Sagrada Familia… Barcelona’s Masterpiece of Art and Faith Soars Toward the Sky

An interior photo of Sagrada Familia in Barcelona Spain

Walking into Sagrada Familia and looking up is like entering a totally different world.

Barcelona arrived in the Twentieth Century with its own brand of Art Nouveau, Modernisme. Combining whimsical and practical with a healthy dollop of nature, Barcelona’s Catalan artists and architects did a makeover of their city. Antoni Gaudi (1852-1926), the best known among the Modernistas, added strong religious belief to his work and became the architect of Sagrada Familia, the Church of the Holy Family.

Started in 1883, the church continues to be a work in progress today. Like the great cathedrals of the Gothic and Renaissance periods, it is a work of generations, and like the great cathedrals of Europe, is a masterpiece of art and architecture. Peggy, I, and our traveling companions walked inside and could only stare in awe at the beauty. I’ve selected the photos for this blog to provide a sense of why.

Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain

The front of Sagrada Familia reflects Antoni Gaudi’s love of nature and is sometimes described as looking like a melting cake. My thoughts are a melting ice cream cake. The church is a work in progress. The four towers are the first of 14.

Sagrada Familia towers representing Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

A close up of the towers. The lower right shows doves that Gaudi  included on the church.

Subirachs ' Passion sculpture on Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

This sculpture found on the opposite side of the church is one of many included in Joseph Marin Subirachs’ story of Christ’s death. I found the modern sculptures both powerful and moving.

Subirachs sculptures on Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

More sculptures by Subirachs.

Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain

Another view looking up inside of Sagrada Familia. The columns inside the church range from 36 to 72 feet tall. The ceiling vault reaches a height of 200 feet. The final tower, which will rest on the beams and ceiling, will soar 560 feet into the air, making it the tallest church steeple in the world.

Celing of Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

The columns in Sagrada Familia come in different colors and follow Gaudi’s nature theme. Designed to symbolize tree trunks, they branch at the top. The clear windows will eventually be replaced with stained glass windows.

Stained glass windows in Sagrada Familia

The majority of beautiful stained glass windows are already in place. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson)

Stained glass windows in Sagrada Familia

This, and the two photos below, provide more examples of stained glass windows in the church.

Stained glass windows in Sagrada Familia

Stained glass windows in Sagrada Familia

Stained glass windows in Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

A rather unique set of stained glass windows.

Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain

I thought this interior photo captured the etherial quality of Sagrada Familia.

Organ pipes in Sagrada Familia

I love this artistic juxtaposition of the organ pipes and stained glass windows taken by Peggy. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson)

The Crucifix that hangs above the altar in Sagrada Familia.

The Crucifix that hangs above the altar.

Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

A final view of Sagrada Familia. Cranes show work in progress. The church is scheduled to be finished in 2026.

NEXT BLOG: We leave the Mediterranean and head for Lisbon.