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The only place that I absolutely wanted to see in Barcelona was La Sagrada Familia. I convinced my husband one day that it would be a short walk there from our hotel (in reality, it took 25 minutes). The church, as we had seen in pictures and documentaries, is indescribable. How does someone design or work on something like this, at this scale?

La Sagrada Familia is a Roman Catholic Church that was designed by Antoni Gaudi in 1883. Construction actually started in 1882, before Gaudi came on board.

5 different architects have worked on the construction since Gaudi’s time. Most recently, computers were [invented] utilized to help speed up the process. Construction is only about 70 percent complete.

La Sagrada Familia is one of Barcelona’s biggest tourist attractions, partially because of its history of construction. I wondered if it would be the attraction that it is if it was finished.

Cranes and construction work are visible on a daily basis in Barcelona. There is not one point in the day where you don’t see or hear construction. La Sagrada Familia brings its fair share of construction to this particular location in Barcelona. One arsonist apparently was so annoyed by the construction that he set the sacristy on fire in 2011. It took 45 minutes to contain. Could you imagine if this place burned down?

This place is bizarrely fascinating. There is not one square foot of blank slate. There are many themes in the outside and the inside of the church, including words and concepts from the liturgy.

You can wait in long lines to tour the inside (which appears to be just as beautiful from photos online), but you can also just walk around the outside like we did. Two things about walking around outside the church: Be careful of pickpockets and don’t buy from the street vendors. The street vendors are mostly illegal and the police come around every now and then to force them to clean up.

If you ever make a trip to Barcelona, La Sagrada Familia is a must-see location!