The Sagrada Familia

Ever since I learned about the Sagrada Familia in a history of architecture class in college, I have wanted to see it with my own eyes. It really is a spectacular place.

Click here to go to the official site: There is more information there than I can possibly include in a post. And here is a link to the apartment where we stayed. This is the view from our window:


This is not a subtle building. There is something going on everywhere you look. However, the more you look, the more you can feel the rhythm of the place.

This is the newer side of the church that depicts the Passion of Christ. The long columns simulate Christ’s tendons, the shorter white columns above that simulate ribs. The cross and figures at the top of the ‘ribs’ were installed just before we arrived. Workmen were taking down the scaffolding as we left Barcelona.

The statues on this side are more severe and I found them to be very moving.




The opposite side of the basilica is happier, and more worn. There are depictions of the nativity and of Christ’s early life. The style of the statues is different, less angular.






Catherine, this one is for you :-):


This is the back of the basilica.


If I remember correctly there are 5 more spires to be added to the top, plus the ones that will be built on the front. The front side (on the right in the photo below) is the least finished side:


The scale model shows more spires and a bank of stairs that might go into the street, and maybe into the apartment building across the street. I’m not sure how that’s going to work and, thankfully, it isn’t my problem.

There is a planned finish date, perhaps by 2026. Until then, the work will continue. (Look for the workmen, on the tallest spire.)



4 thoughts on “The Sagrada Familia

  1. The third picture has a plaque with numbers…. did you pickup what the numbers mean?

    Gob-struck by this building…. looks cluttered like my desk but I am not famous….. really amazing….. your hotel room gave you plenty of time to “observe”. I realize that most of your pictures were taken at the building…. This is so very interesting. Thanks for showing us.


    • No, I didn’t wonder about that until you asked so I consulted google. Here’s what I found , excerpt below:

      One of these symbolic details involves an altered magic square. In the scene, portraying the kiss of Judas, a 4×4 grid of numbers is positioned on the wall behind the two embraced figures. Although not a true magic square because the grid contains the duplicate numbers of 10 and 14, it does consist of a magic constant. The number 33, representing the years of Christ’s life, can be found by adding any row, column, or diagonal from the square. Magic squares have long been known to hold a mystical and magical significance. Since the earliest recognized 3×3 Lo Shu Magic Square (dating back to ancient China), magic squares have captured the interest of many. The balance, represented by odd and even numbers arranged in numerical tables, illustrates the timeless value and unity of opposites. Certain properties of the squares are then used to create amulets or talismans, and are believed to divulge deeper meanings.



  2. What an amazing world we live in! There is so much beautiful art out there which I will never see in person. I’m really happy that you’ve shared a lot of it with us and that Celia did such a great job planning this trip. But, yes, I’m sure you’re happy to be home. My one remaining cat is 10 now and becoming more affectionate. Maybe yours will do that, too. Meanwhile, it’s true. Cats rule the house and we are their servants!


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