The Sagrada Familia is one of the most important places for tourists to visit in Barcelona. One interesting tidbit about this unique monument is that it’s still under construction. And today we’ll talk about another reason to visit: the Sagrada Familia‘s iconic symbols.
Structure of the Sagrada Familia
The structure of the Sagrada Familia is one of its most important features. Those who are familiar with the history of the basilica will recall that it’s part of Antoni Gaudí’s work. Even though he couldn’t finish the Sagrada Familia, he left plans for the rest of its construction.
The building’s structure was carefully considered and planned before construction began. Gaudí wanted to use Byzantine and Gothic architecture, and that influence can be seen in the building’s intricate details. Keen observers may also spot the form of a Latin Cross in the basilica. This is a common symbol in Gothic architecture.
Visitors who tour in Barcelona might notice that the Sagrada Familia is also based on the technique of balanced structures. This focuses the building’s weight on its foundations, providing a more sturdy structure that’s built to withstand the test of time.
Given the careful planning for additional elements, including towers and strategically placed support structures, the Sagrada Familia also features strong wind resistance and great stability. It’s also worth noting that Gaudí preferred inclined columns over vertical ones. This can be seen in the overall structure as it reassembles the branches of a tree, given the appearance of a forest with its many columns.
There is also so much more symbolism throughout the building’s architecture. For example, in the Nativity Facade, Gaudí used the same design techniques, giving it a naturalist character and expression found in the aforementioned Latin Cross structure.
Sagrada Familia Towers and Facades
When discussing the Sagrada Familia, there’s something else that tourists can’t miss. The towers play an important role when considering the religious influence in Gaudí’s architecture.
While touring in Barcelona, you might notice that the towers are not finished yet. They are among the most important features of the basilica, and there will ultimately be 18 of them. Before tourists go to the Sagrada Familia, it’s worth mentioning that its towers are split into different groups, each one with a different meaning.
The first group references the Apostles. There will be a total of 12 towers to represent the 12 Apostles of the Bible. Each one will have a different name and all of them will be in Latin.
The next four towers are dedicated to the Evangelists. So, there are 16 out of 18 towers with different meanings. Of the two remainings, one is dedicated to the Virgen Maria, the mother of Jesus. The other (and last) is the most important one, dedicated to Jesus Christ. This tower will have a height of 172.5m (be sure to ask your guide why this particular height was chosen).
Last but not least, the facades. People who tour in Sagrada Familia will quickly realize the importance of these features, given the symbolism that’s on display from all angles. Each one represents either something from the Bible or the Apostles’ Creeds, depending on which one you visit.
When construction is completed, there will be a total of three facades: The Passion Facade, the Glory Facade, and the Nativity Facade. Each is part of what Gaudí envisioned and began building before his death.
These three facades will feature a monumental narthex, each one different from the other. Each one will feature four domes with a height of 40 meters and will be located in the corners of the Sagrada Familia.
On the north side, two sacristies will take place. There will also be two different chapels on both ends of the basilica, both of which feature their own unique characteristics.
Are you ready to visit the Sagrada Familia?
The Sagrada Familia is so worth visiting! People who tour Barcelona can’t miss the chance to experience this incredible site, one of the most important in the city. So now that you know, if you are looking for activities in Barcelona, you’ll find so much to do right here!
I’ve included a few links to help you learn much more about this Barcelona city wonder. Thanks so much for your time! I’ll leave the map here so you won’t get lost while trying to visit Sagrada Familia.
See you in my next post.