Feeling lucky? La Sagrada Familia hands out 15,000 free tickets

The basilica will feature Open Days during the La Mercè festival, 23-25 September

La Sagrada Familia. Image: Jarmoluk via Pixabay
La Sagrada Familia. Image: Jarmoluk via Pixabay

The visitor’s office of La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is offering 15,000 free tickets to visitors. Those interested to discover the interior of the iconic monument can sign up for the raffle which is open for registration until 19 September at 10:00. The lucky winners will be given four tickets each to the Sagrada Família’s 2022 Open Days on 23, 24, and 25 September coinciding with the Catalan capital’s patron saint festivities – La Mercè. 

Ticket prices normally start from 26 euros, but now there’s a unique chance to visit the marvellous temple for free. People can sign up to win tickets for different time slots each of the three days: from 4 pm to 6 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm on Friday and Saturday, or from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm and 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm on Sunday, according to The Mayor.

Future crowning sculptures

La Sagrada Familia is probably Barcelona’s best-known landmark, considered a masterpiece of Art Nouveau and Catalan Modernism. It is also famously known for being an evolving monument, whose construction has been going on for almost a hundred years since the death of its creator, Antoni Gaudí.

And it is not just the cranes towering over the structure reminding people about this ongoing process. Two of the sculptures, which will crown the four Evangelists towers when they are completed, are now ready and can be viewed inside.

As part of the set of central towers, the four towers of the Evangelists will surround the tower of Jesus and will be 135 meters high when completed. To identify which evangelist each tower represents, sculptures with the figure of the tetramorph (figures that Christian iconography, art and architecture have used for centuries to represent the four evangelists of the Bible).

Models of the pinnacles of St Luke’s and St Mark’s tower in the Sagrada Familia. Image: Ignasi/Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

That means that Mark’s tower will be crowned with the sculpture of a winged lion, a symbol of strength, courage and royalty. Luke’s tower will be crowned with the sculpture of a winged bull, a calm and humble animal. The sculptures for the John and Mathew towers (represented by an eagle and a man respectively) are not yet ready.

Delays and difficulties

The basilica is still a long way from being finished, as the pandemic caused additional delays, beyond 2026. Director-general Xavier Martinez said in 2021 that the lack of funds had delayed the construction of the enormous church again, according to Reuters. “We had forecast to finish the work in 2026. Regretfully, this will not be possible.” A new completion date has not yet been decided: “It could be in 2030, 2035, 2040. I would be lying if I were to say a precise date”, Martinez explained. 

Chief architect Jordí Faulí, responsible for finishing the project started by Antoni Gaudi, is motivated to do so. “The Sagrada Familia has faced other moments of difficulty”, he said, referring to construction almost being cancelled in 1910 and stopping during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s. “The construction board and people have always had the will to move forward and overcome. Our goal is to make Gaudi’s beautiful project a reality”, Faulí added.

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