the controversial Josep Maria Subirachs decorate the fantastical façades.[citation needed]

Chief architect Jordi Faulí announced in October 2015 that construction was 70 percent complete and had entered its final phase of raising six immense steeples. The steeples and most of the church's structure were planned be completed by 2026, the centennial of Gaudí's death;[13] as of a 2017 estimate, decorative elements should be complete by 2030 or 2032.[32][failed verification] Visitor entrance fees of €15 to €20 finance the annual construction budget of €25 million.[33] Completion of the structure will use post-tensioned stone.[34]

Starting on 9 July 2017, an international mass is celebrated at the basilica every Sunday and holy day of obligation, at 9 a.m., and is open to the public (until the church is full). Occasionally, Mass is celebrated at other times, where attendance requires an invitation. When masses are scheduled, instructions to obtain an invitation are posted on the basilica's website. In addition, visitors may pray in the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament and Penitence.[35]

The stone initially used in its construction came from the Montserrat mountain, but it became clear that as quarrying there went deeper the stone was increasingly fragile and an alternative source had to be found. Since 2018 stone of the type needed to complete the construction has been sourced from the Withnell Quarry in Brinscall, near Chorley, England.[36]


On 19 April 2011, an arsonist started a small fire in the sacristy which forced the evacuation of tourists and construction workers.[38] The sacristy was damaged, and the fire took 45 minutes to contain.[39]

On 11 March 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Spain, construction temporarily stopped and the basilica was closed.[40] This was the first time the construction had been halted since the Spanish Civil War.[41] The Gaudí House Museum in Park Güell was also closed. The basilica reopened, initially to key workers, on 4 July 2020.[42]

On 29 November 2021, a 7 m (23 ft) twelve-pointed illuminated crystal star was installed on one of the main towers of the basilica dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Local residents have concerns about plans to build a large stairway leading up to the basilica's main entrance, unfinished at the time, which could require the demolition of three city blocks: the homes to 1,000 people as well as some businesses.[43]


Plan view of Sagrada Família
  Main Nave
  Reconstruction of the schools
See the image page for the map's full legend.

The style of Sagrada Família is variously likened to Spanish Late Gothic, Catalan Modernism or Art Nouveau. While the style falls within the Art Nouveau period, Nikolaus Pevsner points out that, along with Charles Rennie Mackintosh in Glasgow, Gaudí carried the Art Nouveau style far beyond its usual application as a surface decoration.[44]


While never a cathedral, Sagrada Família was planned from the outset to be a large building, comparable in size to a cathedral. Its ground-plan has obvious links to earlier Spanish cathedrals such as Burgos Cathedral, León Cathedral and Seville Cathedral. In common with Catalan and many other European Gothic cathedrals, Sagrada Família is short in comparison to its width, and has a great complexity of parts, which include double aisles, an ambulatory with a chevet of seven apsidal chapels, a multitude of steeples and three portals, each widely different in structure as well as ornament.[citation needed] Where it is common for cathedrals in Spain to be surrounded by numerous chapels and ecclesiastical buildings, the layout of Sagrada Família has an unusual feature: a covered passage or cloister which forms a rectangle enclosing the church and passing through the narthex of each of its three portals. With this peculiarity aside, the plan, influenced by Villar's crypt, barely hints at the complexity of Gaudí's design or its deviations from traditional church architecture.[citation needed] There are no exact right angles to be seen inside or outside the church, and few straight lines in the design.[45][46]


The top of the Virgin Mary's Spire (completed in December 2021)

Gaudí's original design calls for a total of eighteen spires, representing in ascending order of height the Twelve Apostles,[b] the four Evangelists, the Virgin Mary, and, tallest of all, Jesus Christ. Thirteen spires had been completed as of 2023, corresponding to four apostles at the Nativity façade, four apostles at the Passion façade, the four Evangelists,[47] and the Virgin Mary.[48]

The Evangelists' spires are surmounted by sculptures of their traditional symbols: a winged bull (Saint Luke), a winged man (Saint Matthew), an eagle (Saint John), and a winged lion (Saint Mark). The central spire of Jesus Christ is to be surmounted by a giant cross; its total height (172.5 metres (565.9 ft)) will be less than that of Montjuïc hill in Barcelona,[49] as Gaudí believed that his creation should not surpass God's. The lower spires are surmounted by communion hosts with sheaves of wheat and chalices with bunches of grapes, representing the Eucharist.[citation needed] Plans call for tubular bells to be placed within the spires, driven by the force of the wind, and driving sound down into the interior of the church. Gaudí performed acoustic studies to achieve the appropriate acoustic results inside the temple.[50] However, only one bell is currently in place.[51]

The completion of the Jesus Christ spire will make Sagrada Família the tallest church building in the world—11 metres (36.1 ft) taller than the current record-holder, Ulm Minster, which is 161.5 metres (529.9 ft) at its highest point.[52]

The construction makes use of post-tensioned stone panels, which are pre-assembled before incorporation into the main structure; using this method has significant structural and operational benefits.[53][54]


The church is designed to have three grand façades: the Nativity façade to the east, the Passion façade to the west, and the Glory façade to the south (incomplete).

The Nativity façade was built before work was interrupted in 1935 and bears the most direct Gaudí influence.

The Nativity façade

The Passion façade was built according to the design that Gaudi created in 1917. The construction began in 1954, and the steeples, built over the elliptical plan, were finished in 1976. It is especially striking for its spare, gaunt, tormented characters, including emaciated figures of Christ being scourged at the pillar; and Christ on the Cross. These controversial designs are the work of Josep Maria Subirachs.

The Glory façade, on which construction began in 2002, will be the largest and most monumental of the three and will represent one's ascension to God. It will also depict various scenes such as Hell, Purgatory, and will include elements such as the seven deadly sins and the seven heavenly virtues.

Nativity Façade[edit]

Sculpture of the choir of angel children

Constructed between 1893 and 1936, the Nativity façade was the first façade to be completed.[55] Dedicated to the birth of Jesus, it is decorated with scenes reminiscent of elements of life. Characteristic of Gaudí's naturalistic style, the sculptures are ornately arranged and decorated with scenes and images from nature, each a symbol in its own manner.[56] For instance, the three porticos are separated by two large columns, and at the base of each lies a turtle or a tortoise (one to represent the land and the other the sea; each are symbols of time as something set in stone and unchangeable). In contrast to the figures of turtles and their symbolism, two chameleons can be found at either side of the façade and are symbolic of change.

The portal of Charity on the Nativity façade

The façade faces the rising sun to the northeast, a symbol for the birth of Christ. It is divided into three porticos, each of which represents a theological virtue (Hope, Faith and Charity). The Tree of Life rises above the door of Jesus in the portico of Charity.[57] Four steeples complete the façade and are each dedicated to a Saint (Matthias, Barnabas, Jude the Apostle, and Simon the Zealot).[55]

Originally, Gaudí intended for this façade to be polychromed, for each archivolt to be painted with a wide array of colours. He wanted every statue and figure to be painted. In this way the figures of humans would appear as much alive as the figures of plants and animals.[58]

Gaudí chose this façade to embody the structure and decoration of the whole church. He was well aware that he would not finish the church and that he would need to set an artistic and architectural example for others to follow. He also chose for this façade to be the first on which to begin construction and for it to be, in his opinion, the most attractive and accessible to the public. He believed that if he had begun construction with the Passion Façade, one that would be hard and bare (as if made of bones), before the Nativity Façade, people would have withdrawn at the sight of it.[59] Some of the statues were destroyed in 1936 during the Spanish Civil War, and subsequently were reconstructed by the Japanese artist Etsuro Sotoo.[60]

Passion Façade[edit]

Passion Façade of Sagrada Família in 2018

In contrast to the highly decorated Nativity Façade, the Passion Façade is austere, plain and simple, with ample bare stone, and is carved with harsh straight lines to resemble the bones of a skeleton. Dedicated to the Passion of Christ, the suffering of Jesus during his crucifixion, the façade was intended to portray the sins of man. Construction began in 1954, following the drawings and instructions left by Gaudí for future architects and sculptors. The steeples were completed in 1976, and in 1987 a team of sculptors, headed by Josep Maria Subirachs, began work sculpting the various scenes and details of the façade. They aimed to give a rigid, angular form to provoke a dramatic effect. Gaudí intended for this façade to strike fear into the onlooker. He wanted to "break" arcs and "cut" columns, and to use the effect of chiaroscuro (dark angular shadows contrasted by harsh rigid light) to further show the severity and brutality of Christ's sacrifice.

Facing the setting sun, indicative and symbolic of the death of Christ, the Passion Façade is supported by six large and inclined columns, designed to resemble strained muscles.[61] Above there is a pyramidal pediment, made up of eighteen bone-shaped columns, which culminate in a large cross with a crown of thorns. Each of the four steeples is dedicated to an apostle (James, Thomas, Philip, and Bartholomew) and, like the Nativity Façade, there are three porticos, each representing the theological virtues, though in a much different light.

The scenes sculpted into the façade may be divided into three levels, which ascend in an S form and reproduce the stations of the cross (Via Crucis of Christ).[2] The lowest level depicts scenes from Jesus' last night before the crucifixion, including the Last Supper, Kiss of Judas, Ecce homo, and the Sanhedrin trial of Jesus. The middle level portrays the Calvary, or Golgotha, of Christ, and includes The Three Marys, Saint Longinus, Saint Veronica, and a hollow-face illusion of Christ on the Veil of Veronica. In the third and final level the Death, Burial and the Resurrection of Christ can be seen. A bronze figure situated on a bridge creating a link between the steeples of Saint Bartholomew and Saint Thomas represents the Ascension of Jesus.[62]

The façade contains a magic square based on[63] the magic square in the 1514 print Melencolia I. The square is rotated and one number in each row and column is reduced by one, so the rows and columns add up to 33 instead of the standard 34 for a 4x4 magic square.

Glory Façade[edit]

The largest and most striking of the façades will be the Glory Façade, on which construction began in 2002. It will be the principal façade and will offer access to the central nave. Dedicated to the Celestial Glory of Jesus, it represents the road to God: Death, Final Judgment, and Glory, while Hell is left for those who deviate from God's will. Aware that he would not live long enough to see this façade completed, Gaudí made a model which was demolished in 1936, whose original fragments were used as the basis for the development of the design for the façade. The completion of this façade may require the partial demolition of the block with buildings across the Carrer de Mallorca.[64] The decision should be proposed in May 2023.[needs update][65]

To reach the Glory Portico the large staircase will lead over the underground passage built over Carrer de Mallorca with the decoration representing Hell and vice. On other projects Carrer de Mallorca will have to go underground.[66] It will be decorated with demons, idols, false gods, heresy and schisms, etc. Purgatory and death will also be depicted, the latter using tombs along the ground. The portico will have seven large columns dedicated to gifts of the Holy Spirit. At the base of the columns there will be representations of the seven deadly sins, and at the top, the seven heavenly virtues.[citation needed]

  • Gifts: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord.
  • Sins: greed, lust, pride, gluttony, sloth, wrath, envy.
  • Virtues: kindness, diligence, patience, charity, temperance, humility, chastity.
Eucharist Door of the Glory Façade showing, at bottom, the "A...G" for Antoni Gaudí

This façade will have five doors corresponding to the five naves of the temple, with the central one having a triple entrance, that will give the Glory Façade a total seven doors representing the sacraments:

In September 2008, the doors of the Glory façade, by Subirachs, were installed. Inscribed with the words of the Our Father, these central doors are inscribed with the words "Give us our daily bread" in fifty different languages. The handles of the door are the letters "A" and "G" that form the initials of Antoni Gaudí within the phrase "lead us not into temptation".[citation needed]


Light coming through stained glass

The church plan is that of a Latin cross with five aisles. The central nave vaults reach forty-five metres (148 feet) while the side nave vaults reach thirty metres (98 feet). The transept has three aisles. The columns are on a 7.5 metres (25 ft) grid. However, the columns of the apse, resting on del Villar's foundation, do not adhere to the grid, requiring a section of columns of the ambulatory to transition to the grid thus creating a horseshoe pattern to the layout of those columns. The crossing rests on the four central columns of porphyry supporting a great hyperboloid surrounded by two rings of twelve hyperboloids (currently under construction). The central vault reaches sixty metres (200 ft). The apse is capped by a hyperboloid vault reaching seventy-five metres (246 ft). Gaudí intended that a visitor standing at the main entrance be able to see the vaults of the nave, crossing, and apse, thus the graduated increase in vault loft.

There are gaps in the floor of the apse, providing a view down into the crypt below.

The columns of the interior are a unique Gaudí design. Besides branching to support their load, their ever-changing surfaces are the result of the intersection of various geometric forms. The simplest example is that of a square base evolving into an octagon as the column rises, then a sixteen-sided form, and eventually to a circle. This effect is the result of a three-dimensional intersection of helicoidal columns (for example a square cross-section column twisting clockwise and a similar one twisting counterclockwise).

Essentially none of the interior surfaces are flat; the ornamentation is comprehensive and rich, consisting in large part of abstract shapes which combine smooth curves and jagged points. Even detail-level work such as the iron railings for balconies and stairways are full of curvaceous elaboration.


Organ located in the chancel

In 2010 an organ was installed in the chancel by the Blancafort Orgueners de Montserrat organ builders. The instrument has 26 stops (1,492 pipes) on two manuals and a pedalboard.

To overcome the unique acoustical challenges posed by the church's architecture and vast size, several additional organs will be installed at various points within the building. These instruments will be playable separately (from their own individual consoles) and simultaneously (from a single mobile console), yielding an organ of some 8,000 pipes when completed.[68]

Geometric details[edit]

Alpha and Omega carving at Sagrada Família entrance

The steeples on the Nativity façade are crowned with geometrically shaped tops that are reminiscent of Cubism (they were finished around 1930), and the intricate decoration is contemporary to the style of Art Nouveau, but Gaudí's unique style drew primarily from nature, not other artists or architects, and resists categorization.

Gaudí used hyperboloid structures in later designs for Sagrada Família (more obviously after 1914). However, there are a few places on the nativity façade—a design not equated with Gaudí's ruled-surface design—where the hyperboloid crops up. For example, all around the scene with the pelican, there are numerous examples (including the basket held by one of the figures). There is a hyperboloid adding structural stability to the cypress tree (by connecting it to the bridge). Finally, the "bishop's mitre" spires are capped with hyperboloid structures.[69] In his later designs, ruled surfaces are prominent in the nave's vaults and windows and the surfaces of the Passion Façade.


Detail of a steeple of the Passion Façade decorated with the word Sanctus

Themes throughout the decoration include words from the liturgy. The steeples are decorated with words such as "Hosanna", "Excelsis", and "Sanctus"; the great doors of the Passion façade reproduce excerpts of the Passion of Jesus from the New Testament in various languages, mainly Catalan; and the Glory façade is to be decorated with the words from the Apostles' Creed, while its main door reproduces the entire Lord's Prayer in Catalan, surrounded by multiple variations of "Give us this day our daily bread" in other languages. The three entrances symbolize the three virtues: Faith, Hope and Love. Each of them is also dedicated to a part of Christ's life. The Nativity Façade is dedicated to his birth; it also has a cypress tree which symbolizes the tree of life. The Glory Façade is dedicated to his glory period. The Passion Façade is symbolic of his suffering. The apse steeple bears Latin text of Hail Mary.

Areas of the sanctuary will be designated to represent various concepts, such as saints, virtues and sins, and secular concepts such as regions, presumably with decoration to match.



The art historian Nikolaus Pevsner, writing in the 1960s, referred to Gaudí's buildings as growing "like sugar loaves and anthills" and describes the ornamenting of buildings with shards of broken pottery as possibly "bad taste" but handled with vitality and "ruthless audacity".[44]

The building's design itself has been polarizing. Assessments by Gaudí's fellow architects were generally positive; Louis Sullivan greatly admired it, describing Sagrada Família as the "greatest piece of creative architecture in the last twenty-five years. It is spirit symbolised in stone!"[70] Walter Gropius praised Sagrada Família, describing the building's walls as "a marvel of technical perfection".[70] Time magazine called it "sensual, spiritual, whimsical, exuberant".[17] However, author and critic George Orwell, mistakenly referring to it as a cathedral, called it "one of the most hideous buildings in the world",[71] author James A. Michener called it "one of the strangest-looking serious buildings in the world"[72] and British historian Gerald Brenan stated about the building "Not even in the European architecture of the period can one discover anything so vulgar or pretentious."[72] The building's distinctive silhouette has nevertheless become symbolic of Barcelona itself,[8] drawing an estimated 3 million visitors annually.[73]

World Heritage status[edit]

In 1984, UNESCO granted World Heritage Site designations to three Gaudí buildings in Barcelona, though not yet including Sagrada Família, under the collective designation "Works of Antoni Gaudí – No 320 bis" (items 320-001 to 320-003), testifying "to Gaudí's exceptional creative contribution to the development of architecture and building technology", "having represented el Modernisme of Catalonia" and "anticipated and influenced many of the forms and techniques that were relevant to the development of modern construction in the 20th century".[4] In 2005, UNESCO extended the inscription for Works of Antoni Gaudí – No 320 bis to include four additional buildings in Barcelona, with item 320-005 listed as two specific sections of Sagrada Família: the Crypt and the Nativity façade.[74]

Visitor access[edit]

Visitors can access the Nave, Crypt, Museum, Shop, and the Passion and Nativity steeples. Entrance to either of the steeples requires a reservation and advance purchase of a ticket. Access is possible only by lift (elevator) and a short walk up the remainder of the steeples to the bridge between the steeples. Descent is via a very narrow spiral staircase of over 300 steps. There is a posted caution for those with medical conditions.[75]

As of June 2017, online ticket purchase has been available. As of August 2010, there had been a service whereby visitors could buy an entry code either at Servicaixa ATM kiosks (part of CaixaBank) or online.[76]

International masses[edit]

The Archdiocese of Barcelona holds an international mass at the Basilica of the Sagrada Família every Sunday and on holy days of obligation.

  • Date and time: Every Sunday and on holy days of obligation at 9am.
  • There is no charge for attending mass but capacity is limited
  • Visitors are asked to dress appropriately and behave respectfully.[77]

Funding and building permit[edit]

Construction on Sagrada Família is not supported by any government or official church sources. Private patrons funded the initial stages.[78] Money from tickets purchased by tourists is now used to pay for the work, and private donations are accepted.[79]

The construction budget for 2009 was €18 million.[26]

In October 2018, Sagrada Família trustees agreed to pay city authorities €36 million for a building permit, after 136 years of unlicensed construction.[80] Most of the funds would be directed to improve the access between the church and the Barcelona Metro.[81] The permit was issued by the city on 7 June 2019.[82]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Note: the two Apostles who are also Evangelists are left out and replaced by St. Paul and also St. Barnabas.


  1. ^ "Fundació junta constructora del Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família" [Foundation for the construction board of the Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família]. (in Catalan). 2021. Retrieved 12 December 2021. [translated] Targets: Construction, conservation and restoration of a temple, faithfully executing the project of Antoni Gaudí.
  2. ^ a b c d Gómez Gimeno, María José (2006). La Sagrada Família. Mundo Flip Ediciones. pp. 86–87. ISBN 84-933983-4-9.
  3. ^ "Història de la Basilica, 1866–1883: Origens". (in Catalan). Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  4. ^ a b c "Works of Antoni Gaudí". UNESCO World Heritage Convention. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  5. ^ Drummer, Alexander (23 July 2010). "Pontiff to Proclaim Gaudí's Church a Basilica". Zenit News Agency. Archived from the original on 25 September 2010. Retrieved 7 November 2010.
  6. ^ "The Pope Consecrates The Church of the Sagrada Familia". Vatican Information Service. 7 November 2010. Archived from the original on 4 August 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2010.
  7. ^ Delaney, Sarah (4 March 2010). "Pope to visit Santiago de Compostela, Barcelona in November". Catholic News Service. Archived from the original on 7 April 2010. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
  8. ^ a b c Minder, Raphael (3 November 2010). "Polishing Gaudí's Unfinished Jewel". The New York Times.
  9. ^ Fraser, Giles (3 June 2015). "Barcelona's Sagrada Família: Gaudí's 'cathedral for the poor' – a history of cities in 50 buildings, day 49". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
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  • Faulí, Jordi (2014). La Basílica de la Sagrada Família (in Catalan). P&M. ISBN 978-84-8003-667-2.
  • Giralt-Miracle, Daniel (2012). Gaudí esencial (in Spanish). Barcelona: La Vanguardia Ediciones S.L. ISBN 978-84-96642-73-7.
  • Puig i Boada, Isidre (1952). El templo de la Sagrada Familia (in Spanish). Barcelona: Omega.

Further reading[edit]

  • Zerbst, Rainer (1988). Antoni Gaudi– A Life Devoted to Architecture. Translated by Doris Jones; Jeremy Gaines. Hamburg, Germany: Taschen. ISBN 3-8228-0074-0.
  • Nonell, Juan Bassegoda (2004). Antonio Gaudi: Master Architect. New York: Abbeville Press. ISBN 0-7892-0220-4.
  • Hernandez SJ, Jean-Paul (2007). Antoni Gaudi: La Parola nella pietra. I simboli e lo spirito della Sagrada Familia. Bologna, Italy: Pardes Edizioni. p. 114. ISBN 978-88-89241-31-8.
  • Crippa, Maria Antonietta (2003). Peter Gossel (ed.). Antoni Gaudi, 1852–1926: From Nature to Architecture. Translated by Jeremy Carden. Hamburg, Germany: Taschen. ISBN 3-8228-2518-2.
  • Schneider, Rolf (2004). Manfred Leier (ed.). 100 most beautiful cathedrals of the world: A journey through five continents. Translated by Susan Ghyearuni; Rae Walter. Edison, New Jersey: Chartwell Books. p. 33. ISBN 978-0-7858-1888-5.
  • Borja de Riquer i Permanye (2001). Modernisme i Modernistes. Barcelona: Gaudi, Lunwerg. ISBN 84-7782-776-1.
  • Barral i Altet, Javier (2001). Art de Catalunya. Arquitectura religiosa moderna i contemporània. Barcelona: Edicions L'isard. ISBN 84-89931-14-3.
  • Bassegoda i Nonell, Joan (1989). El gran Gaudí. Sabadell: Ausa. ISBN 84-86329-44-2.
  • Bassegoda i Nonell, Joan (2002). Gaudí o espacio, luz y equilibrio. Madrid: Criterio Libros. ISBN 84-95437-10-4.
  • Bergós i Massó, Joan (1999). Gaudí, l'home i l'obra. Barcelona: Edicions Lunwerg. ISBN 84-7782-617-X.
  • Bonet i Armengol, Jordi (2001). L'últim Gaudí. Barcelona: Edicions Pòrtic. ISBN 84-7306-727-4.
  • Crippa, Maria Antonietta (2007). Gaudí. Köln: Taschen. ISBN 978-3-8228-2519-8.
  • Flores, Carlos (2002). Les lliçons de Gaudí. Barcelona: Edicions Empúries. ISBN 84-7596-949-6.
  • Fontbona, Francesc; Miralles, Francesc (1985). Història de l'Art Català. Del modernisme al noucentisme (1888–1917). Barcelona: Edicions 62. ISBN 84-297-2282-3.
  • Giralt-Miracle, Daniel (2002). Gaudí, la busqueda de la forma. Lunwerg. ISBN 84-7782-724-9.
  • Gómez Gimeno, María José (2006). La Sagrada Familia. Dos de Arte. ISBN 84-933983-4-9.
  • Lacuesta, Raquele (2006). Modernisme a l'entorn de Barcelona. Barcelona: Diputació de Barcelona. ISBN 84-9803-158-3.
  • Navascués Palácio, Pedro (2000). Summa Artis. Arquitectura española (1808–1914). Madrid: Espasa Calpe. ISBN 84-239-5477-3.
  • Permanyer, Lluis (1993). Barcelona modernista. Barcelona: Polígrafa. ISBN 84-343-0723-5.
  • Puig i Boada, Isidre (1986). El temple de la Sagrada Família. Barcelona: Edicions de Nou Art Thor. ISBN 84-7327-135-1.
  • Tarragona, Josep Maria (1999). Gaudí, biografia de l'artista. Barcelona: Ed. Proa. ISBN 84-8256-726-8.
  • Van Zandt, Eleyearr (1997). La vida y obras de Gaudí. Asppan. ISBN 0-7525-1106-8.
  • Zerbst, Rainer (1989). Gaudí. Benedikt Taschen. ISBN 3-8228-0216-6.

External links[edit]