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30 Apr 2014

Sagrada Familia Barcelona Part 1 , Barcelona

Barcelona [ 巴塞罗那 ] • 30 APRIL 2014
The expiatory church of La Sagrada Família is a work on a grand scale which was begun on 19 March 1882 from a project by the diocesan architect Francisco de Paula del Villar (1828-1901). At the end of 1883 Gaudí was commissioned to carry on the works, a task which he did not abandon until his death in 1926. Since then different architects have continued the work after his original idea.

The building is in the centre of Barcelona, and over the years it has become one of the most universal signs of identity of the city and the country. It is visited by millions of people every year and many more study its architectural and religious content.



It has always been an expiatory church, which means that since the outset, 132 years ago now, it has been built from donations. Gaudí himself said: "The expiatory church of La Sagrada Família is made by the people and is mirrored in them. It is a work that is in the hands of God and the will of the people." The building is still going on and could be finished some time in the first third of the 21st century.


La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is one of Antoni Gaudí's most impressive works.

The ongoing construction of Sagrada Familia is paid for by tourism. When Sagrada Familia is complete, the church will have a total of 18 towers, each dedicated to a different religious figure, and each one hollow, allowing the placement of various types of bells which will sound with the choir.


ANTONI GAUDÍ: AN EXCEPTIONAL MAN Antoni Gaudí is one of the outstanding figures of Catalan culture and international architecture. He was born in Baix Camp (Reus, Riudoms), but it was in Barcelona that he studied, worked and lived with his family. It is also in the city that we find most of his work. He was first and foremost an architect, but he also designed furniture and objects and worked in town planning and landscaping, amongst other disciplines. In all those fields he developed a highly expressive language of his own and created a body of work that speaks directly to the senses.


Who is Antoni Gaudi? The son of a coppersmith, Antoni Gaudí was born on June 25, 1852, and took to architecture at a young age. He attended school in Barcelona, the city that would become home to most of his great works. Gaudí was part of the Catalan Modernista movement, eventually transcending it with his nature-based organic style. Gaudí died on June 10, 1926, in Barcelona, Spain.  

Architect Antoni Gaudí was born in Catalonia on the Mediterranean coast of Spain on June 25, 1852. He showed an early interest in architecture, and went to study in Barcelona—Spain's most modern city at the time—circa 1870. After his studies were interrupted by military service, Gaudí graduated from the Provincial School of Architecture in 1878. Gaudí died while still working on the Sagrada Familia on June 10, 1926, in Barcelona, Spain. 


He died after getting hit by a trolley car in Barcelona,only a few weeks shy of his 75th birthday. While the structure remained unfinished at his death in 1926—only one transept with one of four towers was built—the extraordinary structure has a final completion target date of 2026, to mark the 100th anniversary of his passing.

                                   
The towers of the right side doorway (Nativity Doorway) can be climbed, but the open, narrow winding staircase makes it a rather unattractive proposition for anybody prone to giddiness. Nearby is an ancient lift; it is worthwhile going up in this to enjoy the fantastic view over the city and of the helm roofs of the towers, clad in colorful majolica, reminiscent of bishops' mitres.

             
The museum contains the sketches and photographs illustrating Gaudí buildings and of the ancient ones on which they are modeled. In separate departments can be seen plaster mock-ups of the sculptured decoration; there is also a large, partially restored model of the church which was shown in Paris in 1910. The studies covering the window and facade designs clearly illustrate the principle of "diagonal supports" which Gaudí wished to see replace the Gothic buttress.
Also of interest is a wire model illustrating structural engineering principles; Gaudí hung weights on an inverted wire framework to represent the anticipated stresses and strains, thus showing clearly the static base structure. To understand it fully you have to imagine the picture turned through 180 degrees. At the end of the crypt is a large photographic reproduction of the Passion Facade; to its right is the iconography, in the Catalan dialect, of the individual motifs. There is also a multi-vision show, and in one of the side rooms a model cut in half to show the nave and side aisles.


Tickets are NOT cheaper if bought on the day of arrival. There are 2 kinds of tickets available online: with audioguide (18.80 euros) and without audioguide (14.80 euros). This price is a little higher than what you see on the Sagrada Familia website because it includes the service charge from Servicaixa. - Ours tickets are included in the tour.


La Sagrada Família is yards from the metro station of the same name, which is on Line 5 (blue) and Line 2 (purple). Casa Batlló is beside Passeig de Gràcia metro station, and both La Pedrera and the Modernism Museum are a stroll away. Park Güell can be reached on bus 24 from the Plaça de Catalunya (or Passeig de Gràcia) or by taking the metro to Lesseps on Line 3 (green l)—the latter involves a hike along Travessera de Dalt and up Carrer d'Olot.Alternatively take Line 4 (yellow) to Joanic metro station then get Barri bus 116 to the park’s main gate. If you bought an advance timed ticket for La Sagrada Familia you may wish to start at Park Güell, as it is the farthest out of town.


Basilica Visit + Audio Guide
The visit with audio-guide will lead you to an area of 4,500 square metres so you can discover the most outstanding aspects of the universe of Gaudí. 

At €14 adult entrance, La Pedrera is pricey (but worth it). If you enjoy art you may also want to visit the National Art Museum or the Miró Foundation (both in Montjuïc) and/or the Picasso Museum near the Gothic Quarter. If you visit La Pedrera plus any two of those you will save with an Articket, which is valid for six months and covers the four properties mentioned plus three others. It costs €25, minus a 5 percent discount if you order online from www.barcelonaturisme.com. It also lets you walk to the front of the line.You can also save with a Barcelona Card—a combined transport/museum entry pass that provides free access to many museums and discounts at others. It can be valid for two to five days, with prices rising incrementally by day.

+++ Please note these times when booking: +++

2nd January 2014 to 31st March 2014: 
Fri. and Sat at 15.00 and 16.00: in English and Spanish
01. April bis 30. September: 
Mon., Wed., Thu., Sat. at 10.00, 12.00 and 15.00: English + Spanish 
Tue., Fri., Sun. at 10.00, 12.00 and 15.00: English + French 
Daily at 16.00: English 
Mon., Wed., Sat. at 16.00 Russian 
Mon., Thu., Sat. at 17.00: English + Spanish 
Tue., Fri., Sun. at 17.00: English + French 
Wed. at 17.00: German
1st October to 31st October: 
Mon., Wed., Thu., Sat. at 10.00 and 15.00: English + Spanish 
Daily at 16.00: English
1st November 2014 to 31st March 2015 
Thu., Sat. at 10.00 and 15.00: Englisch + Spanish
Fri. at 10.00 and 15.00: Englisch + French
The tour is not available on the following dates:
13th April, 10.00, 12.00 and 15.00
15th April, 15.00, 16.00 and 17.00
04th May, 15.00, 16.00 and 17.00
01st June, 15.00, 16.00 and 17.00
20th July, 15.00, 16.00 and 17.00
25th, 26 December and 1st January
Book your Sagrada Familia guided tour and admission with skip the line

Specify the number of people for whom you would like to book.
Meeting place for the Guided Tour is just a few feet away from the Sagrada Familia. You will receive directions after booking.The price includes the tour with an English speaking guide and the entrance fee.

The Sagrada Familia is the most visited monument in Spain. At peak times therefore sometimes one can queue in front of the house and cash in on the elevators of the towers which go up, on the other. The largest are the queues in the late morning. So if you dont want to stay in the queue, use the time to the cathedral from a distance, the two places right and left of the Sagrada Familia from them.


On the rear lifts, in the towers of the facade of the birth of Christ which goes up, the queue is much shorter. Do not return to down the lifts, use the stairs. Only then do you see the absolutely stunning spiral staircase.


Antoni Gaudí (1852 -1926), the Catalán architect best known for his imaginative style, inspired by the curves and shapes found in nature, and – of course – for his inimitable masterpiece, the unfinished Sagrada Familia, would have turned 161 today.

Construction of the Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família began in 1882, more than a century ago. The temple is still under construction, with completion expected in 2026. It is perhaps the best known structure of Catalan Modernisme, drawing over three million visitors annually. Architect Antoni Gaudi worked on the project until his death in 1926, in full anticipation he would not live to see it finished. 

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