The guided tour began on the outside of the Temple, which depicts the life and death of Jesus Christ in the form of sculptures, before moving inside to admire the nave dominated by the broad columns, which was finally covered over in 2010, meaning that Pope Benedict XVI could consecrate the Basilica later that year. The construction of the temple began in 1882, and it has gone on to become one of the most visited monuments in Spain, along with the Museo del Prado and the Alhambra in Granada, as well as being the second most visited church in Europe after Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.
The Sagrada Familia is the fullest expression of Gaudí’s genius. He worked on it for most of his professional career and particularly towards the end of his life, when his naturalistic style reached full maturity. Gaudí achieved perfect harmony in the interrelation between the structural and ornamental elements, functionality and aesthetics, content and recipient, attaining the integration of all the artforms in a structured and logical whole.
The students from EAE Business School had the chance to enjoy this visit to a landmark that they knew but had never had the opportunity to get discover at an in-depth level. Luisa Quintero, a Colombian student on the Master in Marketing and Commercial Management, explained that “I have been around the building and stopped to look at the outside, but I had never been inside. In my country, it is well known that the city is synonymous with Gaudí’s work”. With respect to her Master program, Luisa finds the teachers are really interesting and highlights the fact that the School knows how to treat foreign students perfectly. She would like to do an internship in Barcelona before returning to her country.
The Sagrada Familia is built in the shape of a Latin cross, with five central naves and a transept with three naves, as well as an apse with seven chapels. When it is fully finished, it will have 18 towers: four on each portal to represent the twelve apostles in total, four above the transept to represent the Evangelists and one above the apse dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and the central dome tower in honour of Jesus Christ, which will reach a height of 172.5 metres, making it the tallest in Barcelona. It is expected that the entire construction, or at least the central tower, will be finished in 2026 to coincide with the hundredth anniversary of Gaudí’s death.
Mercedes Espinosa, a Peruvian student on the Master in Accounting and Financial Management, was really happy with the visit. “It is one of the main tourist attractions in Barcelona and it was well worth going with a guide, to find our more about its history”. As she is doing the Master on a part-time basis, Mercedes has been given an internship and can combine her studies, work and sightseeing in Barcelona without any difficulty.
During the tour, the EAE students looked around the crypt, the apse and part of the Nativity façade, which Gaudí himself only saw crowned by the Saint Barnaby tower. On his death, his assistant Domènec Sugrañes took charge of the construction. Later, various architects have supervised the project, with Jordi Faulí i Oller having been the director since 2012. The sections that Gaudí constructed (the nativity façade and the crypt) were included by UNESCO in the World Heritage Site under the title of ‘Works of Antoni Gaudí’. Ein addition, since 2007, it has been one of the 12 Treasures of Spain and one of the Seven Wonders of Catalonia.
EAE’s cultural visits are an added value activity offered by the School. “I arrived in Barcelona two months ago, and Gaudí’s work is an important feature of the city’, explained Karen Pina, a Chilean student on the Master in Stock and Financial Markets. The Master program has met Karen’s expectations and she would now like to do an internship. If she finds work, she will stay here.
Daniel Mesa, a Peruvian student on the Master in Human Resources Management, had already been to Barcelona on other occasions but had never had the opportunity to go into the Sagrada Familia. In his opinion, the Master is a great exchange of experiences. He will go back to his country, where he is already working. After the visit, the Brazilian student Marco Gama explained that he had seen the outside of the temple as he lives in Barcelona, “but it is the first time that I have been inside and I was really surprised how full of colour it is. It is much better than I expected”. Marco is taking the Master in Business Intelligence and Technological Innovation because he wants to change career. He came over from Brazil to Barcelona to study Spanish.