Miscellany: Sagrada Familia
Barcelona's greatest tourist attraction (and, indeed, a structure that has become emblematic of the city) is the Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia, an unfinished Roman Catholic church designed by the architect Antoni Gaudi. It looms in Barcelona's skyline; the spike-like spindly towers (which symbolize Christ and his apostles as well as the Virgin Mary) are visible from all over the city, and there's often acompanying construction cranes that make the whole affair look even more otherworldly. Naturally, my family and I visited this place during our visit to the city.
Walking in, the first thing you are struck by is the sheer height of the nave. Now, I've been to St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, and let me tell you, the Sagrada Familia is nearly as impressive - and that's without 100+ years of building time and the resources of the 16th century Catholic church behind it. Almost the entire building features interesting architectural touches, since this was Gaudi's masterwork and a project he worked on for most of his life. If you're ever in Barcelona, it's well worth a visit.