I just got back from Barcelona, my fourth visit in 10 years. This was my second visit to Sagrada Familia. This is a beautiful building and a fascinating work in progress. I believe many of the negative reviews and disappointed visitors are related to people not knowing what this building is. This is not an ornate, renaissance cathedral, with lots of artwork, gold, stained glass, etc. This is definitely a construction site, although if you visit on the weekend you won't be subjected to active construction. It is historically interested and engaging from an architectural standpoint. The exterior is amazing. My last visit was about 6 years ago, and I was so surprised at how much work had been done since then. In fact, I have read that the church may be consecrated this fall and Masses may be held then. I am skeptical, but that would be great. But the church is not scheduled to be complete until 2026.
I actually think the tourist flow is backward. If visitors start FIRST in the museum in the basement of the church, they will understand the history of the site, the methods used to create some of the effects in the church and the philosophy and interests of Gaudi, the architect of the building. This will help the visitor understand the influence of elements of nature in the design.
Finally, I didn't mind paying for admission to the site. I know that these funds are going toward the completion of the church. I can't wait until 2026 to return to see the finished product. This is must see for anyone going to Barcelona.
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