With the Festival of La Mercè underway, the Sagrada Familia opened its doors to the public and from the 12th-16th of September held a contest to give away 30,000 tickets during the afternoons of the 20th, 21st and 23rd with the idea of presenting the plans for the Evangelist towers that will surround the Jesus tower of the basilica. As you may have seen on an earlier Instagram post of mine, I won. Super excited to be able to get tickets inside for today a visit. While I am outside a couple times each week, it had been about two years since I had last visited the interior. Each winner got four tickets that were transferable to whoever you wanted. I ended up going with my girlfriend and a few friends. (Side note: my girlfriend is from here and had never been inside!)
For those that don’t know, the Sagrada Familia is in the final process of construction and its final push towards 2026, which will mark the 100th year anniversary of Antoni Gaudí’s death with the completion of the temple. The current focus are the 18 different towers that will coronate the basilica. The Jesus tower will be the tallest of them all at 172.5 meters (566 feet), followed by the Mary tower at 138 meters (453 feet), and then the Evangelist towers at 135 meters (443 feet). The Evangelist towers will surround the Jesus tower and look out in all directions from the Sagrada Familia, each representing the 4 authors of Christ’s life: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Matthew, represented with the Angel is the representation of the humanity of Christ. Mark, a lion, represents power, courage and loyalty. Luke, a bull, shows humility and John, an eagle, views the world from above. Each of the Evangelist pinnacles will be a total of 22.5 meters tall, which is roughly a five story building in the Eixample district of Barcelona. The sculptures pictured above and what we were able to see inside today were roughly 1/5 the size that they will be when finished. As the towers as a whole need to be finished by 2022, the Evangelist tower section is set to be concluded by 2021.
As we get closer and closer to the finish, it becomes even more exciting to see the changes that are taking place every day. I always think it is incredibly difficult to imagine the entire final project (and that they will be able to finish) in 2026 when taking a look from the outside. While inside, we were presented with several different looks at the final project and how it will all come together in the end. One thing that has not changed is the interior lighting that provides a setting unlike any other church you will see. As the two finished façades (Nativity and Passion) are set with how the sun raises, Nativity with the sun rise and Passion with the sunset, the stained glass colors are set to play with the different light received for that time of the day. I have always thought that to be one of the greatest offerings when you visit the temple. As we went inside around 4:15 PM, we were treated to the light coming in from the Passion façade. The reds and oranges playing off the harsher tones of the sun setting always make the afternoon my favorite time to visit.
I feel so lucky to have been able to be part of the presentation of the models for the Evangelist towers and to thave been able to participate in the round of the Open Doors at the Sagrada Familia. Now going to try to make sure it’s not 2 years before the next visit!