Sagrada Familia

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I loved pretty much everything about our trip to Barcelona. But I think my very favorite part was our visit to Sagrada Familia. Have you heard of it? It’s a cathedral designed by Gaudi and it’s unlike any other building I’ve ever been in.

We were walking around the interior, and snapping photos like crazy, and I whispered to Ben Blair, “It’s hard to be here and not feel like it’s the most important piece of architecture in the world.” It is amazing!

I found myself envious of anyone who actually gets to attend church there. What a wonderful place to worship and inspire elevated thoughts! It made me want to message everyone I know and tell them to get on a plane (right now!) and come see this place. : )

I’m so curious! Do you have a building you’re dying to see in person? What’s the coolest architecture you’ve ever visited?

P.S. — Tomorrow, I’ll share more of my photos from Barcelona and tell you about the cool apartment we stayed in.

37 thoughts on “Sagrada Familia”

  1. I totally agree with you. I was lucky enough to go to Barcelona a few years ago and we went to La Familia. It’s one of the most amazing buildings I’ve ever seen. I just can’t believe the amount of work that’s gone into it, all those details and the amount of work that’s left to do. Gaudi’s other buildings are just as crazily cool, and I especially loved his park up on a hill overlooking the city.

  2. Actually, one of the coolest architectures I’ve seen was inside the Casa Batlo in Barcelona. Absolutely mind blowing! But then everything Gaudi did was pretty much mind blowing. Bises et bonne semaine!
    ps: don’t you like all the long weekends we’re getting at the moment :)

  3. This is the piece of architecture that I want to see… probably more than anything else. I was so excited to see your post and photos in my reader this morning. I graduated in design and I did a research paper on Gaudi. And, I think I kept checking out the same book over and over that featured his work, especially La Familia. Besides the great architecture, Barcelona just seems like a really cool place.

  4. I saw this cathedral during a big backpacking trip that my hubby and I did ten years ago (before kids). I was recently discussing it with a friend, and he blew me away by saying that he thought it was outrageously ugly! To each his own, I suppose, but it hurt my heart a little. Such a beautiful church, as are the other Gaudi buildings we saw.

  5. this was possibly the highlight of my trip to europe when my husband and i got married there 8 years ago this dec (well next to the wedding of course). i could not get over the amzing-ness of the sagrada familia! i would love to go back, but there are sooooo many other beautiful places in the world too!

  6. I suppose I’m boring — I like classical architecture, so I didn’t enjoy it when I visited last year. I’m glad I went because I’ll never be asking myself “Why didn’t we take the opportunity?”, but I didn’t find pleasure in the building. My thought on leaving was “Paint it all black & Tim Burton would have a field day in here.”

  7. I did not like the church-at all. I guess art/architecture really is in the eyes of the beholder. One of my favorite pieces of architecture is the Alhambra in Granada, Spain. I probably won’t get to see the Taj Mahal for years, but this is the closest thing to it. I saw it about 25 years ago and can still recall all the details. Amazing.

  8. Oh, crazy — I visited here in 1998? or so and haven’t thought about it in a very long time — it’s so cool to see how far the construction has progressed!

  9. I am so jealous that you are living in France and that you went to Barcelona! I traveled for a month all over Europe a few years ago and the one place I really wanted to see but didn’t get to was Barcelona. Guess I’ll just have to go back!

  10. I can’t believe how much it has been completed since I went….I think the windows look like a Pucci scarf….they seem more rectilinear than most Gaudi work…..I absolutley loved Guell Park more than the cathedral but like I said, it was very incomplete when I visited.

  11. I haven’t really been anywhere and don’t know much about design and architecture but I was pretty blown away at everything I saw in France. The ceilings and carvings in the Louvre, and Versailles. I can’t believe how much time people took to decorate ceilings and walls.

  12. I love Barcelona, its so free!!, so artistic and inspiring, and Gaudy is simply a genious, a rebel of his time, he loved nature and all his works and architechture is unfluenced by it, the forms, the curves, the colors. Sagrada Familia is beyond a master piece, is living art. Some say is a never ending project, because of the complexity of it, it is never going to be finish. Its a defenetly must see, because is alive, from here to 10 years there will be changes or adittions, so there will be always something new to see.

  13. The coolest building I’ve been in is the Sagrada Familia! I was there this summer and loved it. I hope I get to see it again when it’s finished.

  14. la Sagrada Familia is breathtaking in message and architecture. The back facade tells one story about the Catholic faith, I think it is the passion of the christ, the other, the frontal facade, illustrates the sacred family and the trinity, so powerful and beautifully captivated. And it’s not yet finished!

  15. La Sagrada Familia is one of my favorite works! (I even did a paper about it in architecture school!) It is exciting to see how far it’s come since I visited 4 1/2 years ago. I wasn’t able to see the interior while I was in Barcelona (I think it was temporarily closed), so it’s great to see your photos.

    Fortunately, I had the opportunity to see two Le Corbusier works: the Notre-Dame du Haut in Ronchamps and the Villa Savoye in Poissy, which were on the top of my “buildings to visit” list. Notre-Dame du Haut was probably the coolest building I’ve ever visited, but it is quite the pilgrimmage to get there. You should certainly try to visit the Villa Savoye while you are in the area.

  16. I have a special place in my heart for Barcelona. We lived there for two years and though I absolutely LOVE living in Denmark, I wouldn’t mind living in Barcelona again! What a magical city!

  17. Hi Gabrielle, We visited Barcelona in April this year. This was my favorite thing, and I had been waiting as long as I could remember to see it. The building of La Sagrada was started in 1882 and is not due to be completed until 2026. When asked about the timeline for construction it is said that Gaudi replied “My client is not in a hurry”. Love it.

  18. The only time I have been to Europe was a short business trip to Barcelona. Most of my time was spent in meetings but I was able to steal away and see the Sagrada Familia and it is truly an amazing building. I hope to do more traveling in the future to see some more of the amazing sights in this world. There is so much beauty to witness, natural and manmade.

  19. One of my favorite pieces of architecture: The Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, designed by Lou Kahn. When you walk through the courtyard, it takes your breath away. Plus, I love the stories of the process, how Lou and Jonas Salk collaborated, the work the Institute does there now… And I love that the building is of concrete: it just shows you that beauty can come from any material.

    Please go visit the Millau Viaduct while you’re in France? I’ve been begging Jordan to go too – I’ve always wanted to see it in person! Norman Foster & Partners designed it and it’s the tallest bridge in the world!

  20. Hi Gabrielle, we currently live just outside Paris and last October, during the Toussaint holiday, I took the kids by myself to Barcelona! We actually wanted to go to Sagrada Familia, but the line was wrapped around the building and there was just too much to see, so we moved on. Very disappointed! That said, my very favorite place, at this point, was as one of your earlier comments mentioned, was Casa Battlo. It was seriously incredible!! Definitely not a place of worship, which adds a completely different and more special dimension, but creatively it was phenomenal and the aesthetics were just inspiring. Next trip! Love your blog! So happy to hear about your amazing experience in France! Thanks so much for sharing! Natasha

  21. I spent a semester in Barcelona, the most amazing experience of my life. Gaudi is a genius, I hope to return once the church is finished. So inspiring. Thanks for sharing!

  22. I first saw the Sagrada Familia in 1994 (when it had no roof yet) and again in 2004 (when my husband and I went for our honeymoon). Seeing the difference in ten years and now again seven years later is really amazing. Thanks!

  23. Wow, it’s like a sand castle cathedral! And I’m surprised you could take pictures inside a church – I thought that was usually not ok.

  24. I was there in July, and yes, like you, was blown away by the amazing architecture. We had been at St Peter’s in Rome a few days earlier and we all agreed that no matter how impressive St Peter’s is, we all preferred the atmosphere at the Sagrada Familia. All ages in our family (from 6 to 72) were in agreement. What an amazing place. I will never forget it.

  25. I’ve never been to Barcelona and, in truth, my international travel experience is limited, but Fallingwater is so very lovely and peaceful that I find myself drawn there over and over.

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