Towering over Barcelona is the famous Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi’s greatest, yet unfinished, masterpiece, the Sagrada Família.
The basilica wasn’t even consecrated until 2010, over a century after construction began in 1882.
This ambitious project is still unfinished, and yet it is already one of Barcelona’s most remarkable pieces of architecture.
The original plans include a total of 18 spires, the completion of which will make the Sagrada Familia the tallest church building in the world.
As it is, there’s already a lot to take in, so set aside plenty of time. You might even want to bring binoculars to get a good look at the details.
See the Nativity facade on the eastern side of the building. It’s divided into three porticos, meant to represent the virtues of hope, faith, and charity, illustrated with statues depicting elements of life and nature. It’s also the oldest of the facades, and is the best representation of Gaudi’s original vision.
The Passion facade on the western side features porticos representing the same virtues as the Nativity facade, but here the depiction is stark and austere, invoking the suffering of the Passion.
Inside, see the light cast by the stained-glass windows, and the hand-carved columns made to resemble trees rising to support the high ceiling.
The Sagrada Família is a stunning combination of Gothic and Art Nouveau architecture, and its beauty and uniqueness makes it one of Barcelona’s most famous landmarks.