We were staying in an amazing home in Begur on the Costa Brava (wild or dramatic coast) with awesome views of the sea. We were spoilt by the fact that we could walk down to the beach (via 1000’s of steps) and straight onto the coastal walkways that stretched for miles and interconnected the beaches and bays of this region.
Pretty tired from our mega day trips in Southern Spain to Seville, Granada, Gibraltar, Malaga, Marbella etc, we were pretty happy to stay local and explore what we could from our front door for the first few days. There was plenty of walking to be done and we took advantage of the wonderful weather to explore the coastal paths.
As we approached the city we could feel something was happening on this day. The streets were packed with people really well dressed and carrying roses, all heading towards the historic and main part of the town. After finally finding and squeezing into a parking spot we followed the throngs of people into the city centre and were stunned by the amount of flower stalls selling red roses and the amount of people walking around carrying them! It took some time to find the Tourist Information centre due to the huge crowds, but once we did we were finally able to ask what was going on.
It was St Georges day!
Cities that celebrate the day include Genoa in Italy, Beirut in Lebanon, Qormi and Victoria in Malta, Moscow in Russia, Ljubljana in Slovenia, Rio De Janeiro in Brazil and many others.
It is also celebrated in the old Crown Of Aragon in Spain – Aragon, Catalonia, Valencia, and Majorca.
The facts about this building are immense, and even though it is still unfinished even after being under construction since 1882, has been named a UNESCO world heritage site.
- La Sagrada Família will take longer to complete than the Egyptian pyramids. It started in 1882 and is hoped to be completed in 2026 (the centennial of Gaudí’s death), though it might not be finished until as late as 2040. The Great Pyramid, by comparison, only took 20 years.
- Gaudí disliked straight lines and angles because they don't often appear naturally. Instead, he based his design on the swirling curves of nature. There is endless natural symbolism within La Sagrada Família. The interior structure is supported by large pillars that look like trees.
- Gaudí believed that no man-made object should be constructed higher than the work of God. Therefore, La Sagrada Família, when completed, will tower at 170 meters (560 ft), which was intended to be one meter less than Barcelona’s highest point, Montjuïc hill.
- In 1936,during the Spanish Civil War a group of anarchists and revolutionaries set fire to the crypt and destroyed the workshop which contained all of the plans and models—thankfully a scarce few were saved.
- The holy place was built to be seen from all points of the city. It has glass mosaics at its highest points, which when reflected by sun or moonlight act as beacons to guide seafarers home.
- La Sagrada Familia is home to the tomb of Antoni Gaudí, who was unfortunately killed a few days after being hit by a tram.
- The cost of your ticket goes straight to the building work. The The three million visitors every year help support the project, which costs around 25 million euros annually.