Full mass and happy tourists

Full mass and happy tourists

No one is surprised that the Plaza de Gaudí, the photographic scene par excellence of Barcelona and with views of what is the oldest façade of the Sagrada Família, is full on a Sunday. Not a Saturday, not a Thursday, not a Monday. However, at half past seven in the morning and, although these last minutes of the morning still leave the square empty, more than 200 people are already lining up at the doors of the basilica. Meanwhile, a stream of people continues to enter to celebrate the Lord’s Day. Or so it seems.

Among so many languages, it is difficult to understand the comments of those present, but the mobile phones taking photos speak the universal language: “We woke up early to queue and see the Sagrada Família for free,” a couple of German tourists affirmed in English. To which a group of young Spanish backpackers responds: “Renta mucho”.

On Sundays, the queue starts before dawn

On Sundays, the queue starts before dawn


Admission to the International Mass on Sundays at nine in the morning is free until full capacity is reached and no invitation is required. For its part, a free entrance to the monument, without including the towers, costs 26 euros, thus making it one of the most expensive monuments in the city for residents of Spain (30 euros with a guided tour and 40 euros if the towers are added). . In short, an opportunity that many tourists do not miss.

Long lines

An hour and a half before the ceremony, about 200 people are already waiting at the door

This homily is done in several languages ​​and, through a QR code, attendees can download the guide in different languages. There is no doubt that among the total number of attendees -who are close to full capacity- there are a large part of authentic devotees, focused on practicing their faith in the greatest religious tourism in Barcelona.

On the other side, those who record the priest preaching at the beginning of the mass “it is forbidden to take photos”, and the backpackers who, without sitting down, leave the room a few minutes after entering – and those who do so throughout the whole hour, non-stop– show the other side of the phenomenon. At communion time, approximately half of those who remained came to take the host.

Sources from the Sagrada Família do not see this situation as a problem because the people who enter “can only enter the main nave.” They add that it is “like any mass in the world” and, above all, “for everyone”. Of course, there were not many Barcelonans from the neighborhood: “They prefer to attend the masses that are celebrated daily in the crypt, in Catalan and Spanish.”

Many fingers pointing to the ceiling structures and others pressing the white Instagram button, recording the stained glass windows of the Sagrada Família while organ notes play in the background. In the end, it will be the most original publication of your visit to Barcelona.

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