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La Sagrada Familia

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My favourite and most memorable experience of Barcelona was obtained during my visit to one of Spain’s many UNESCO World heritage sites. The most famous of all the tourist attractions in Barcelona, in my opinion, is the Sagrada Familia. Worked upon by the sensational modernist architect, Antoni Gaudi in 1883 till his death in 1926, the building is still to be completed.

Don’t be put off by the building site appearance of the Roman Catholic Church, there is much to discover and explore within the realms of the interior as well as upon the exterior walls.

One of Barcelona’s major landmarks can be easily reached as it is one of the featured stops of the city sightseeing bus, the Bus Turistic. Situated in the Eixample district, the church can be spotted from miles away with its sky reaching towers, the tallest of which is 170 metres. These towers look to me like tentacles. There are to be twelve towers in all when the building is completed, each one representing an Apostle.

Prepare to have your breath taken away when you see the Nativity and the Passion facades outside the church. The ‘Nativity Facade’ which retraces the story of the Nativity depicting the serpent and the apple at its base also bears three doors based upon Faith, Hope and Charity. Opposite to the Nativity Facade, completed only fairly recently in 1978 is that of the ‘Passion Facade’. This offers a depiction of the suffering of Christ with his crucifixion atop the door in the centre. You don’t expect to see number puzzles upon the walls of a church, do you? Look out for its special features like the ‘Magic Square’ where the numbers all add up to the same number no matter which direction you take. The third feature, the ‘Glory Facade’ is yet to be complete, so we have that to look forward to. The best views of the Sagrada Familia are afforded from in the sandy square across the road. A nice place to read a newspaper or to sketch and generally watch the world go by.


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