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Sagrada Familia Towers

Anybody visited Sagrada Familia towers recently?
Which one to choose: Tower on the Passion facade or tower on the Nativity facade?
Any of these are under construction currently? Can buy ticket choosing only ONE. And if it under construction, can't go to another -- just refund.
It looks like Passion overlooks SW, towards city, and Nativity faces NE. So, view from Passion should be more interesting, is it so?

Posted by
539 posts

We were there a week ago. We went to the Nativity tower where we could see the spring fruits more closely with a good view of the city. There was construction going on around it. I think that if you go to the passion tower you will be closer to the fall fruits. FYI: going up is by elevator and a few steps up but coming down is about 300 steps.

Posted by
2751 posts

Both towers are completed. Construction does not affect these.

By the way, just for general knowledge:

  • The basilica of La Sagrada Família currently has two façades: the Nativity and the Passion, and when finished it'll have a third one, the Glory. These refer to different stages of the life of Jesus Christ.
  • When finished, it'll have 18 towers -the correct term being 'spires': 12 corresponding to the Apostles, 4 to the Evangelists, one to the Virgin Mary, and the tallest (172m/565ft) to Jesus Christ. Note "spire" in the Catalan language is "torre" (tower in English), thus the apparent mis-translation.
  • Currently, there are 9 spires already completed: 4 in the Nativity façade, 4 in the Passion façade and the spire dedicated to Virgin Mary, which was coronated in Dec last year with an impressive lighted star. Only two spires are currently visitable.

Despite you'll encounter many uninformed sites referring to the visitable spires as "the Nativity tower" and "the Passion tower", note the terms Nativity and Passion refer to the façades, not the towers.

The towers are named as follows:

  • On the Nativity façade: left to right, Sant Bernabé, Sant Simó, Sant Judes Tadeu and Sant Macià. They were finished between 1925 and 1930. Gaudí saw the first one before dying in 1926. The ones in the middle are 107m/351ft high and the ones at the edges 98m/322ft.
  • On the Passion façade: left to right, Jaume el Menor, Sant Bartomeu, Sant Tomàs and Sant Felip. They were finished in 1976. The ones in the middle are 122m/368ft high and the ones at the edges 107m/351ft.
  • On the future Glory façade: left to right, Sant Andreu, Sant Pere, Sant Pau and Sant Jaume el Major. They will be slightly taller than the rest.
  • The Evangelist spires: Sant Marc, Sant Lluc, Sant Mateu and Sant Joan and will be crowned by the symbols that identify them each: the lion (Marc); the ox (Lluc); the angel (Mateu) and the eagle (Joan). Its final height will be 135m/443ft high and in all probability will be the next to be inaugurated, and will give a lot of meaning to the central knob. In fact, the Construction Board of the Sagrada Família has already announced that the one for Sant Lluc will be completed in 2022, while the others are rising at more or less the same pace.
  • The spire of the Virgin Mary: it is 138m/453ft high, crowned on November 29, 2021 and inaugurated on December 8. Its main peculiarity is the impressive twelve-pointed star at the top, which will form a landmark of the Barcelona skyline as it is illuminated with a white light visible from miles away.
  • And finally, the spire of Jesus Christ: It will be the great culmination of the Sagrada Familia and the most visible part, as it will be the tallest tower of all. Its height will reach 172.5 m, just half a meter below the mountain of Montjuïc, with the devout intention of not overcoming the divine creation with the work of man. It will be the tallest building in Barcelona, as it will exceed the 154 meters of the two towers of the Olympic Village. This spire will be culminated by a terminal 17 meters high and 13 and a half meters wide, crowned by a four-armed cross. It will be visitable.
Posted by
830 posts

Pardon my ignorance but what is the main thing(s) to see by going up the towers?

Posted by
2751 posts

Good question, which I guess it'll have different responses depending on who you ask.

I would say the main reason is to see up and close details of the façades that, from ground level, you wouldn't be able to appreciate. Both façades are very richly ornamented with allegories and symbols referring to the purpose of the basilica, to celebrate the life of Jesus Christ. Even if you are not religious, like me, the artistic and architectonic value of the whole complex is indubitable.

Others might say "the views". While indeed you'll have some views of the city from the spires/towers, I have to say there are a number of other places in Barcelona with much better views, and they don't cost a cent. Also, notice that the height of the Sagrada Família is not that much as to truly appreciate the city from 'a vantage point' -for that Tibidabo is probably the best one.

Lastly, to top it up, I'd say 'the experience' is just worth it. While the ascend is made by modern elevators, the descent is done on foot via a spiral staircase in a relatively narrow space which makes the experience a bit surrealist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JTuQkTX3es

When the complex is completed, there'll be a platform on the top that will communicate different spires, if I am not mistaken.

Posted by
830 posts

Enric, thanks for the reply. I think I'll pass on the towers. There looks to be plenty to see without it. I purchased a very nice color book about Gaudi with great close up photos. I can't wait to see his work.