CITINERARY: Sagrada Família

Back from Barcelona… Sagrada Familia… exploring more… starting a new citinerary only about Sagrada Família… for the next visit… would love to hear suggestions if you happen to stop by… thanks in advance!

  1. From this parc you can see the Nativity Façade in its entirety. Now you will understand why the Cathedral is described as a “Cake in the Rain” or what happens when a careless giant pours melted, candle wax over a Gothic Cathedral. Gaudi studied how melting wax ran down, settled and formed on lit candles to complete the design of the facade that you can see from this parc.

  2. Constructed between 1894 and 1930 it is the only facade that was built during Gaudi’s lifetime and it has been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Dedicated to the birth of Jesus, it is decorated with scenes reminiscent of elements of life. It is also referred to as the façade of Life, of Joy, or of Christmas. How many birds and plants can you find?

  3. Can you find a green ceramic cypress studded with white, marble doves for peace? Look high up on the Nativity façade! The cypress represents eternal life because the tree has resistant wood and evergreen leaves.

  4. Can you find a turtle and a tortoise?
    They seem to support the two columns flanking the central portal of Nativity façade that are topped with palm fronds.

    The sea turtle with flippers is looking out to sea.
    The land tortoise with a paw is looking landward.

  5. Gaudí aimed to create a new architecture inspired by the natural world.

    Can you find architectural elements inside Sagrada Família that remind you of a snail, tree, knot of a tree?

  6. Have you noticed the light and colors inside the basilica?

    Can you find out which façade receives the sunrise, mid-day, and sunset light?

  7. Can you find the magic square on the Passion Façade?

    What is the magic constant?

    Do you notice anything unusual about this magic square?

    This magic square is also included as a decoration in one of the main doors of the Passion Façade. Can you find it?

  8. Built in 1909 by Gaudí, it was a small school building for the children of the workers building the Sagrada Familia although other children of the neighborhood attended, especially from the underprivileged classes. It suffered grave damage during the Spanish Civil War for which the building was dismantled in blocks and reconstructed later.

  9. It opened in 1961 in the semi-basement under the Passion Façade. Of particular interest are the drawings, contemporary photographs, liturgical furnishings and the restored original models, as well as replicas of originals and new modern models.


  1. Plaza de Gaudí
  2. Carrer de Lepant, 278

  3. Nativity Façade
  4. Symbolic Visit

  5. The Tree of Life
  6. Nativity Façade

  7. Palm-front capitals; Turtle and tortoise
  8. Nativity Façade, The Charity Portico (central)

  9. Sagrada Família Geometry

  10. The spiral staircases, columns branching out like trees, rounded capitals of the main columns where the columns subdivide into branches.

  11. Sagrada Família Light and colour
  12. The rising sun lights up the portals of the Nativity Façade. On the Passion Façade the interplay of light and shadow produced by the setting sun heightens the sparse and severe character of the façade’s theme, while the Glory façade receives the mid-day sun that will shine on the 16 lanterns of the monumental porch and light up the main entrance to the basilica.
    “sunshine is the best painter and the light changes with the time”
    The symbolism of light in Gaudi’s work

  13. A very famous magic square in Barcelona
  14. The magic constant is 33, the age of Jesus at the time of the Passion. The magic square has 2 duplicates, numbers 10 and 14, and 2 missing numbers, 16 and 11, so it is not really a magic square.

  15. Schools of Sagrada Familia
  16. Carrer de Mallorca, 401

  17. Sagrada Familia Museum

MAP: Sagrada_Familia_Tour_map.pdf


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