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Sagrada Família

The largest unfinished Catholic church in the world

Designed by architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926)

This large unfinished Roman Catholic Basilica is located in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. The architect Antoni Gaudí began its construction in 1882, and it is considered his most famous work. Despite being unfinished, La Sagrada Família is a major tourist attraction and a renowned symbol of Barcelona.

Where to find it

It is situated in the Eixample district of the city, specifically at Carrer de Mallorca, 401. The basilica stands out in the cityscape due to its impressive size and unique architectural style, drawing visitors from around the world.

La Sagrada Familia unfinished church in Spain Barcelona Spain Gaudi

Best time to visit

If you’re looking for beautiful photos, generally, early morning or late afternoon is often recommended for capturing the basilica in beautiful light.

During these times, the sunlight tends to be softer, creating a warm and gentle illumination. The low angle of the sun can also create interesting shadows and highlights, adding depth and texture to your photographs.

It’s worth noting that the interior of La Sagrada Família boasts stunning stained glass windows that cast colorful light throughout the space. To fully appreciate and capture the interplay between light and architecture inside, mid-morning to early afternoon may be a better choice.

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For more historical facts you can consult their website at Sagrada Familia

Photography Rules

Photography is generally allowed inside the basilica, but the use of tripods or flash may be restricted. Be respectful of other visitors and follow any photography guidelines provided by the staff.

Travel Tip(s)

  • As you can imagine during peak season the queues can get very long.  To avoid standing in line for hours, book your tour ahead of time, online.
  • Consider taking a guided tour to fully appreciate the architectural details and history of La Sagrada Família. Professional guides can provide valuable insights and enhance your experience.

Dress Code

La Sagrada Família is a religious site, so it is important to dress appropriately. Avoid wearing revealing clothing, and make sure your shoulders and knees are covered.

What is nearby?

Barcelona offers a wealth of attractions near La Sagrada Família. Plan your visit to include other popular sites like Park Güell, Casa Batlló, and the Gothic Quarter for a well-rounded exploration of the city.

  • Park Güell: Gaudí-designed park with colorful mosaics and stunning city views.
  • Casa Batlló: Unique Modernist building by Gaudí featuring an intricate façade.
  • Gothic Quarter: Historic neighborhood with narrow streets, medieval architecture, and lively atmosphere.
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Why hasn't it been completed?

The architect of La Sagrada Família was Antoni Gaudí. He is considered one of the most renowned architects of the Catalan Modernism movement.

Gaudí dedicated the latter part of his career to the construction of La Sagrada Família, making it his magnum opus.

However, Gaudí passed away in 1926 before the completion of the basilica, and the construction has continued under the guidance of various architects and craftsmen ever since, adhering to Gaudí’s original design concepts.

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"While the exterior of La Sagrada Família may seem unconventional and challenging to comprehend at first, it is precisely this uniqueness that captivates and intrigues. The visionary design, with its intricate details and striking architectural elements, challenges our preconceptions and invites us to see beauty in unexpected forms. The boldness and creativity displayed in the exterior of La Sagrada Família make it a truly remarkable sight to behold, defying conventional norms and leaving a lasting impression on all who encounter it."

Why you should visit

Is La Sagrada Familia worth a visit?

Yes, definitely.  La Sagrada Família is a truly extraordinary architectural marvel that captures attention with its unusual and unique design.

However, it is when you step inside that you truly experience its breathtaking beauty. The interplay of light, the intricate details, and the stunning stained glass windows create a mesmerizing atmosphere that leaves visitors in awe.

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Beyond its unconventional exterior, the interior of La Sagrada Família reveals a remarkable display of craftsmanship and artistry.

A visit to this iconic masterpiece is an unforgettable journey into a world where beauty knows no bounds.

When you’re done with your guided tour, stop for a coffee before you head out to your next adventure.  There are several places near La Sagrada Família where you can enjoy a cup of coffee. 

Where to stay nearby

Sercotel Hotel Rosellon

Uninterrupted views of La Sagrada Familia and you can hop on the tour bus to access all the key parts of Barcelona including Park Guell and the Gothic Quarter.

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Search more than 400 places to stay - Trusted - Near La Sagrada Família Metro Station (Photo: Radisson Blu 1882 Hotel, Barcelona Sagrada Familia)