Posts Tagged ‘topdeck tours to spain’

40 things to do before you’re 40 - Number 28!

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

28. See the Sagrada Familia before it’s finished

Have you ever started a work project, school or University assignment that just seemed to take forever to complete? Well… this one trumps all!

Described as the Bible written in stone, built by ‘God’s architect’ Antoni Gaudi, the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain is an important monument in the religious community and is an incredibly amazing architectural masterpiece. As the most visited monument in Spain and the third most valuable monument in Europe, the Sagrada Familia is not only an incredible architectural masterpiece but is a vital part of Spain’s tourism, attracting around 2.8 millions visitors each year.

It’s fair to say that it’s one impressive landmark… and it’s not even complete!

Paid for entirely by public donations, combined with the intricacy of the detail and features, plus a Civil War, it’s no wonder it’s taken over 100 years to build! Construction officially began in 1882 and the acclaimed Gaudi dedicated over 40 years of his life to the structure, which was only a quarter complete at the time of his unfortunate death.

Gaudi was an architect said to be well ahead of his time, introducing a new style of design that had not been seen before. Many of Gaudi’s most famous works can also be found in Barcelona, including the heritage listed Casa Batlló and the Park Güell.

Photo courtesy of

The Church, declared a basilica by Pope Benedict XVI in November 2010, has three façades: Nativity, Passion and Glory, each having strong Christian themes.

Nativity: The only façade to be completed by Gaudi, it represents a celebration of the birth of Jesus and is also referred to as the façade of Joy, Life and Christmas.

Passion: As the name suggests, this façade is designed by Gaudi to represent the passion of Jesus, his last days, death, and sacrifice. Facing the west, this part of the Church receives the last sunlight, creating an eerie effect that is well worth watching if given the opportunity.

Glory: Signifying the creation and glory of man, his origins, his problems, the roads he must take and his purpose. Still under construction, this will be the main entrance to the Church when completed.

During the 1936 Spanish Civil War many of Gaudi’s plans and models were destroyed or damaged leaving a difficult job for current architects to piece together information from photographs of the plans. Consequently, there is criticism that the modern construction is of a style dissimilar to Gaudi’s vision. Nevertheless, work continues and the President of the Sagrada Família Trust, Joan Rigol, has announced that the landmark may be entirely complete by 2026, almost 150 years after work began on the site in 1882 and a century after Gaudi’s death.

If you’re one for memorable life experiences, there’s no question that Sagrada Familia should be on your own personal travel list. To go down in history as one of the greatest architectural works, combined with the story behind it’s development and construction, it’s an experience that you will look back on in awe and amazement and be delighted to say, “I’ve been there!”.

Topdeck Top Tip: For visitors to Sagrada Familia, don’t just stop at entering the Church. If given the time, make your way to the incredible tombs below where Gaudi is buried. You can then make your way to the top to enjoy incredible views over Barcelona!

Sagrada Familiar video journey: An incredible video taking you on a journey outside and inside the Sagrada Familia

Virtual Tour: Go on a virtual tour throughout many parts of the Church and get a taste of it’s awesomeness!