The Sangrada Familia is a must see while in Barcelona!!! The first time I experienced the massive cathedral, was in September 2011 on a guided tour. When I returned with the family we had a week to spend in Barcelona and decided to take the tour ourselves with the whisper (headset and radio). I highly recommend the whisper to provide the historical information about the tour. It is not necessary to hire a tour guide and often times you will feel rushed if in a large group.
We took our time and read the signs as we went along. The colors of the marble columns are breathtaking with shades of pink, peach, purple, and blue. I have never seen marble in the those colors before. The large organ and pipes are unbelievable. As you wander through and listen to the whisper you will find that the construction tells a story. You will find hidden objects imbedded in the structure on the outside. The Sangrada Familia is constantly under construction and you may just see cranes moving about while you observe the structure from outside. It is absolutely fascinating!!!
$$ saving tips: There is a park located in front of the Sangrada Familia with big, shady trees where you can enjoy a picnic lunch before taking the tour. Plan to spend at least 2 hours viewing the cathedral. We chose to take the double-decker bus to the cathedral rather than a cab or the metro. It is a beautiful ride if you sit on the top-level, you can take spectacular pictures from the bus which will capture side views of Sangrada Familia towers and the bus fare is a better deal if you purchase a multi-day pass.
The expiatory church of La Sagrada Família is a work on a grand scale which was begun on 19 March 1882 from a project by the diocesan architect Francisco de Paula del Villar (1828-1901). At the end of 1883 Gaudí was commissioned to carry on the works, a task which he did not abandon until his death in 1926. Since then different architects have continued the work after his original idea. The building is in the centre of Barcelona, and over the years it has become one of the most universal signs of identity of the city and the country. It is visited by millions of people every year and many more study its architectural and religious content.
It has always been an expiatory church, which means that since the outset, 131 years ago now, it has been built from donations. Gaudí himself said: “The expiatory church of La Sagrada Família is made by the people and is mirrored in them.
It is a work that is in the hands of God and the will of the people.” The building is still going on and could be finished some time in the first third of the 21st century.