In pictures (2) -The interior of La Sagrada Familia and how to get there

sagrada familia stained glass windows
The interior of La Sagrada Familia – really had amazing stained glass windows.

This is a continuation from In pictures (1) – The towers of La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

As mentioned in the first post, La Sagrada Familia is a basilica mired in a fair bit of controversy. Its fans have nothing but endless compliments for its artistic designs, yet detractors like George Orwell said that the Anarchists had bad taste not to tear it down.

I’ll leave you to decide whether you like it or not. For now, let’s find out how to get there, because being the top must-go place for any visitor to Barcelona, the queues to get in can be pretty long. So it’s best to go early.

Also read on for pictures on the interior of La Sagrada Familia – think, rows of stained glass windows, pillars that look like trees, and ceilings that resemble a forest canopy. It’s a work of art in my opinion.

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How to get there?

Getting to La Sagrada Familia is easy. There’s a designated metro station ‘Sagrada Familia’ on the blue and purple lines. Emerge from the underground station and you will find yourself in the presence of greatness, (and crowds as well).

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la sagrada familia
Long queues await you!

Tip – Get there early or prepare for long queues!

This is a point you should take note of. When we arrived at La Sagrada Familia at 10.00am in the morning, a long queue of approximate 300m long had formed in front of us. As we joined the back of the queue, we were informed by the staff that the next available time slot for entry was 1pm.

Which was a real bummer because we wanted to head down to Las Ramblas later on to do some shopping, and visit the Gothic Quarter after that. Of course, we could always head down to Las Ramblas after picking up the tickets, and return to La Sagrada Familia later on.

We queued for about 45mins – if you’re nursing a Starbucks craving, there’s a store nearby. Facing La Sagrada Familia, head towards the right, walk straight and cross the road at the traffic junction. Starbucks is just across the road.

The queue moved quite fast so it wasn’t too much of a problem, especially if you’re with company. When we bought our tickets, the time for entry was 1.45pm. So we headed down to Las Ramblas to do some shopping first before returning back.

In summer, I’d advise you to be there early to beat the crowds.

Opening hours:

October – March: 09:00 – 18:00
April – September: 09:00 – 20:00

Ticket Pricing:

There were some construction works going on at Sagrada Familia when we were there, therefore entrance to the other towers were closed. I’m not a history or architecture buff, so the basic ticket was quite enough for me. It comprised a visit to the main cathedral, the little schoolroom created by Gaudi for the children of his craftsmen’s and an exhibition at the basement of the cathedral. We took about 2.5 hours to explore the place. For more information on ticket pricing, check out the picture below.

It costs €14.80 for a simple Basilica visit. The one that comes with Parc Guell costs €18.30 and does seem rather worth it too.

sagrada familia ticket price
Ticket pricing information

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Our experience

The main Cathedral

Like its exterior, being inside the cathedral of La Sagrada Familia can be quite an eye opener. To the untrained eye, everything seems to be the same, sculpture after sculpture, and the series of stained-glassed windows. But if you look closely, you’ll find that each sculpture has a meaning. It does help that I have a rudimentary recollection of some Bible stories. The stained-glassed windows were also arranged according to colour, and it looked really lovely as the sun rays streamed in.

When you’re there, it’s best to take a few moments to soak up the atmosphere. It’s nice.

sagrada familia interior ceiling
The ceiling is unique, made up of patterns that seem to represent that of a forest canopy.
sagrada familia four evangelists
The four pillars contain the names of the four evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
sagrada familia four evangelists
You can see their names, in Spanish. Does it look like a forest canopy to you? The pillars do look like trees to me.
sagrada familia stained glass windows
The stained glass windows can be quite dazzling
sagrada familia stained glass windows
Up close – unlike some other churches, these stained glass windows don’t come with pictures
sagrada familia stained glass windows
I wonder – do these patterns mean something?
sagrada familia worship altar
The alter for worship. This centerpiece is held between the two organs
sagrada familia church organ
The large organ found in the main cathedral
sagrada familia church organs
Really like this picture – of how the centerpiece and two organs come together.
sagrada familia seats main hall
There’s a place for you to sit, rest and absorb the atmosphere of this grand basilica
sagrada familia holy water font oyster shell
The captions in English read, ‘In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. ‘ It’s a holy water font made of a giant oyster shell.

I didn’t know this until I wiki-ed what a holy water font is – it is a vessel containing holy water generally placed near the entrance of a church. It is used in Catholic Church, Anglican Church, and some Lutheran churches to make the Sign of the Cross using the holy water upon entrance of the church.

sagrada familia back basilica
This is how it looks at the back of the main cathedral. Looks like someone is watching you.
sagrada familia stained glass windows
This is by far my most favourite picture of the interior.
sagrada familia side nave
The side nave – much work has gone into it and it looks as grand as the other parts.
Crypt sagrada familia
Photo of the crypt – as taken from top down. Think it’s used for worship services. Not open to the public.
sagrada familia passion facade door
Words on the door of the Passion Facade
Passion Facade door sagrada familia
Door of the Passion Facade

Disrespectful tourists

While I did enjoy the walk around the cathedral, I chanced upon something that made me really angry. It was a PRC Chinese tourist posing in front of a poster of a cross. For one pose, she even stretched out her hands straight, mimicking the cross. Just felt that it was wrong and disrespectful 🙁

la sagrada familia chinese tourist
Not sure what this lady is trying to achieve :/
chinese tourist
Her friend was using one of those wide screen phones to take a photo of her.. zzz

That’s all for this post of the interior of La Sagrada Familia. Stay tuned for the last edition on Gaudi’s Schoolhouse.

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