Stylized Jesus at La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

Stylized Jesus - La Sagrada Familia

What happens when church and Jesus get highly stylized by an architect whose style is so out there they made an English word out of his name? Meet La Sagrada Familia and Antoni Gaudí.

Barcelona was one of the place in Europe I was most excited about, purely because of Antoni Gaudí’s works. To say I’m a fan is an understatement. I absolutely adore his works. Works of Antoni Gaudí as a set is UNESCO World Heritage site — all around and in Barcelona, Spain. I have visited a few, but today I’m going to highlight the magical church La Sagrada Familia — dare I say, the most stylized church in the world?

La Sagrada Familia sketch

18 spires for the church – 12 apostles, 4 evangelists, 1 Virgin Mary, and the highest of them all Jesus Christ

The construction of the church commenced in 1882, Gaudí involved in 1883, and it’s only less than a quarter finished at the time of his death in 1926. Currently the estimated time of completion is 2026! (If only this is worked on by the Germans.) So when I visited in 2012, we could clearly see the difference between the old parts and the new parts because they were built so way apart.

La Sagrada Familia - old and new

La Sagrada Familia – old and new

And where’s that stylized Jesus I lured you with?

Passion Façade - La Sagrada Familia

Not Jesus, but shows a more closeup look of the style (Passion Façade – showing the events leading to the crucifixion)

Judas kissing Jesus - Passion Facade

Judas kissing Jesus (Passion Facade). And oh, what is that sudoku-like square at the back? Read on to find out!

The death of Jesus at La Sagrada Familia

The crucifixion

There are three Façade: The Nativity Façade was the first to be completed in 1930. In 2012 the Passion Façade (above) has sort of finished from the look of it. Glory Façade is still in the making and it would be the largest of them all!

Nativity Facade - La Sagrada Familia

Nativity Facade: a more complex affair (showing the events of the birth)

Nativity Façade - La Sagrada Familia

Nativity Façade, the first to finish

La Sagrada Familia - ceiling

the fantastical ceiling

La Sagrada Familia - ceiling

can you believe it’s a church?

You can go up the church via one of the towers and have view of Barcelona from the top.

La Sagrada Familia from the top

La Sagrada Familia construction

construction going in the background

La Sagrada Familia - one of the spires

At this point, do you remember the sudoku-like square that I mentioned earlier? It is explained in one of the exhibitions in the church:

Jesus age cryptogram

Jesus age cryptogram

“The cryptogram invented by Josep Maria Subirachs is a board with multiple combinations of numbers that always add up tot 33, the age of Chris in the moment of his death.
There are two numbers repeated, 10 and 14; if they are added together the sum is 48, the same result as the addition of the letters of INRI (Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum) according to the numerical order of the Latin alphabet.

La Sagrada Familia - the turtle

the weight of the world on a turtle’s back (does it remind you of a certain Sir Pratchett and his Discworld?)

La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia is truly a highlight of Barcelona and it started my hunt for more works from Antoni Gaudí. Hope I get a chance to visit again when the church is finished in a decade or two!


No related content found.

The Traveling Reader
I left home when I was 17 and never stop exploring the world since. Most days I'm a digital technician at one of the London's biggest visual effects studio. My alternate persona writes and travels and dreams of doing these as a living. I alternately call myself Indonesian or Australian whichever is more beneficial at the time, and I've been a Londoner since 2011.