Sagrada Familia Architecture and Stained Glass Windows in Barcelona

Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is famous largely due to its Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi. Plus the fact that the church has been under construction since 1882. The beautiful stained glass windows and distinctive architecture at Sagrada Familia captivate visitors.

Estimated completion date of Sagrada Familia is now 2026 – 2028 if all goes well. The construction/tourist site is the most visited tourist attraction in Barcelona Spain.

 

Sagrada Familia visitor info for Barcelona's top tourist attraction. Get info on tickets and more...

 

Barcelona Sagrada Familia Sanctus - Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi

Sagrada Familia tower with the word Sanctus (Latin for Holy)

 

 

 

Buying tickets for Sagrada Familia

Many people purchase their tickets to Sagrada Familia online prior to visiting Barcelona. I like to keep my options open so when I spent 9 days in Barcelona I had a mental list of places that I wanted to visit and decided day-by-day what I would do, depending on the weather or what I was in the mood for.

Some people prefer to plan out the itinerary for their entire trip in advance. That is far too structured travel planning for me.

You can buy tickets online for Sagrada Familia here.

 

Construction of Sagrada Familia began in 1882 and continues - stained glass windows

Barcelona – Sagrada Familia stained glass in progress

 

I knew there would be crowds of people gathered at the entrance as soon as it opened so I planned to get there early and beat the rush of ticket buyers.

I arrived about a half hour before the opening time of 9 am. The line was already around the corner and halfway down the block!

 

Barcelona Sagrada Familia construction is on going since 1882

Barcelona – Sagrada Familia construction continues

 

When I arrived at the ticket counter I was told I could get in at 9:45 but not until 3 pm for the Sagrada Familia tower visit. I said no to that time. She checked the computer again and offered me 10:45 for the tower visit so I bought the ticket. The couple in front of me in line were given an entrance time of 11:45 and 3 pm for their tower visit. I think you fare better being a solo visitor.

 

View from the tower of Sagrada Familia - architect Antoni Gaudi's most famous work in Barcelona Catalonia Spain

Sagrada Familia view from the tower

 

Trencadis mosaic at Sagrada Familia in Barcelona Catalonia Spain

Barcelona – Sagrada Familia – trencadis style mosaic

 

Since I had some time to spare I went across the street for a croissant and coffee of course.

 

Cappuccino and pastry at Farggi cafe across the street from Sagrada Familia in Barcelona Spain

Cappuccino at Farggi cafe across the street from Sagrada Familia

 

 

Viewing the inside of Sagrada Familia

I was expecting my experience at Sagrada Familia to be similar to the first time I set foot in Hagia Sophia in Istanbul Turkey. Awestruck is what I was expecting. Perhaps that is the source of my dissatisfaction with Sagrada Familia.

Once you get inside to view the interior design of Sagrada Familia you will want to look up to the ceiling. The ceiling design and architecture makes an impressive view.

Take notice that the appearance of Sagrada Familia changes with the light. Especially the beautiful stained glass windows.

What I miss in Sagrada Familia that is present in other works by Antoni Gaudi are the curved flowing lines influenced by nature. Of course this is a church rather than a residence like Casa Batllo.

 

Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi's most famous work in Barcelona - Sagrada Familia

Barcelona’s famous Sagrada Familia ceiling

 

 

Stained glass windows at Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia is a magnificent piece of architecture and there is some beautiful stained glass, not as fabulous as the stained glass dome at Palau de la Musica Catalana mind you. The stained glass at Sagrada Familia is on par with Basilica Santa Maria del Mar – which has no line up and is free to visit.

Some of the stained glass windows at Sagrada Familia are not yet completed

 

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Stained glass windows at Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

Stained glass windows at Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

 

Should you visit Sagrada Familia

I talked to other tourists equally underwhelmed by Sagrada Familia. For other visitors it the most extraordinary place they have ever seen. Thus far Hagia Sophia holds the title of most extraordinary architecture in the world for me. Sagrada Familia is worth a visit if you have several days in Barcelona.

I actually recommend that if you only have a couple of days in Barcelona you should just skip the hype of Sagrada Familia and visit El Born district where you can take in the Museo Picasso, Basilica Santa Maria del Mar, eat some tapas, and do a little shopping in the same amount of time you would spend at Sagrada Familia with the crowds.

As for Antoni Gaudi’s most famous architecture in Barcelona, I prefer Casa Batllo over Sagrada Familia. I would visit Casa Batllo again but I do not plan another visit to Sagrada Familia…for a few years anyway. After all Sagrada Familia is still under construction so I do plan to see it again. Maybe in 2026!

 

Barcelona - Sagrada Familia trencadis mosaic style was used often by Antoni Gaudi

Barcelona – Sagrada Familia trencadis mosaic

 

To plan a visit to Sagrada Familia or read up on the history of Barcelona’s most visited tourist attraction click here.

 

Sagrada Familia Barcelona colorful stained glass windows

 

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About the Author

Susan Moore spent 7 months traveling around Southeast Asia back in the 90's. Returning to Canada she found a job working on rotation in Siberia Russia. She later moved to Austin Texas where she started a bookkeeping business, allowing her to work remotely. Currently Susan is in year 4 of living a nomadic life, roadtripping around the USA and Canada and writing about her experiences. Read all about Susan » You can reach Susan Moore at Facebook or Twitter or Instagram

6 Replies

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  1. always I’ve been a sucker for stained glass. my former and mu=y current churches both have historic stained windows.

  2. Reader Wil says:

    Absolutely beautiful! And so different from all other great cathedrals!
    Have a great week!
    Wil

  3. ellen b says:

    Susan, sorry about the disappointment with Sagrada Familia but it’s good to get these great tips for people who travel and have limited time to experience and area. Nice to know what to avoid!

  4. Rajesh says:

    That is a mammoth church under construction for long time. That is a lovely bird.

  5. I visited it in 2009 and there’s less stained glass then. Personally I don’t know what my impression was. Well, I was disappointed because I knew nothing – NADA – about the history of Sagrada and so I was expecting to see ornate marbles and gilded chapels. However after the initial shock wore out, I became fascinated especially when I started to learn about Gaudi.

    Hope to see it when it’s completed. Was in Barcelona last month for the second time, did not go anywhere near it.

  6. Hildred says:

    I do enjoy hearing about your travels, Susan, – wonderful education for a stay-at-home.

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