My Travel To Sagrada Familia
Returning to a city for the fourth time may be quite boring to the average traveler, who wants to check off as many cities as possible from their list. But returning to a city is never dull. There are always more adventures to embark upon. The last time I returned to Barcelona, I decided to do things differently. This blog is about my travel to Sagrada Familia.
I always admired the Sagrada Familia from afar, but never paid the money to enter. Most of the time I travelled with others. There was always a reason to not go. In hindsight, I made excuses due to budget or sold out tickets. But this time, it was different. I travelled alone and vowed to treat myself with an entrance ticket to this church. Words cannot express the beauty that waited for me inside.
Sagrada Family History
The Basilica de la Sagrada Familia is known to us all as Sagrada Familia. This translates literally to Sacred Family, or as many know them as the Holy Family. Currently the completion date is projected for the year 2026. This is 100 years after architect’s Antoni Gaudi’s death. Interestingly, although this is only three years away, some say it will not be complete until 2032. But does it matter? It an architectural gem that has been evolving and under construction for over 140 years, with numerous architects that have taken the lead over decades.
Barcelona boasts numerous other works of Antoni Gaudi throughout the city. It’s as if the city and Gaudi decided to create an artistic agreement to make Barcelona a visually exceptional and playful destination for years to come. Gaudi’s work today is still fresh and alive as ever. There’s a fluid sense of timelessness, joy, and vibrancy when interacting with his work.
Sagrada Familia Inside
Sitting inside, my mouth was agape. When I saw this color landscape, I observed art and spirituality merge. I couldn’t help but have tears trickle down my face as I sat in one of the pews. The colors of the stained glass were stunning and awe-inspiring. The church was oozing with rainbows. This pallete seemed to be a wake up call to our chakras, each aligned to a various area in the sacred space. At that point, I was so immersed by the beauty of this church, that I failed to listen to the accompanying audio guide.
Then, I turned it on. One piece of advice the audio guide offered was “You are to have your own experience of Sagrada Familia.” My fingers turned off the headset. I didn’t want to hear the history. I wanted to experience La Sagrada Familia in my own way. All I truly needed was to experience this moment, without any influence of what I should look at and notice? I knew that my eyes and heart would lead me to what needed to be seen and experienced that day.
The Effect of the Sagrada Familia
Prior to entering the church, I had offered an elder woman 50 cents. She was just outside the church. I did not think twice of this, until needing to enter the elevator for the towers. Bags were required to be placed in a locker. This was a payment of either one euro or 50 cents. It so happened, I was out of coins as I had just given them away, and would have to leave my space in line, go to the downstairs gift shop in order to get a euro. A fellow traveler heard this, and offered me 50 cents. This was the effect of “La Sagrada Familia.” Kindness from strangers that was unexpectedly reciprocal.
I recall, that there’s a commercial for Spain I have once seen, the main catch phrase for visiting the country is “Smile, you’re in Spain.” Simple. There was no particular place to visit in the ad, or things you had to purchase as souvenirs. Just smile. That’s all that is necessary to remember when I am here.
The Importance of the Travel Pause
Travelling pauses your life. It mutes thinking momentarily and you to the current moment. As my trip continued, I sat for hours on bus rides from city to city each day, my mind wandered. I didn’t listen to any music. I took tiny breaks for bursts of inspiration where I wrote in my journal, read my Paulo Coelho book, or nap. But most of the time I looked out the window at the Spanish natural surroundings and let my mind drift with the scenery.
How often does this happen anymore? I generally feel I must be so productive during times of transportation. I must listen to the latest podcast, catch up on phone calls, or struggle to see the directions on my phone gps to direct me to the right locale. Infrequently do I let my mind take a break during moments of transport where I can view the landscape as it shifts from town to town. It reminds me of long car rides with my family, as I sat in the backseat. My only job was to be along for the ride. I would fall in and out of sleep, inspiration, reflection, and nothingness.
Best Time To Visit Sagrada Familia
One can visit La Sagrada Familia during the week, with tickets available at the link below. Or you can opt to attend a mass on Sunday or Holy Day, and nab a seat inside. There is no best time to visit La Sagrada Familia, if you are in Barcelona, do it! Do not wait until the church’s renovations are complete. This art piece is an evolving morphing breathing being. It can be appreciated at all stages of development.
A visit to Sagrada Familia heightened my senses. Taking the pilgrimage to this church reminded me to slow down and allow myself to take in the beauty of this building. Absorb the living breathing art piece that have been worked on by generations of artists. This is a living breathing collective art meditation, whose end result is unknown. Witnessing this church in this state is being in the unknown, and still having that sense of awe for creation being made.
“Those who look for the laws of Nature as a support for their new works collaborate with the creator. “-Antoni Gaudi
To get tickets to Sagrada Familia check this site out: