When you think of the Sagrada Familia neighbourhood of Barcelona, we’re certain one of the only things that springs to mind is Gaudí’s iconic landmark. While the Sagrada Familia certainly is one of the most fantastic sights in Barcelona and well worth a visit, there’s more to be discovered in this beautiful barrio (neighbourhood). Read on to find out more about the Sagrada Familia neighbourhood; a nice, peaceful residential area that attracts tourists and locals year in year out.
The history of Sagrada Familia
The area pre-Gaudí was once a neighbourhood of fields and low-rise houses, known as Poblet. During the 19th century, the area experienced growth thanks to the establishment of factories here.
The first stone of the Sagrada Familia was laid in 1882 at the feast of San José. The first architect was Don Francisco de Paula del Villar y Lozano, but the project was soon abandoned due to disagreements. A year later, a young Antoni Gaudí took charge of the project, who transformed it into one of the most fascinating churches of all time! The building lent its name to the area and made it world-famous.
What to see and do in Sagrada Familia
Undoubtedly still the best feature of the neighbourhood, the Sagrada Familia is an essential trip for any visitor to Barcelona! Standing at a breathtaking 172 metres tall, it can be seen from all over the city. Gaudí’s original design was a total of eighteen spires, representing in ascending order of the Twelve Apostles, the Virgin Mary, the four Evangelists, and the tallest of all, Jesus Christ. The completion of the spires will make the Sagrada Familia the tallest church building in the world!
The interior of the Sagrada Familia is just as stunning as the exterior design. The basilica has no straight lines or flat surfaces, everything has been built with the aim of resembling nature. The church plan is that of a Latin cross with five aisles, with nave vaults and columns. One of the best parts of the interior is the crypt below, which became Antoni Gaudí’s final resting place. Here you can reflect on the brilliant life of Gaudí and how he transformed the city of Barcelona like never before.
Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau
The Sant Pau Hospital is a modernist structure designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner, that has stood the test of time for over 600 years since its conception in 1401. It combined 6 of the city’s hospitals together under one roof following the black plague that spread in the 14th century. It is one of the most representative buildings of the Modernista period, even earning a place on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1997.
When you visit the complex, it won’t feel much like the hospitals you’ve seen before! The Art Nouveau Site is famed for its architectural beauty, with 12 pavilions set in green space and connected by a kilometre of underground galleries. It is still a working hospital to present day, providing fresh air and sunlight to both medical professionals and patients who are at Sant Pau.
The Avinguda Gaudí stretches from the Sagrada Familia towards the Hospital de Sant Pau. It is semi-pedestrianised and is lined with many bars and restaurants from which you can sit and admire the view of the great church.
Take a stroll down the pretty avenue in the shade of the trees, where you can also find a wide range of small boutiques too!
Notable streets and Green spots to visit in Sagrada Familia
- Plaça de la Sagrada Familia
- Plaça de Gaudí
- Jardines de la Industria
Bars & restaurants
On your way to the famous Sagrada Famila you might want to stop for a snack. Or how about a special meal after visiting Gaudi’s famous masterpiece? Maybe you just want a cup of coffee and to enjoy the view of the spectacular church. Here are some of the best spots:
Good for: coffee, delisious cakes, pastries and salats to go
Address: Plaça Sagrada Família, 17, 08013, Barcelona
Good for: fine cusine, steaks, grill
Address: Carrer de la Indústria, 138, 08025, Barcelona
Good for: tipical spanish dishes, traditional cuisine
Address: Avinguda de Gaudí, 12, 08025, Barcelona
Good for: brunch and lunch, different teas and infused drinks
Address: C/ de Padilla, 264, 08025, Barcelona
Good for: restaurant with traditional flair, typical Catalan specialties and wines
Address: Carrer de Sardenya, 364, 08025, Barcelona
Where to stay in Sagrada Familia
We’ve shown you some of the highlights of the Sagrada Familia neighbourhood, and if it’s left you wanting to discover more for yourself…we at AB Apartment Barcelona have a number of apartments in Sagrada Familia for you to choose from. With a great mix of local and international residents, and a variety of ages, you’ll feel straight at home if you choose to stay here in Barcelona!