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In Barcelona: The Sagrada Familia with Kids

Crowds wait at the back of the church

Crowds wait at the back of the Sagrada Familia, at the groups entrance.

older Sagrada familia set against lighter modern construction

The Sagrada Familia has been under construction for well over one hundred years, and it's easy to see how construction practices have changed in that time. Here you can see the older, concrete construction set against newer and ongoing work. The museum underneath the church is free with entrance and can give a fascinating perspective on the construction.

Traveling with kids is definitely different to traveling without them. Of course that’s not news. And I’ve traveled with kids before, so this shouldn’t come as a surprise, but I supposed I haven’t traveled to places where I want to behave like a tourist before – sightseeing.

Today we went to the Sagrada Familia, which was amazing. This is a church designed by Gaudi, which has been under construction since 1882, with completion expected around 2020. Some people come back to Barcelona every few years to see how it’s progressing. I think we took about 100 photos.

Even at 10 in the morning the line to buy tickets to enter the church was around the block, but there were far fewer tour groups waiting than when we visited two days ago and decided not to go in, an hour or two later in the day. But, the line moved quickly, and once inside it didn’t feel particularly crowded, if also not particularly reverential.

Tickets cost us €12 each and the kids were free, all being under 10. Unfortunately, we couldn’t go up in the lift into the spires, because a) under 6 year olds can’t go up, so someone would have had to stay down with Mikaela and Eliane, and b) the next time we could go was 1&1/2 hours away – tickets were sold out until then.

A spiral staircase

If you go up to the top of the spires in the lift, you have the choice of coming back down the lift or walking down the spiral staircase.

An hour and a half seemed too long to wait, and we were not wrong in our assessment – the two younger kids were over it long before that, especially Eliane, who woke up tired and grumpy today, after a short nap yesterday and an unsettled night. There really wasn’t a lot in the church for them to do – when you’re 1 or even 5, it’s pretty much a case of seen one amazing glass window, seen ’em all.

Liam had his own camera and so enjoyed taking photos himself, while Chris and I took turns with child supervision and church appreciation. That was okay, but we simply weren’t at leisure to read the various plaques or spend any time in the museum (underneath) and so on. We walked through the museum, but only to find the toilets!

While the Sagrada Familia was well worth the visit, for Liam as well as us grown ups, I would love to go back without the kids (or without young kids at the very least) to be able to really appreciate the church in all it’s glory. After the money and energy that has been poured into this church, which was Gaudi’s last and some say greatest work, I imagine it will always be a tourist attraction. But I would like to think that there will be facility for it to be used as it was, I’m sure, intended, not only to hold services, but for the devout (or even not so devout) to sit in mediation or prayer in what should be an amazing atmosphere – if ever there is a time when it is not crawling with sightseers and their cameras.

Speaking for which, here are just a few of the photos we took:

Angels around stained glass window on the outside of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

Detail on the outside of the church

 

Looking up in the Centre of the Church

 

Stained glass windows in brilliant colour

Just some of the many brilliant stained glass windows in the Sagrada Familia

 

Barcelona City from Montjuic with the Sagrada Familia in the middle

View of the Sagrada Familia with several cranes just visible, situated in the middle of the city of Barcelona, from about half way up the popular tourist spot, Montjuic.

 

 

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This entry was posted on September 28, 2011 at 10:16 am and is filed under 2011 Round the World, Destinations, Personal Blog, Things to do at.... You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

3 Responses to In Barcelona: The Sagrada Familia with Kids

  1. leonie on November 5, 2011 at 9:25 am

    Great photos – amazing place, I’m glad at least some of the (extended) family have visited it!

  2. Elena on March 30, 2013 at 5:35 am

    Hi,
    thank you for sharing your experience about travelling with kids! Can you please answer what did you do with a stroller of your 1-year daughter when you enter Sagrada Familia? Is there a possiblity to leave it at the entrance?
    Thank you again,
    Best regards, Elena.

    • Kirsten on March 30, 2013 at 11:51 am

      Hi Elena,

      I don’t know if you could check the stroller or not, but we were able to take it in. I couldn’t quite remember this, so I looked up our photos and sure enough, we had it in there with us.

      You can take tours that take you up in the lifts, where you wouldn’t be able to take a stroller, but we weren’t able to take a tour anyway because the age limit was older than our younger two children (who were 1 and 5).

      Hope that helps. It was a wonderful experience to visit the Sagrada Familia, I hope you get to go.

      Cheers
      Kirsten

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