In our experience, the most convenient, reliable, safe and inexpensive way to explore a new city is being on a Hop-on-Hop-off bus. The bus ride on its particular route gives an idea of interesting places in the city. From then on, we chose the places to explore at our convenience and pace. In Barcelona, we did so and got off the Hop-on-Hop-off bus at Sagrada Familia. It was a very windy day in March 2013, but we lined up to buy the entrance ticket. The queue to the ticketing booth was long. By the time we bought our tickets, I was shivering from the cold. Back then, we paid eighteen Euros for our entry tickets with an audio guide.
We approached the door to the basilica with our tickets and noticed its long, wide door, decorated with words from the Bible. Carved letters filled the door from top to bottom. Once inside the building, we were quite surprised by the unique features of the interior work. I felt that I was in some magical place. The tall columns inside the building looked like tall trees. In some parts, it seemed the branches have been cut off. Parts of the ceiling had complicated geometric shapes; that resembled like flowers. There were many flowers with different sizes and shapes, like a flower garden. The sunlight reflected from the stained glass windows into the building, painted the walls naturally with shades of colours. It is clear that Gaudi was very inspired by nature when doing the project of Sagrada Familia. Many structural and ornamental pieces in the church resembled trees, flowers, leaves, snails, birds, and humans. The basement level of the building is the museum, showcasing photographs, sketches and models of the building by Gaudi.
Sagrada Familia is in Mallorca district in Barcelona. The famous Spanish architect and artist, Antoni Gaudi designed the unusual, gothic style church. The church’s construction work began in the year 1884 with the financing from donations. Gaudi himself had been employed on the project for twelve years before he died in a tram accident in 1926. At the time of his death, the building was incomplete. According to the narration, Gaudi’s has said; “The expiatory church of La Sagrada Família is made by the people and is mirrored in them. It is a work that is in the hands of God and the will of the people.” At the time of his words, no one may have imagined it would take 130 years to complete what Gaudi started. According to the information booklet, we have from 2013; the church will fully be completed by the year 2025. Its funding comes from over two million visitors who visit Sagrada Familia every year.