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Temple of the Sacred Heart in Barcelona

On top of Mount Tibidabo stands the figure of Christ extending his hands over the city in a gesture of blessing. The majestic Temple of the Sacred Heart in Barcelona is considered one of the main attractions of Spain.

Its outlines are deeply symbolic. The low entrance represents the sins that bend man to the ground. The lighter walls and wider space of the temple with its abundance of light and air signify the path to spiritual perfection and purification. The figure of Christ crowning the temple promises salvation of the soul and forgiveness of sins in true repentance and striving for the light of true faith. At first glance one gets the impression that the crypt and the building itself serve as a pedestal for a majestic sculpture.

The History of the Erection of the Temple of the Sacred Heart

The summit of Mount Tibidabo attracted many people, and there were plans to build entertainment facilities or a Protestant church on it, but its remote location stopped it. This did not prevent the erection of a small chapel in the 19th century with personal donations from Dorothea de Chopitea, known for her charitable work.

Temple of the Sacred Heart on Mount TibidaboAfter that it was decided to build a full-fledged temple. The project belonged to the architect, artist, and well-known public figure of the time, Marquis Henrique Saunière. He worked in the style of modernism, which imposed a certain imprint on the appearance of the building, but the basic classical features and proportions have been rigorously preserved. There are also elements of Romanesque, Neo-Gothic and Byzantine styles. The construction lasted more than 50 years. The author did not have time to see his creation in all its glory, his son had to finish construction. In 1950, a sculpture was placed on top of the building, and 11 years after this event, the temple was completed and consecrated.

The temple of the Sacred Heart on Mount Tibidabo in Barcelona got its name under the influence of a fashion trend, thanks to which not only in Spain but also in other European countries appeared cathedrals with similar names. During this time several dozen temples and churches of the Sacred Heart were erected.

The arrangement of the Temple of the Sacred Heart

The exterior architectural ensemble is divided into three parts:

  • crypt;
  • Basil;
  • Christ sculpture.

The first tier is built of dark yellow stone, the temple building in contrast is made of white material, and the figure of Christ is cast in bronze. Thus the contrast is respected not only in proportions, but also in material.

The Temple of the Sacred Heart on Tibidabo can be seen from anywhere in the city; only the overall composition is clear from afar. In order to see the details, you have to go to the temple itself.

Temple of the Sacred Heart in Barcelona on the Tibidabo

The main entrance to the crypt is decorated by 4 columns with images of a lion, an eagle, an angel and a calf, symbolic figures of the evangelists who described the earthly life and deeds of Christ. Above the entrance is a colorful fresco with a scene of praise to the son of God. Queen Isabella, Columbus, and King Ferdinand are clearly distinguishable among the figures.

The building is surrounded by wide rounded stairs leading to the basilica. On the right, halfway down the road, there is the entrance to the chapel that marked the beginning of the majestic temple. The Spaniards are reverent about the monuments of architecture and have preserved the chapel by restoring it.

On the sides of the main entrance are statues of St. James and St. George. The Virgin Mary, the patroness of the Spanish capital, is above the main arch. There are several entrances to the crypt. Near one of them is an elevator that takes tourists to the observation deck, on the perimeter of which there are 12 figures of the apostles. The author of the sculpture of Christ was the talented master Jouzep Miret.


Temple of the Sacred Heart in Barcelona - Spain

The walls and vaults of the crypt and basilica are decorated with frescoes and bas-reliefs; the windows are covered with stained glass with scenes on biblical themes.

In the semi-circular recesses are five altars dedicated to major events or saints:

  • Joseph;
  • Antony;
  • Virgin Mary;
  • Sacrament;
  • Virgin of Montserrat.

Temple of the Sacred Heart in Barcelona

The basilica, unlike the crypt, is filled with light, the glare of colorful stained-glass windows glides across the walls, and a crucifix is mounted above the main altar. Near the left altar, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, five stained-glass windows depict her in various guises, typical of Spanish-speaking countries. At the left altar there are four more stained glass windows with the same theme and one with the miracle of the resurrection.

Around the highest point of the dome are eight windows through which light enters the central room. The stained glass windows on them are also about the life of Christ.

Photographs are allowed in the temple, but not during services.

Observation deck

To climb it, you must first buy a ticket. It costs 3 euros, the sale is automated, at the entrance to the elevator is a red machine where you enter the money and indicate the number of tickets. The elevator stops at the platform with the apostles, which is at a height of 539 meters, then you have to go up another stone staircase to the next level.

From there, for the most intrepid, the path to the foot of the figure of Christ is laid out. But if you are already dizzy from the height and the view, you can stop at the middle platform and lean on the parapet, enjoy the panorama.

How do I get to Sacred Heart Temple?

Temple of the Sacred Heart, Barcelona

The main point of departure for this attraction is at Plaça Catalunya. You can go on a tour or go to the temple yourself. The buses on this route are jokingly called “tibibus”. The fare will be 2.5 euros, the travel time does not exceed 20 minutes. They drop everyone off in the square in front of the temple. In addition to this method you can take the city bus, cab, subway and cable car.

If you have a T10 pass, it is worth choosing the most economical and at the same time spectacular way to get from Barcelona to the Temple of the Sacred Heart on Mount Tibidabo. First, take the subway to the stop Peu del Funicular, then follow the signs to find the boarding point of the funicular and take the 111 bus to the terminus, which will take you to the area in front of the cathedral.

It is worth considering that with the pass the whole trip will cost 1 euro.

Excursions to the temple also leave from Plaza Catalunya. They are designed for 5 hours and include a short sightseeing tour of the city. The unpleasant part may be the extra charge for the tickets. This nuance should be clarified in advance.

The schedule of the Temple of the Sacred Heart

Admission is free, except during services. They are held four times a day. You can enter the basilica from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.; the elevator starts at 11 a.m., making its last trip at 6 p.m.

Mount Tibidabo is considered the dominant altitude, reaching a mark of 500 meters. Not far from the temple are the television tower, the Romantic Gardens, and the Toy Museum, which are also worth a visit.

The majestic and at the same time graceful Temple of the Sacred Heart is memorable for everyone who took a few hours and leisurely toured this amazing landmark of Barcelona.

Video overview of the Temple of the Sacred Heart

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