The Sagrada Familia With Kids
Activity: The Sagrada Familia. Metro Stop: Sagrada Familia. Cost: 25 €/adults, €15.00/under 30 or students, free for kids under 11. Buy online ahead of time to avoid lines. Hours: 9 am to 6 pm (open a bit later in the summer).
The Sagrada Familia. This is one of those building that will stick in your mind forever. This was Antoni Gaudi’s masterpiece and his ode to The Holy Family (La Sagrada Familia). When you first approach the church, look up. Chances are you will see cranes. Construction has been ongoing since 1882 and it’s still not done! When you buy your admission ticket, you are contributing to this ongoing work as the construction is funded by admission ticket sales and private donations.
Originally Gaudi was asked to refinish an refurbish a small chapel that stood on the site. You can see it in the basement when you go inside. I would say he went above and beyond and is maybe just a little extra. When Gaudi began his work on The Sagrada Familia in 1882, he started with the east-facing facade where you now enter the building. See The Holy Family there? Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus and a friendly donkey looking on were part of the first bits completed. From there, Gaudi started to receive donations and the work (slowly) proceeded.
The Spanish Civil War and Antoni Gaudi’s death (run down by a tram) slowed construction considerably. Antoni Gaudi was quoted as saying “My client is not in a hurry.” At the time of his death, the cathedral was only 25% completed. To further complicate matters, some opponents to the project destroyed all of Gaudi’s original plans. There are tons of architects who have now worked on The Sagrada Familia, doing their best to mirror Gaudi’s original style. The finished entrance will be on the south side. Currently there is a 9-story apartment building there that will need to be torn down so the work can proceed.
The interior of the church is nearly as magnificent as the exterior. Alex and I particularly loved the stained glass. Instead of the usual pictures, there’s a mosaic of cool colors on the east side and fiery reds and oranges on the west. When we went in, the sun was setting and the stained glass turned the white interior orange! Gaudi was famous for using inspiration from nature in his designs, so you’re meant to feel like you’re in a forest in here.
For some extra euros, you can climb the really tall towers. We opted not to do this, but may do it at a later point in our lives. Instead, we headed across the street to a cute little park just where all the tourist busses were letting off. I loved eating gelato and watching Lorenzo play with The Sagrada Familia looming in the background. We returned here a few times because it was one of our favorite spots in the city.