on October 13, 2010
The first stop on our sightseeing outing was the Sagrada Familia, one of Barcelona's most famous attractions. Antoni Gaudi began construction of this huge church in 1882. He worked on it until his death in 1926. This tall pointed building really stands out against its surroundings. A close-up look reveals hundreds of religious figurines sculpted into the facades. One facade tells the story of Jesus' birth (Nativity Facade) and the other of His death (Passion Facade). The detail of the sculptures is stunning. The cathedral is still not completed. It is under constant construction by artisans carrying on the artistic styles of Gaudi. Admission to the Sagrada Familia funds the project.There are several options at the admission booth. We bought the combined ticket that included admission to the Sagrada Familia and to the Gaudi House Museum. The thing to note here is that the Gaudi House Museum is not located on the grounds of the Sagrada Familia. It is located in Park Guell which is not within walking distance. We were aware of this when we bought the ticket but due to our limited time in Barcelona, we decided not to wait in the long line the next day to enter the Gaudi House. Whatever option you choose, make sure you have cash. Credit cards are not accepted. I found out that many of the tourist attractions in the area do not accept credit cards. The ones that do accept them also require some form of identification.We took a look at the cathedral's interior. There was no altar or pews - just a lot of construction equipment. It was fascinating to look at the height of the very high ceiling in the sanctuary and the split columns supporting it.We had a look around at some of the items in the museum at the bottom of the church. It contained mostly information about construction material and how nature influenced Gaudi's artistic style.One of the more interesting things we did during our visit to the Sagrada Familia was take an elevator to the spires. We heard that people sometimes wait in line for hours to ride this small elevator but on the evening we were there, the line was short. We did not wait more than 15 minutes. The top gave way to great views of the city. There are walkways connecting other spires of the church. These walkways and staircases are narrow. This led to the occasional ‘traffic jam’ resulting from people yielding to others traveling in the opposite direction. This was not a big deal on the evening we were there but I image this could become an annoyance during busier times. We spent about 30 minutes exploring the pathways and admiring the views before making our way on foot down one of the long, dark spiral staircases. We had a great time.
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