There’s nothing else like the Sagrada Familia church, Barcelona. As you enter it feels like a completely different world. Designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi over 120 years ago, it’s been a long time in the making. And it still isn’t finished!
But have you ever gone to the top of the towers? Things get even better…
The lift takes you up gently, the view is modest. As you exit you’re hit by just how high you are. People look tiny! The stairs down into the balcony are narrow and the walls are low – and there’s nothing stopping you from leaning over (or falling off).
The exterior is covered in scaffolding and you can watch the workers go about their business of constructing this magnificent building against the backdrop of Barcelona.
It looks messy, but I think that makes it more special than just going up a finished church – you can do that almost anywhere. How many places can you actually watch one get built around you?
Walking down some steps you come to another balcony. Unlike the relative security of the main one, which is fully enclosed, the walls of this one not only just about reach waist/chest height, but there are diamond shapes sculpted out from the ground and you can pretty much stick your foot through them! You can also see the tiny people below walking past. I was thinking of all the things that could be accidentally dropped down them…. sandals… lens caps…
You wind down some more stairs. As I was doing this, I heard the people in front of me gasp. I didn’t think much of it to begin with. Then I came to this staircase:
Nope, there’s no inside wall. Looking over the edge all you can see is the staircase spiraling down into oblivion! And you can lean right over! In fact, you could easily fall down! Taking a firm hold on the railing, I descended.
Further and further…
It never seemed to stop (I took all of these photos blindly – I didn’t have the nerve to lean over properly. Instead I held onto the railing for dear life and dangled my camera over the edge. The price of the camera/lens combo flashed before my eyes ;) )
Eventually you hit actual ground. *Sigh*.
It’s the most the dangerous/scary church I’ve ever been to! I absolutely recommend it.
[If you look between the tower on the second from right and the tower on the far right (about three quarters up) you can see the little stairway I first mentioned. Below it is another stairway which leads to the smaller balcony with holes in it]
Want to know more about Barcelona? Check out my post about Barcelona’s street art
13 thoughts on “Sagrada Familia: The most amazing and dangerous church you’ll visit”
Love the spiral staircase and the Sagrada Familia looks absolutely amazing inside!! I was there about 8 years ago and don’t think there beautiful colourful lead glass windows were there then. Beautiful photos!
Thank you! Yes, it’s just amazing, I’ve never seen anything like it :)
Hi Justine – love this collection of photographs, especially the one of the scaffold workers high up.
Thank you! Yes, that’s my favourite one too. Much to the annoyance of the other people, I stood on the stairs for a good 10 minutes waiting for them to come up :)
P.s I have just come back from a holiday in Barcelona (hence the reason for my post) and will be sharing more of my photos soon :)
Wow, I love these photos! I agree with Con Jamón, the ones of the workers are really interesting.
Glad you like them! I really enjoyed watching the workers. If it weren’t for the fact that I was right in the way of everyone else I would have watched them for longer!
It’s a splendid whimsical building.
When I was in Barcelona last year, we tried to go and see this church on Catalanya Day. This meant it was closed. Unfortunately it was our last day in Barcelona, so we never did manage to see anything by the outside. Your wonderful photo story made me feel like we actually were inside. Thanks for sharing.
Stepping inside this sanctuary…was a most exceptional experience which brought me to my knees, with thanksgiving for tears, even briefly, to gave me a moment of respite from the stunning grandeur of the Lord’s natural creation, set in natural white stone and colorful light. The visit was a prayer of gratitude and then, a benediction…that your images once again created in my mind and religious appreciation. Frankly, after viewing ~ such a unique exterior…I was not prepared for the magnificence of the interior burst of praise and palpable worship.
I started looking for anything I could find about Barcelona’s archetecture, especially La Sagrata Familia, especially the spiral staircase, after reading Dan Brown’s new novel “Origin”. The entire novel takes place in Spain, and most of it is in several major marvels. Besides Sagrata Familia, it also visits sites like Casa Mila, also designed by Gaudi, and the Guggenheim museum of Modern Art in Balbao. This novel will do wonders for Spain’s tourism industry, and I am sure they will make a movie based on the novel.
That sounds fantastic! I will have to check it out…