Postcards from Abroad: The Sagrada Familia

by Sonja Faul



The Sagrada Familia is Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece. The church, now a minor basilica, is probably the main tourist attraction in Barcelona, with good reason.

The basilica is an architectural marvel loaded with symbolism. It’s easy to lose track of time when visiting the Sagrada Familia…

The Sagrada Familia has three facades, each representing a stage in the life of Jesus.

The Nativity Façade

This façade was completed by Gaudi himself. It’s very intricate and ‘busy’ with a lot of detail to take in. It depicts the events that took place around the birth of Jesus.

The Passion Façade

This façade has a completely different style and design: it’s abstract and modern and minimalistic. Initially, I didn’t care for this façade. But the more I looked at it, the more I adored it.

The Glory Façade is currently under construction, but will also be abstract and modern like the Passion Façade. I’m still on the fence about which façade I like best.

Go inside!

Buy a ticket and go inside. Trust me, it’s worth it! The inside of the basilica is even more breathtaking than the outside. You can see a million photos of it but it’s completely different when you see it for yourself.  The Sagrada Familia definitely has that WOW factor. My favourite part is the pillars that look like trees.

Fun things to do

As a zoologist, I’m always looking for the animal element in everything. And luckily for me, Gaudi found a lot of his inspiration in nature. A fun thing I did was to see how many animals I could spot! And let me just tell you, there are plenty! Tortoise, turtle, doves and snails, to name a few.

I also enjoyed trying to identify each of the scenes from the life of Jesus. It’s like a visual bible pop quiz!

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