La Sagrada Família

Construction began on La Sagrada Família in 1882, with Antoni Gaudí taking over as lead architect a year later. When he died in 1926 it was only 25% complete. Work is still ongoing, with the church finally set to be finished by 2026.

Looking towards the ceiling of the main atrium of la Sagrada Família. The very top of the ceiling is especially bright from many small lights.

Where I found most of Gaudí’s other works rather gaudy, la Sagrada Família was excellent. The interior architecture is especially stunning. They’ve done a great job of lighting the atriums and columns, making the space far less gloomy than other churches.

A photo looking directly up at the large hall of la Sagrada Família. There are 8 main support columns that radiate outwards.
Looking up at some stained glass windows in la Sagrada Família. The near ceiling is faceted and coloured green and blue from the window light.
A patterned glass window in la Sagrada Família. It looks similar to an abstract stained glass window, but with frosty white glass.
A close up of some tiled mosaic on the exterior of la Sagrada Família. The tiles are arranged in five segments like a pie chart. The top three segments are pink, and the bottom two are gold.

The interior is rather reserved in colour pallete (unlike other Gaudí buildings), but the exterior has brief flashes of strange / bizarre / interesting mosaic.

A detail of the exterior tiling at the top of one of the towers in la Sagrada Família.
A wide angle photo looking down void of the interior of one of a la Sagrada Família tower.

You can pay extra to ascend one of the towers. You get an ok view of the nearby neighbourhood, as well as a closer look at the towers and some of the higher bits of the exterior.

Looking directly down a tight stone spiral staircase
Two model makers pour plaster in to a mould.

Most of the plans and models for la Sagrada Família were destroyed during the Spanish civil war of 1936. Some have been reconstructed but much has had to be recreated or worked out from scratch. Beneath the main church a team of model makers and architects plan and make models for the parts of the building still to be finished.

A photo of many small white models of roof spires of la Sagrada Família.
A photo of an original construction prototype made for la Sagrada Família. The model has hundreds of small weights hung from loops of string forming catenary curves. The shape of the curves helped determine the arch shapes and position of supports.
Original catenary model for calculating arch curves in la Sagrada Família.