Postcards from Barcelona’s famous Gaudi landmark

It was tempting to miss out on visiting Barcelona‘s most famous landmark altogether, I am pretty sure most of you will have seen dozens of articles about it and probably visited it too. The Sagrada Família is almost too familiar to many of us.

The Gaudi masterpiece

Something familiar in Barcelona

However clutching my Barcelona Tourism Bus ticket on the final day deciding to visit was relatively easy. It is the one of the closest landmarks to my hotel. A visit to Gaudi’s greatest project still unfinished after 130 years is one of the most popular tourist attractions of the city.

Gaudi was not the original architect chosen for the project but from the moment he took over construction in 1883 it appears to have become his lifelong obsession. It is not altogether surprsing that the modernist architect completely redrew the designs and a new church emerged.

A street market across from the Sagrad Familia in the L'Eixample district of Barcelona on Mallory on Travel adventure photography

Selling the Sagrada Familia to tourists

He was constantly changing the design and improvising new techniques which caused delays so his ambitious project was only a quarter finished when he died in 1926. Gaudi produced few detailed plans and most of these were destroyed in the Civil War. Construction has continued but has been hampered by funding mainly being provided from private donations and builders having to interpret what Gaudi’s intentions may have been.

The good news is that it is finally possible to concieve that the ‘masterpiece’ will be finally finished, possibly in 2026 the centenary of his death. The interior is now even free from rain

Photographing one of the most captured icons of travel can be problematic, finding a ‘new’ angle, maybe avoiding the cranes or scaffolding. I spent a few hours walking around and studying it over a large sangria working out some good vantage points. Ultimately it requires compromise but I am relatively pleased with the results and the cranes are actually a part of the scenery at present.

This The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família located in the L’Eixample district is a magnet for tourists. Most would not even consider visiting the city without taking time to stare at its impressive facade. Some just stand transfixed in contemplation awhile, all seem to pose in front of it, others tour the interior, many soak in the view over a beer or wine from the nearby vendors and still more purchase Sagrada Familia ‘portraits’ from the few stalls outside the park. Some even help fund its  completion by making donations to those campaigning.

Almost all are overwhelmed by the  amazing mix of Gothic modernism however I wonder what Gaudi would make of his ‘pet’ project when it is finished.

More from Barcelona – Touring Barcelona on the Catalan Job

Cranes tower over Gaudi's Sagrada Familia in Catalonain Barcelona, Spain on Mallory on Travel adventure photography

Dark skies, but bright future

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Comments 2

  1. Linda

    I think that you really have to see it to appreciate it, no matter how many photos you’ve seen. I’d had the same reaction as you, until food poisoning ruined what was my last day in Barcelona, and since I didn’t feel up to anything energetic I took one of the open-top tour buses (cold in January, but invigorating!). I hopped off at the Sagrada Familia almost on auto-pilot, but was very pleased I did once I was up close. It truly defies description!

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