Unquestionably one of the highlights of any visit to Barcelona, this cathedral that is over a century in the making (and still going), is arguably one of the most unique and beautiful buildings anywhere in the world. The scale, and the detail are like nothing either of us have seen elsewhere in the world.
I first saw this amazing church way back in 2003 when I was passing through Barcelona on my way to a snowboarding trip in Andorra. While for most normal buildings, 12 years is probably enough time to complete construction, for some reason I was amazed at how much more they had completed. I guess part of that has to do with me not fully appreciating that it has actually been 12 years since I was here last.
When I was here in 2003 it wasn’t possible to go inside the church, only to view it from outside. So understandably I was excited to know that it’s possible to actually go inside this religious monument. What I didn’t quite take into account was just how many other people also wanted to go inside! I knew that I would have to purchase a ticket, and that I would have to queue to purchase it, but I didn’t realise that I would be purchasing a ticket for an allocated entrance time, which just happened to be 90-minutes away…
So, after walking around the building a few times, taking in all the minute details, and finding some respite from the harsh Mediterranean sun in the shade in an adjacent park, we joined another queue with the other people also in our timeslot entrance.
From the very first instant I caught a glimpse of what was inside, I was mesmerised. The height of the ceiling, the columns that reached up like branches, and the geometric intricacies. But most of all, it was the light and the colour that gently bathed the very air of this enormous building. I, like most every other tourist, walked around facing the ceiling in a quiet rapture.
Even with the religious iconography and pews, it somehow didn’t feel like a church. However, it felt like a spiritual and significant place. There is a smaller space downstairs where regular religious services are held. It is also the resting place of Antoni Gaudi, the architect of Sagrada Familia.