I have to say that I was looking forward to Barcelona, but I hadn’t expected it to be one of my favourite places. It was also cleaner than some of the other European cities we’ve visited.
We arrived in Barcelona, and after a bit of confusion, figured out the subway, which we took to the metro stop near Sagrada Familia. The flat we arranged for our stay was a short walk from Sagrada Familia and was an amazing bargain, considering the location.
Our first sightseeing expedition was Sagrada Familia. We had pre-booked our tickets, which was definitely the way to go. We skipped the longer line and were inside in a matter of minutes.
Sagrada Familia was designed by the great Antoni Gaudi. The first corner stone was laid 135 years ago, and the work still goes on to complete it today. Known for the amazing details on the exterior as well as the interior in a neo-Gothic design, Gaudi worked on the cathedral one bit at a time until his death in 1926. He is buried in the crypt of the Expiatory Temple of the Sagrada Família. Construction on Sagrada Familia still continues today. The plan is to finish in 2026, the two-hundredth anniversary of the laying of the first cornerstone.
When I studied Sagrada Familia in art history class, I can’t say I was particularly impressed by the detail and the overall design. Gaudi, after all, is far from a typical architect. However, standing inside that cathedral, the light coming into the stained glass was one of the most incredible things I’d ever seen. I would love to return and sit in the seats down the center of the structure all day and watch how the light and color changes as the sun crosses the sky.
The exterior has so much detail, you could spend a lot of time walking around to see it all. There is a marked difference between the newer pieces of the cathedral as opposed to Gaudi’s original portion of the cathedral. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to walk completely around because of the scaffolding. That’s another thing I would love to do one day.
Despite the continued construction, Sagrada Familia is certainly a marvel. The area around the cathedral, while touristy, is lovely and was an amazing place to stay. I definitely recommend it! I’ll go into more detail on that next week 🙂
I hope everyone is weathering their time safely. Stay healthy!
Coming soon! Barcelona continued…
2 thoughts on “Expat’s Travel Guide: Barcelona and Sagrada Familia”
I’ve been totally impressed with this cathedral since the early sixties when I studied Spanish at the Grammar School. My teacher had us creating scrapbooks of Spain and he provided a lot of articles, the ones with the highest marks got to choose first – a great incentive! I was fascinated with this building then and have since had many photos from my friend and from my daughter who also loved it and Barcelona as a whole.
Can’t wait for part two!
I adore Barcelona! Eventually, I’ll get around to blogging part 2. Thanks, Glynis!