Barcelona

Sagrada Familia – tickets, prices, tower access, hours

Sagrada Familia Cathedral

La Sagrada Familia is the best tourist attraction in Barcelona.

Sagrada Familia has been under construction since 1882 and will be ready by 2026 – a construction time of 144 years.

Antonio Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia attracts more than 5 million people every year.

Statistically, this means every 15 minutes, 200 tourists buy Sagrada Familia tickets and enter its gates.

In this article, we try and explain everything you need to know about Sagrada Familia before your visit.

1. How to reach
2. Opening hours
3. Mass times
4. Length of tour
5. Best time to visit
6. Tips to avoid crowd
7. Visiting at Night
8. Sagrada Familia towers
9. Are towers worth it?
10. Sagrada Familia tickets
11. Tickets FAQs
12. Audio Guide
13. Dress Code
14. Church’s map

How to reach Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia is located on 401 Mallorca street, 08013 Barcelona.

Public transport is the best way to reach Sagrada Familia from any part of the city.

If Metro is your preferred option, get onto either Line 2 or Line 5 and get down at the Sagrada Familia Metro station.

If you prefer traveling by bus, we recommend the following bus numbers – 19, 33, 34, 43, 44, 50, 51, B20 and B24.

Sagrada Familia hours

Sagrada Familia is open every day of the year, including Christmas and New Year.

Every day, the opening time of this Basilica is 9 am.

However, its closing time keeps changing depending on the season.

November to February: 9 am to 6 pm

March: 9 am to 7 pm

April to September: 9 am to 8 pm

October: 9 am to 7 pm

December 25, 26, and January 1 and 6: 9 am to 2 pm

Be aware that the ticketing counters close a half hour before the closing time.


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Sagrada Familia mass times

Sagrada Família church is a place of worship.

If you want to pray during your tour, you can visit the Chapel of the Eucharist, in the ambulatory.

Besides this, you can always attend the international and special masses conducted regularly.

These Masses are open to the public and there is no need to buy any tickets.

International Mass

The Archdiocese of Barcelona conducts the International Mass on every Sunday and other holy days of obligation.

The International mass begins at 9 am in several languages.

And you can start entering the place of worship from 8.30 am onwards.

To attend this mass, you need to enter the Cathedral from the Nativity facade on Carrer de la Marina.

Special Mass

At regular intervals, special Masses get conducted at Sagrada Familia Church.

For some of these special masses you can buy tickets and for some, attendance is by invitation only.

The best way to keep track of special masses at Sagrada Familia is by following this calendar.

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Duration of Sagrada Familia tour

There is no fixed time duration at Sagrada Familia.

Once you show your tickets at the entrance and get in, you don’t have to get out till the tourist attraction closes.

However, the duration of your trip to Sagrada Familia depends on what you do there.

For instance, if you decide to only walk around the Basilica and step out you will be done in half an hour.

If you go around and also step inside Sagrada Familia to enjoy the intricate design of architect Gaudi, you the length of your tour will be one hour.

However, if you decide to climb up one of the towers – Nativity tower or Passion tower – you will need yet another half hour.

Summary: In 90 minutes, you can explore everything in Sagrada Familia.


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Best time to visit Sagrada Familia

Tourists want to know the best time to visit Sagrada Familia for multiple reasons.

Best months to visit Sagrada Familia

Queue at Sagrada Familia
Tourists queue to buy tickets to enter the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. Christian Bertrand / Shutterstock.com

The biggest crowds can be seen during the high season from April to September.

If you can’t avoid these months, be aware that during these months the longest waiting lines are seen in the first half of the day.

Right after lunchtime, the crowd becomes smaller and the queues become shorter. However, it becomes a little difficult to stand in the queue because of the hot sun.

If you can’t brave the Spanish sun, you can try being in the ticketing queue at 5 pm.

However, there is a high possibility of the day’s tickets being sold off by 5 pm.

We recommend this 5 pm option only if you are on a long holiday – if you miss getting in one day, you can try your luck the next day.

Best time to visit Sagrada Familia – 9 am to 12 pm

On all days Sagrada Familia is open by 9 am.

You must reach the venue before the crowd starts trickling in and start by going up one of your preferred towers.

Do factor in 15 minutes for collecting the audio guide. If you reach the elevator to go up the Nativity or Passion tower before 11 am, you will find a short queue.

Once you have gone up the elevator and seen the amazing views from one of the towers, you must climb down 400 odd stairs.

Since this time slot is not so crowded, the walk down the stairs is much faster.

With the light streaming in, this is the best time to see the stained-glass windows.

Second best time to visit Sagrada Familia – 3 pm to 6 pm

If for some reason you missed the best time to visit Sagrada Familia, delay your visit even further and land up at the attraction by 3 pm.

Once again start by going up the towers and enjoying the sunlit views of the city.

During this time there is a slightly longer queue for the elevators.

Even the climb down the stairs is a little slow because your speed is decided by the crowd walking ahead of you.

Ensure you are inside the Sagrada Familia cathedral by 5 pm for the best time to see the Basilica’s interiors is between 5 pm to 6 pm.

The evening light shines through the intricately stained glass, making it seem like a dream.

Once you have experienced the interiors you can attend the mass at La Sagrada Familia. The crypt opens for Mass at 6 pm.

Third best time to visit Sagrada Familia – 12 pm to 3 pm

If your stay in Barcelona is long enough, we suggest you avoid this time slot.

Large groups from schools, cruise liners, and bus tours start arriving around this time.

The queue at the ticketing counters is long, which then translate to long queues for the elevators as well.

With so many people in the frame, photography also becomes difficult during this period.

Best time to visit Sagrada Familia for photography

Sagrada Familia is so beautiful that you can take photographs whenever you want.

However, some times are better than the rest.

There are two slots which are great for taking photos at Sagrada Familia.

The time between 10.30 am to 11.30 am when the sunlight enters the Basilica at an angle is good.

However, the evening time from 5 pm to 6 pm when the subdued rays of the sunlight stream in sheepishly is even better.

For photo shoots of the Basilica from outside, any time is a good time if you are a seasoned photographer.

If you intend to go up the Nativity facade towers and take lots of photos we strongly recommend the morning slot.

Morning is better because then the sun is behind you and helps take good pics.

Post noon the sun is in front of you making it literally impossible to shoot good photos.


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Tips to avoid the crowd at Sagrada Familia

If you don’t like the crowd, there are three sure-shot ways to avoid them at this Barcelona attraction.

1. Buy your Sagrada Familia tickets online, in advance

There are two queues you stand in when you visit Sagrada Familia – first is when you stand to buy the tickets at the ticketing counter and the second line is at the gates to enter Sagrada Familia.

If you buy Sagrada Familia tickets online, you can avoid standing in the crowded lines at the ticket counter.

On heavily crowded days (high season weekends, office holidays etc) there may be an extra waiting time as well.

Since the entry to Sagrada Familia is restricted and based on time slots, you may end up getting a ticket with the entrance time 2 hours later.

Don’t worry. The easiest and best solution to this is to buy online tickets for Sagrada Familia. You can buy online tickets within 60 days of your planned visit.

Once you buy the tickets online, they get emailed to you.

On the day of your visit, you avoid all the crowd at the ticketing counter and just show your tickets at the entrance of the Basilica.

2. Get the time slot right

While booking Sagrada Familia tickets most tourists book for ‘round about’ timings – 10 am, 11 am etc.

Thus, these slots are fully packed and around 200 tourists (the restricted number) land up at the Basilica entrance.

Most of the tourists ignore the in-between time slots such 9.15 am, 9.45 am, 11.15 am etc.

However, if you book your online tickets for Sagrada Familia for such slots, you will find a much smaller crowd ahead of you at the entrance queue.

3. Plan your visit on a Monday

Monday is not always bad news. If you are planning on beating the lines at Sagrada Familia, Mondays are the days to look out for.

Since most of the museums in Barcelona are not open on Mondays, tourists assume that Sagrada Familia won’t be open as well.

They don’t know that this Basilica stays open even when the whole of Spain closes down for celebrations – during Christmas and New Year.

 


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Sagrada Familia at night

One of the finest times for photographing Sagrada Familia is when the sun is setting and the golden glow reflects off the walls of the World wonder.

Any time after 7 pm is a good time to see the Basilica in its night time glory. This is also a good time to see the city of Barcelona from Nativity facade.

Some tourists prefer visiting Sagrada Familia in the evening hours.

While there is a certain amount of romance in it, we recommend you also visit it during the day so that you can see Antonio Gaudi’s intricate work on the exterior.

As the night falls, the Church gets lit up in all its grandiosity. Once the lights go up, it is the best time to take photographs of Sagrada Familia at night.


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Sagrada Familia towers

Gaudi planned Sagrada Familia with 18 towers.

Twelve of these 18 towers represent the Apostles and four represent Evangelists.

The Sagrada Familia tower with a star on the top is designated for Virgin Mary, and the tallest tower of them all is for Jesus Christ.

As of today, only 8 of the 18 towers are fully constructed.

Of these eight complete towers, four are part of the Nativity facade and four are part of the Passion facade.

A facade is nothing but the view that a few towers combine and create for the viewer.

Since the rest of the towers are yet to be built, the Glory facade is still incomplete.

Once Sagrada Familia’s construction ends in 2026, it will have three facades – the Nativity facade, the Passion facade and the Glory facade.

Sagrada Familia Nativity Facade

The four eastern towers in the front of Sagrada Família make up the Nativity Facade. Buy Nativity Tower tickets

These towers represent the four Apostles Matthew, Barnabas, Jude, and Simon.

The Nativity facade view is dedicated to the birth of Jesus Christ.

The iconography used on the Nativity towers relates to nature and life.

Nativity facade was completed under the supervision of Gaudi himself in 1935.

>> Nativity Tower views

Sagrada Familia Passion Facade

The four towers towards the west of Sagrada Familia make up the Passion Facade. Buy Passion Tower tickets

These towers represent the four Apostles James, Thomas, Philip, and Bartholomew and together make up the Passion Facade view.

Completed in 1977, this facade facing the west represents the suffering of Christ during his crucifixion.

While the Nativity facade is highly decorated, the Passion facade is austere, plain and simple.

>> Passion Tower views

Sagrada Familia Glory Facade

The rest of the towers in the south represent the Glory facade.

The construction for this facade began in 2002 and once completed, these will be the tallest of all Sagrada Familia towers.

This facade is dedicated to the Glory of Jesus and hence the name.

It represents the road to God: Death, Final Judgment, and Glory.

Nativity facade or Passion facade?

A lot of tourists who have been up both the towers think that the Nativity facade is better than the Passion facade.

In fact, the guides who take the tourists to both the towers say they have seen a better sense of satisfaction in tourists who go up Nativity facade.

Follow the link for a detailed explanation of Nativity facade or Passion facade.


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Are Sagrada Familia Towers worth it?

Should you buy the ticket that allows you to go up the towers in Sagrada Familia?

Our short answer is “yes, they are totally worth it”.

For a detailed answer, continue reading.

1. Going up the towers doesn’t cost much and is worth every Euro

For a normal adult, basic tickets to Sagrada Familia cost around 20 Euros. If you plan to take the audio guide, by adding 7 Euros extra your per head cost will come to 27 Euros.

By adding only 6 Euros more, you can go up on one of the towers – the Sagrada Familia tower tickets are worth 33 Euros.

For only six Euros more, a visit up the towers is totally worth it.

*All rates as seen on GetYourGuide.com

2. Going up the towers is effortless

You don’t have to climb up the towers. Each facade has an elevator which takes you right to the top.

Since these elevators can only take six people at a time, sometimes there is a bit of a queue. In short, going up the tower involves no effort – totally worth it.

3. Visiting the towers doesn’t take long and is worth the time

When it is not crowded, you can visit one of the towers in 30 minutes.

When it is crowded, the elevators going up have a waiting time and the climb down by the stairs is also slow making it a 45-minute trip.

That’s not much, is it?

4. The intricate details on towers make the trip up worth it

Sculptures on Sagrada Familia Towers worth it
Image: Lightslant.wordpress.com

Many people think the Nativity and Passion towers tour are about seeing the views of Barcelona.

However, the climb up is also to see and appreciate the intricate sculptures which adorn both the facades.

You won’t get these detailing anywhere else.

5. Climbing down is an adventure and worth the physical exertion

To get down from the towers you must take the stairs. These stairs don’t have railings and that is why kids below the age of 6 aren’t allowed.

The climb down the stairs is an adventure and worth your time and effort.

6. This bragging right is totally worth it

When fully built, Sagrada Familia will be 170 meters tall.

It will be behind Hassan II Mosque in Morocco (210 meters) and ahead of Basilica of Our Lady of Peace in Ivory Coast (158 meters) in the world’s list of tallest religious structures.

Don’t you want this bragging right? That you once stood at the top of one of the World’s tallest religious structure?

BCN Hola Card


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Sagrada Familia tickets

There are five types of Sagrada Familia tickets you can choose from.

Each of these tickets is customized to you a unique and immersive experience.

Since you will be booking these tickets online, you can skip the queue at the ticketing counter (and these lines can get really long) and enter the Church right away.

Queue at Sagrada Familia
In this pic, tourists stand in a waiting line to buy Sagrada Familia tickets. When you buy online tickets, you walk past these waiting lines – directly to Sagrada Familia entrance. Christian Bertrand / Shutterstock.com

Yes, that’s right. All of the five below given tickets are ‘Skip The Line’ tickets.

To help you decide we have put in our recommendation as well.

1. Basic Sagrada Familia tickets

With these tickets, you get to explore Sagrada Familia both inside and outside.

These are timed tickets, which means you need to be at Sagrada Familia entrance at the time mentioned on your ticket.

You will also get the 45-minute long audio guide.

Exclusions: With these tickets, you can’t go up the Towers to see either the Nativity or the Passion facades.

Our recommendation: These tickets sell the most. If you are a seasoned traveler and a bit cost conscious or if you are traveling in a large group, we suggest you buy these tickets

Ticket price (without the audio guide)

Adult ticket (30 to 64 years): 20 Euros

Senior ticket (65+ years): 15.50 Euros

Youth ticket (11-29 years): 17.50 Euros

Student ticket (with ID): 17.50 Euros

Child ticket (10 years and less): Free entry

*On the ticket booking page you will find the option to add the ‘audio guide’

Buy TicketsBuy Sagrada Familia tickets

2. Sagrada Familia guided tour tickets

With these tickets, besides the entry to Sagrada Familia, you also get access to a human guide.

Learning the rich history of the Sagrada Familia Cathedral and its creator Antoni Gaudi with the local expert will make your trip even more exciting.

The duration of this guided tour is 1 hour and 15 minutes.

On the ticket booking page, you can choose your preferred language – English, French or Spanish.

Exclusions: With these guided tour tickets of Sagrada Familia, you still can’t go up to see the Nativity or the Passion facades.

Our recommendation: If you don’t have time to explore yourself but would prefer to learn about Sagrada Familia and its architect Gaudi, opt for this tour ticket.

Tourists who love to take photographs also opt for guided tours because the guides know the best photo spots.

Ticket price

Adult ticket (26 to 65 years): 34.40 Euros

Senior ticket (66+ years): 33.60 Euros

Youth ticket (18-25 years): 32 Euros

Student ticket (18-25 years – with ID): 32 Euros

Child ticket (7 to 17 years): 20 Euros

*Kids six years and younger don’t need to buy this ticket. They can walk in for free.

Buy TicketsBuy Sagrada Familia ‘Guided tour’ tickets

3. Sagrada Familia ticket with Nativity Tower access

With this ticket, you get the best Sagrada Familia experience possible.

This ticket give you access to:

– Intricate sculptures outside the amazing Basilica

– Relish the colorful Sagrada Familia interiors

– Go up the Nativity Tower and enjoy the Nativity facade

With this ticket, you will also get an audio guide.

Note: Kids must be older than 6 years to go up the Tower.

Exclusions: Even though you don’t get a human guide with this ticket, the audio guide does its job well.

Our recommendation: Many tourists feel the Nativity facade is better than the Passion facade, so it’s a perfect ticket.

If you don’t care much about a human guiding you through your Sagrada Familia experience, you must go for this ticket.

Ticket price

Adult ticket (30 to 64 years): 33 Euros

Senior ticket (65+ years): 25 Euros

Youth ticket (11-29 years): 30.72 Euros

Student ticket (with ID): 32 Euros

Child ticket (10 years and less): Free entry

Buy TicketsSagrada Familia ticket with Nativity Tower access

4. Sagrada Familia ticket with Passion Tower access

This is yet another ticket which is difficult to ignore because it includes the following –

– Access to both the outside and inside of Sagrada Familia Cathedral

– Access to the Passion tower, to marvel at the Passion facade

With this ticket, you will also get an audio guide.

Exclusions: You don’t get a human guide with this ticket. Also, do remember that kids younger than seven years can’t go up the Towers, so if you are traveling with one stay away.

Our recommendation: Passion facade depicts the pain of Jesus and hence is austere, plain and simple. Unless you want to experience the pain of Jesus, we don’t recommend this ticket.

In fact, even guides who take the tourists to both the towers say they have seen a better sense of satisfaction in tourists who go up Nativity facade.

Ticket price

Adult ticket (30 to 64 years): 33 Euros

Senior ticket (65+ years): 25 Euros

Youth ticket (11-29 years): 30.72 Euros

Student ticket (with ID): 32 Euros

Child ticket (10 years and less): Free entry

Buy TicketsSagrada Familia ticket with Passion Tower access

5. Guided tour of Sagrada Familia with tower access

This is a highly rated tour, where you get a guide take you through Sagrada Familia interiors and then also up one of the towers.

The duration of this Sagrada Familia guided tour is 90 minutes.

Exclusions: There are no exclusions to this ticket.

Our recommendation: This ticket is quite popular among those who can afford high-priced tickets. If money isn’t a concern, we recommend you go for these tickets.

Ticket price

Adult ticket (12+ years): 50.30 Euros

Child ticket (3 to 11 years): 48.15 Euros

*Kids below 3 years walk in for free.

Buy TicketsGuided tour of Sagrada Familia with tower access


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FAQs on Sagrada Familia tickets

When it comes to Sagrada Familia tickets, visitors have lots of questions.

We try to answer a few of them –

1. Sagrada Familia tickets online – why better?

Before booking Sagrada Familia’s tickets most tourists wonder if there is any difference between tickets bought at the venue and those bought online.

The answer is “No!”. There is no difference between Sagrada Familia tickets bought online, and those bought at the venue.

In fact, there are two massive advantages of buying Sagrada Familia tickets online –

1. You save money because online tickets are cheaper. That’s because you don’t pay the ‘ticketing window surcharge.’

2. You save time because you don’t stand in line at the ticketing window. During peak hours, this wait can even go up to 90 minutes.

2. How do online tickets help in avoiding the crowd?

As a tourist trying to enter Sagrada Familia, you must stand in two queues – line at the ticketing counter to buy the tickets and the line at the Basilica’s entrance.

You can avoid the first queue if you buy Sagrada Familia tickets online and reach the entrance at the time provided on your ticket.

In fact, on heavily crowded days (high season weekends, office holidays etc) there may be an extra waiting time as well.

Since only a fixed number of tourists are allowed to enter the premises every 15 minutes, the ticket obtained from the ticketing counter can have an entrance time that is a couple of hours later. This means you must wait your turn to enter the Basilica.

That’s why most tourists prefer to buy Sagrada Familia tickets online.

When you buy tickets online, you know what time you need to be at Sagrada Familia’s entrance, so there is hardly any wait.

Now you know why these online tickets are also known as Skip The Line tickets, Fast Track tickets, Priority Access tickets etc.

3. Sagrada Familia free tickets

Some tourists do get Sagrada Familia’s free ticket.

You don’t have to pay for your online tickets at Sagrada Familia if you meet one of the conditions below.

– You qualify for a Sagrada Familia free ticket if you are ten years old or below and are being accompanied by an adult.

– You qualify for a Sagrada Familia free ticket if you are an individual with +65% disability and can provide appropriate proof. In such circumstances, the person accompanying you also gets a free ticket for Sagrada Familia.

4. Sagrada Familia tickets discount

Some of the visitors do get Sagrada Familia tickets discount.

To encourage youngsters to appreciate culture, Sagrada Familia offers ticket discounts.

Every Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday youngsters aged 11 to 30 can avail of these discounts and the discounted price they have to pay is only 7 Euros.

These discount tickets are available between 4 pm to 6 pm and can be bought from Sagrada Familia’s ticketing counter.

Even better discounts are available on online tickets, which are couple of Euros cheaper than buying at the venue.

5. Whom to contact to buy Sagrada Familia tickets?

The good thing about Sagrada Familia tickets is that you don’t need to contact anyone.

Sitting at your home, you can buy Sagrada Familia tickets online and get them delivered to your smartphone.

Look for links in this article to book Sagrada Familia tickets, online.

6. Print Sagrada Familia online tickets?

Within five minutes of purchasing Sagrada Familia tickets online, they get delivered to your email.

You don’t need to take any printouts.

On the day of your visit, just walk up to Sagrada Familia entrance, show your ticket in your email on your smartphone and step in.

Yes, it is that easy.


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Sagrada Familia audio guide

If you love to explore at your own pace, you should go for Sagrada Familia’s audio guide.

The routes available in the audio guide explain the towers, the facades and the insides of the Basilica.

The 45-minute-long audio guide is available in Catalan, Spanish, English, French, German, Italian, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese and Hungarian.

Kids below 12 years of age don’t get the audio guide.

Important: Human guides are better than audio guides. If you can afford to buy a guided tour ticket, we highly recommend that.


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Sagrada Familia dress code

Since it is a Catholic church, Sagrada Familia does have a strict dress code which gets enforced by its staff.

Men are expected to avoid hats unless they are wearing it for religious or health reasons.

While visiting the Sagrada Familia church both men and women are expected to avoid see-through clothing, swimwear etc.

The acceptable length for both shorts and skirts is till at least mid-thigh.

Tops must cover the shoulders. Women are also expected to avoid plunging necklines, exposed backs, and bellies.


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Sagrada Familia map

There are two ways to ensure you don’t miss anything at Sagrada Familia – you can book a guided tour or you can download a map of Sagrada Familia and keep it on your phone.

In fact, you can even print a copy of the map provided below and carry it along on the day of your visit.

The Sagrada Familia map provided below mentions all the visitor services, audio guide stops, toilets, changing rooms, lifts etc. Download Map

Significance of the Cathedral’s Towers

Since architect Gaudi wanted it to be as grand as a Cathedral, he planned 18 towers for this religious building.

Of these 18 towers, only 8 towers have been constructed till now – since work began in 1882.

Each of the 18 towers of Sagrada Familia represents someone.

12 of these 18 towers represent the apostles and four represent the evangelists.

The Sagrada Familia tower with a star on the top is designated for Virgin Mary, and the tallest tower of them all is for Jesus Christ.

Tower of the Virgin Mary

Tower of Virgin Mary is located over the apse and stands 138 meters tall. This will be a hollow tower – an empty monumental space full of light.

Despite being under construction, tourists can still see it because there is no scaffolding.

Tower of Jesus Christ

Tower of Jesus Christ will be the tallest tower at a height of 172.5 meters.

When completed there will be four bridges which will connect the towers of the evangelists to the tower of Jesus.

Interestingly, the route up to the tower of Jesus will pass through the evangelists’ tower. Another symbolic representation at the cathedral.

Towers of the evangelists

Evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John have a tower each. When completed by approximately 2022, they all will be 135 meters tall.

Their height will be just a little shy of the Tower of the Virgin Mary and Tower of Jesus Christ.

 

Recommended Reading
1. Sagrada Familia facts

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