James Portelli is working his way toward Ferrol, Galicia, where he’ll report from the Camino Inglés. He just sent me a guest post about Gaudi’s famous masterpiece-in-progress in Barcelona. I saw La Sagrada Familia in 1992 and thought it would never be completed. However, during my visits in 2007 and 2010, I was impressed with the progress! It is truly a must-see when in Barcelona.
La Sagrada Familia
By James Portelli
With our Camino rendezvous at Santiago Airport scheduled for the 12th May, my wife and I decided to land in Barcelona, Spain, 5 days before to savor Catalunya. Our ‘to-do list’ included Sagrada Familia and Montserrat and otherwise do what tourists do before we donned the gear of peregrines Ferrol-bound to commence the Camino Inglés.
Sagrada Familia Basilica
If there were a star rating for edifices, similar to that of hotels, the Sagrada Familia would probably score 100! It is out of this world; Surely its 8th wonder. It combines the physical with the meta-physical and the emotional and spiritual in perfect balance. One enters the temple with a great sense of expectation and exits with an intense feeling of fulfillment.
The Sagrada Familia is not just a masterpiece; it is a labour of love spanning three centuries and is still in the making. Construction commenced in 1882 and continues today, although it wasn’t consecrated as a functional basilica until 2010. Anton Gaudi, a celebrated 19th century architect, sacrificed his illustrious career to concentrate solely on this endeavour. He was not the first architect tasked with this project. He changed the original plans from those of a Neo-Gothic basilica to an architectural and geometric colossus.
The temple consists of the Crypt of Saint Joseph underneath the Basilica, a museum and the overlying Basilica.
Gaudi’s concept was to create in the Basilica a ‘living gospel’. It has four towers (one for each of the evangelists) and three doors that depict the great mysteries of the gospel, which are the birth, death and glory of Jesus.
As the name suggests the Basilica is dedicated to the Holy Family.
In the crypt. Lady of Mt Carmel
Getting there and other practical tips
Sagrada Familia is accessible by metro (10 mins) from central Barcelona ( I.e Ramblas or university area) on L2. It’s a 45 minute walk.
It is recommended that one books the admission ticket online ahead of time. Choose from admission only, admission with an audio guide, or admission with a guided tour.
Admission money goes directly towards the continued construction of the magnificent edifice.
When the first Camino Inglés Route Report goes live in a couple weeks, I’ll publish it at this new page (caminoprovides.com/routes/ingles2016) and will add James’s daily updates to the page as he continues their Camino. I will also announce his daily updates on my Facebook page, so be sure to Like Facebook.com/CaminoProvides, to be alerted about James’ reports.
If you have plans to walk a Camino this summer or fall and would like to be a Route Reporter for this blog, contact me. The Camino Francés will be covered by Cathy Seitchik Diaz, but other routes are open for pilgrims with a desire to share useful tips and high quality photos of their Camino. This could be a good platform for those who don’t have a blog of their own and want a publicly visible page to refer to.
See you on the Camino Portugués May 21-30!