Take A Close Look At What's Inside Gaudi's Sagrada Familia

An ode to the life of Jesus Christ, the Sagrada Familia Basilica, stands tall as one of Barcelona’s main religious and architectural attractions.

The brain behind the architectural marvel, Antoni Gaudí, was known for his eclectic architectural style. Though he was alive to see the completion of only one of the 18 towers, the remaining towers are being built true to his vision, complete with beautiful stained windows, columns, engravings, and spires. 

Joining various of his other projects in Barcelona, Gaudi’s work on the Nativity Façade of the Basilica is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Read on to find out what one can expect to find in the Sagrada Familia inside.

Sagrada Familia | Gaudi's last masterpiece

The Sagrada Familia is a large unfinished church in Barcelona, Spain that was designed by Antoni Gaudi.

As per Gaudi’s plans, the Basilica Sagrada Familia, once completed, is set to house 18 towers. These towers come together to create a view, known as a Façade. Each facade represents a phase in the life of Christ. There are a total of three Facades– Nativity (represents the birth of Christ), Passion (represents the death and resurrection of Christ), and the Glory Façade ( represents Christ’s eternal glory). 

Each of the 18 towers holds great significance, with 12 towers dedicated to the Apostles, 4 to the Evangelists, 1 to the Virgin Mary, and the tallest and most spectacular one dedicated to Christ himself. If the thought behind every individual bit of architecture in the Basilica wasn’t enough – the view of Barcelona from the top of the tower is the icing on the cake.

The Sagrada Familia, a marvel of Catalan architecture in Barcelona's sprawling skyline, is a testament to the inspired creativity and style of Antoni Gaudi.

Top things to see inside Sagrada Familia

The meticulous blending of Christian iconography into Gaudi's distinctive design makes Sagrada Familia a structure, unlike anything you have ever seen. While people often focus on the exteriors of this spectacular structure, there’s a lot to be seen on the inside of the Sagrada Familia basilica. The colorful stained glass panes set against the delicate carvings, the high columns, and the crypt, all speak volumes about the complexity of this structure.

Sagrada Familia Inside - High Columns

High Columns

As you walk through the cathedral, you will be struck by the sheer enormity of construction. Gaudi has been known to use nature as a muse, and the massive columns within the cathedral have been built to resemble trees growing in a forest, leaving you with the illusion of walking through a botanical garden rather than a site of religious worship.

Sagrada Familia Inside - Stained Glass Windows

Stained Glass Windows

The stained glass windows adorning the walls are magnificent, but what will leave you awe-struck is the way Gaudí envisioned the structure. The colors on each glass have been chosen based on the time of day the sun would shine through the window, filling the room with blues and reds to represent the birth and suffering of Christ. 

Sagrada Familia Inside - Apse

The Apse

The apse, a semi-circular structure with a dome, is generally part of a cathedral in which the altar lies. Gaudi ensured the apse of the Basilica felt light and open and designed it in a way that natural light from the outdoors would spill into it. The apse houses seven chapels, dedicated to the seven sorrows of joys of Saint Joseph.

Sagrada Familia Inside - The Altar

The Altar

At the center of the apse and directly above the crypt is the altar, whose ceiling is higher than the rest of the apse to accentuate its divinity. Keeping with tradition, above the altar is a canopy, also known as the Baldachin.

 It has a heptagon shape, with seven edges, which represents the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. Fifty hanging lights illuminate its rim of the canopy, and you will find grape vines and wheat that are the symbols of the Eucharist,springing  from the rims. You will also find the Prayer of Glory written on a ribbon attached around the baldachin. 

Sagrada Familia Inside - The Eternal Father

The Eternal Father

While Gaudi was the main architect of the Basilica, upon his passing, the project was continued by those who shared his vision. Of these was an architect, Jordi Bonet, who was responsible for creating the Eternal Father. 

Clearly visible from the Gloria entrance, the Eternal Father is a triangular symbol located in the large hyperboloid  just above the presbytery, which houses the priests.The golden triangle, framed by the hyperboloid, symbolizes the Eternal Father. 

Sagrada Familia Inside - The Door of Glory

The Door of Glory

The bronze Door of Glory was designed by the controversial sculptor Josep Maria Subirachs. A part of the unfinished Glory Façade, the Door of Glory has the Lord’s prayer inscribed on it in more than 50 different languages. The Lord’s Prayer was arranged random and in a work of coincidence, the handle of the door also has the letters “A” and “G”, referring to the initials of Antoni Gaudi, inscribed on it. 

The Glory Façade, once completed, will operate as the main entrance into the Basilica. 

Sagrada Familia Inside - Crypt
Sagrada Familia Inside - Organ


Construction of the Basilica, as with that of most churches, would be incomplete without an instrument. In this case, the organ would be supported by 8,000 pipes, to be able to listen to the acoustics from every cranny of the Basilica.  

The organ is currently a work in progress but is being constructed in a way that would allow each instrument to be played individually, as well as in harmony. The Basilica is truly paving the way for an unmatched religious experience.  

Sagrada Familia Inside - Musuem

Sagrada Familia Museum

On display are models, charts, and designs depicting Gaudi’s plans for construction. While a lot of his original designs were burnt or destroyed during the Spanish Civil War, the plans that were pieced together or salvaged are now open for public viewing. 

While all the carvings on the walls of the Basilica were once done by hand, today the help of computers and machines have been enlisted to aid in its construction. Visitors are welcome to watch as the architects work on completing what is unfinished of Gaudi’s cathedral. 

Can I go inside the Sagrada Familia?

The cost of construction of the Sagrada Familia Basilica is undertaken through donations and the entry fee for visitors. If you’re someone with an interest in architecture or history, you should take it upon yourself to go inside the Sagrada Familia Basilica.

Being the foremost attraction of Barcelona, the queues to purchase tickets for the Basilica can get lengthy. Options are available to buy tickets online in advance. Tickets depend on which areas of the Basilica are particularly interesting to you for a visit.

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Visitor tips

  • Ascent the towers via elevator, and descent on foot via a staircase. For this reason, children below the age of 6 are not permitted to enter. People with disabilities are discouraged from entering. 
  • Tickets to enter the Basilica are for a particular time slot. In the event that you miss your allotted slot, you will have to purchase a new ticket. 
  • Due to its status as an active construction site, certain areas of the Basilica may be closed off on a particular day. It is advisable to confirm accessibility before your visit. 
  • All bags are checked before entry is permitted into the Basilica. Food and drink are not allowed.
  • Professional photography equipment is not permitted on the grounds. Special permission is required for commercial photography purposes. 
  • Being a place of religious worship, visitors should dress accordingly. Overly revealing clothes may lead to refusal of entry into the Basilica.  

Frequently asked questions about what’s inside Sagrada Familia

What is inside Sagrada Familia?

From its stained glass windows, chapels, and altars, to its towers dedicated to the Apostles, the Sagrada Familia Basilica is an architectural marvel, depicting the life of Jesus Christ. 

Can I take a tour inside Sagrada Familia?

Yes, you can tour inside the Sagrada Familia after purchasing tickets. You can opt for guided tours or audio guides in various languages to make the most of your visit. A tour of the Basilica would take 3-4 hours of your day.

Do I need a ticket to go inside Sagrada Familia?

You need a ticket to enter Sagrada Familia. The type of ticket you purchase would depend on the areas you would like to see, as different tickets are available with different inclusions. You can purchase the Sagrada Familia tickets online.

What are some must-see highlights inside the Sagrada Familia

The carvings, the crypt housing Gaudi’s tomb, the stained glass windows, the Baldachin, and the nature columns, are all must-see highlights inside the Sagrada Familia.

Q. Can I go inside Sagrada Familia?

A. Yes, visitors are allowed to enter inside Sagrada Familia. Two of the three Façades are complete and now open to the public. On purchasing a ticket, one can enter the Sagrada Familia Basilica.

How big is the Sagrada Familia?

The Basilica is 4,500 sq. m. with the capacity to house 14,000 visitors at once. On completion, the tower dedicated to Christ would stand at 172.5m, making the Basilica the tallest church in the world, surpassing Germany’s Ulm Minster. 

Who designed the Sagrada Familia?

Construction of the Basilica commenced in 1882, following the design of architect Francisco de Paula del Villar. In 1883, Gaudí took over the project and worked on it till his death in 1926.

What kind of symbolism can I see inside Sagrada Familia?

The three entrances of the Sagrada Familia symbolise the three virtues of Love, Hope and Faith. The columns are constructed to symbolise the saints rising into heaven and the angels descending to meet them. The different colours on the stained glass windows symbolise the birth of Christ, resurrection, water and light.

Why are the columns on the inside of Sagrada Familia of different colours?

The columns inside the Sagrada Familia take on the hue of blue, red, green, yellow and ochre thanks to the stained glass windows.

Can I take pictures inside Sagrada Familia?

Commercial photography is not permitted inside the Basilica. Special permission is required to enter with professional photography equipment. However, you are free to take pictures with camera phones. 

Is it free to go inside Sagrada Familia?

No, you need to purchase tickets to go inside Sagrada Familia. Tickets to enter the Basilica start at 17 euros per person, and can go up to 33 euros a person, depending on the inclusions. A basic ticket would not include access to the towers. 

Is there a dresscode to go vsiit the Sagrada Familia inside?

As a functioning Catholic church, Visitors are expected to dress modestly while visiting the Sagrada Familia. To enter inside the basilica, you must be wearing clothes that cover your shoulders and reach below the mid-thighs. Hats, swimwear and costumes with promotional content or offensive/distracting designs are not allowed.

Is going inside Sagrada Familia worth it?

The exteriors of the Basilica are a sight in itself, but the interiors tell a whole different story. You will be left in awe at the intricate carvings, the play on lights and colours, and the magnitude of thought that went into designing the Basilica. 

What are the Sagrada Familia opening hours?

The Sagrada Familia opening hours are 9 AM to 6 PM everyday, however closing time can extend to 8 pm between April and September. Timings may differ on holy days of the year including Christmas.

What are the mass timings at Sagrada Familia?

Mass is held at the Basilica every Sunday at 9 AM. Entry for mass is free, but seating capacity is limited. The mass lasts close to an hour and is conducted in several languages.