on November 21, 2010
La Sagrada Familia has to be the most famous site in Barcelona and is a real must see on any visit to the City. It is the unfinished masterpiece from the famous architect Antonio Gaudi and although work started on it in 1882 it remains unfinished and in a country where manana manana is an art form it remains to be seen when it will finally be completed to Gaudi's specifications.The first time you lay eyes on La Sagrada Familia is an awe inspiring moment and although I am not religious I can honestly say it was breathtaking. You will probably either come to it by way of metro or the open topped buses but either way the first time you glimpse it you will be impressed as it is absolutely immense and coming out of the escalators the first time you will crane your neck trying to see it all. The enterance takes a little time to find as it is on the other side to where you come up by metro but just follow the crowds and there will be lot's of them as this is a very popular place to visit. Expect to queue but surprisingly on my visit this didn't take all that long as the site is so large they can let in everyone and it is just more or less a queue to take the entrance fee. The fee to enter is quite steep at 12 Euros just to enter the church and then an extra 4 for an audio guide and the you have to pay again to be able to enter the lifts that take you to the tops of the towers. The inside of church is quite plain and a little dissapointing but the real joy here for me anyway is being able to get up close to the facade which is amazing. There are exhibitions on the time line of work and the expected completion which to be honest keeps changing. Once you have had a wonder around and taken it all in you can then join the queue to take the lift to the towers. Although again there is a fee for this and the queue took nearly an hour it is definately worth it and I would recommend everyone going up to be able to see the stunning work a little closer than you can from the outside. Once up in the towers there are walkways and the views over Barcelona are absolutely amazing. You get to see the strange brightly coloured fruit which is part of the decoration up close and this is something I enjoyed immensly. This definately isn't like any other church you have ever seen. Once you have finished you can then climb the tower back down to the ground. Be warned that the spiral starway down the tower is very steep and also very long and you will need to be both fit and at least a little bit brave doing it. Once a the bottom my legs were shaking as it took ages to make it down and because it is so steep I needed to keep my legs tense to stop me from stumbling. Once back at the bottom you can again sit and stare at the facade a little more before going to look round the little museum which is interesting if a little bland. Once you have done this there is not a lot more to see or do to be honest. You can leave through the gates and have lunch in a one of the restaurants next to the site and enjoy your lunch whilst staring up at it. At night La Sagrada Familia is lit up and looks even more beautiful and haunting than it does in the day time and trip here just to have a look at it during it's most beautiful is really something you should try to do at least once during your visit to the city. La Sagrada Familia is already an amazing place to see and visit and I can only imagine how spectacular it will be when complete and I only hope that I am still alive to be able to see it. Yes it is a little on the expensive side to visit but the money get's plowed straight back into the building work so in a way you are helping to fund the building of this masterpiece.
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