After St. Peters Basilica in Rome, this is the second most beautiful church in the world!
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My husband and I were only in Barcelona for a couple of days, and on our last day, I only had one place left that I had still yet to tick off my bucket list – La Sagrada Familia (Basilica of the Sagrada Familia). It’s Barcelona’s number one tourist attraction, and not without reason, as it’s absolutely incredible! For me, this was the biggest highlight of my time in Barcelona by far. Although we didn’t get to venture inside due to our tight budget, I seriously didn’t care, as I was left more than happy from the fantastic views taken in from the outside.
Located in the Eixample District, the cathedral was designed by Antoni Gaudi, and building work commenced in 1880. Believe it or not, it is still under construction today, which I think adds to its beauty and intrigue. Most of the world’s beautiful cathedrals were built hundreds of years ago, and we never got to see them being built, so to actually see one only somewhat complete and otherwise still under construction was a pretty special experience for me. While we were here, there was talk that the city of Barcelona was trying to get it finished by the year 2020, as it would mark 100 years since Gaudi’s death, but I don’t think that’s very likely considering that now it is 2021. I guess that’s what happens when the whole country is working on “Spanish” time. So it will just get finished when it’s finished.
So just what is it that makes this cathedral so spectacular? Well to start with, the back of the church almost looks like it’s melting. This is hard to describe, but just take a look at the photo’s below and see what you think.
At a glance, it can be difficult to pick out all the finer details contained within the many spires located at the back of the cathedral. Yet, when you look closely, they are made up of detailed sculptures of people, mosaics, leaves, and foliage carved out of stone. It really is incredible. The back of the basilica is by far my favourite part of this construction.
On the opposite end, at the front of the cathedral, some sections of stonework look relatively new, which you will see have a pale stone colour. They contrast nicely against the older sections, which have discoloured and weathered over time. There is a figure of poor Jesus with his arms stretched out like he was supposed to be on the cross, but the cross still wasn’t there, and the stone figures here lacked the same finished, well-carved look that had been bestowed upon the back section. Although the detail is somewhat lacking, it still looks amazing, and you could easily use your imagination to see what the finished piece would look like. The church has twelve spires in total, which are said to represent the apostles. In order to get a cracking view of all of them, as well as the basilica itself, you can head to Placa de Gaudi, a small but lovely park across the road from the cathedral. Aside from the best views, it will also award you a break from the crowds. The only downside was the abundance of cranes and scaffolding in sight. Don’t be surprised if they’re still around during your visit too. With it still not being finished, it remains somewhat of a construction site.
Next time I visit Barcelona, I will definitely go back, as I can’t wait to see the progress! Of course, I’m very keen to see the interior, but I just can’t see it as magical as the exterior. However, I would love to be proved wrong.
Have you been to Barcelona? What did you think of this wonderful city? What is your favouite thing to do when here? Leave me a comment below.
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