“ Sightseeing Type: Churches / Temples „
On a recent trip to Barcelona, I went on a city tour to take in some of the sights that we had missed on our last visit.
A place I was really looking forward to visiting was Tibidabo Mountain, which is the highest peak in Barcelona at over 500m above sea level.
Anyone who visits Barcelona will not fail to notice Tibidabo, and this is due to the imposing church of Sagrat Cor (Sacred Heart) which stands at the top of the mountain, and the impressive statue of Jesus Christ on the highest spire of the church.
On travelling in and out of Barcelona, seeing this church and statue on top of the mountain is a fantastic sight.
The church is the work of architect Enrique Sagnier, and building commenced in 1902 and took 60 years to build, so it is actually not that old!
The church is unusual in that it is built as a church on top of a church. The first tier is brown stone and the top tier is white stone.
Steps lead up to the entrance of the church, and standing outside looking up, it looks just as impressive as it does when viewed from a distance anywhere in Barcelona.
There is a paved 'square' area, which also serves as a viewing platform, giving breathtaking panoramic views of the city below.
We went inside the church (admission is free) and although it is small inside, it is absolutely beautiful, with its stained windows and detailed stone work. The altar has three parts with statues above, one of which being a copy of the Black Madonna. The original of this statue can be seen at Monserrat.
It is possible to light a candle in the church after making a donation (which I did) which goes towards the upkeep of the church.
The statue of Jesus Christ is accessible via an interior elevator, and there is also a further, higher viewing platform which again gives fantastic views over the city.
I had no idea until reaching the top of Tibidabo that there ia also a small funfair there on top of the mountain! The funfair is very old, opening in 1899, but had a major upgrade carried out in 1928 for the world fair, and it's latest upgrade was last year in 2008.
The funfair is very popular, featuring a rollercoaster and carousels, as well as a big wheel - as if you were not up high enough! I must admit I am not one for heights unless standing on solid ground, so I gladly gave the funfair a wide berth! However, it was unlike any funfair I have ever seen, due to it's unusual location.
You may think that a funfair next to a church is unusual, and may spoil the views and ambience of the area, but I personally did not think this is the case at all. You hardly notice the funfair from the church and it did seem very peaceful and quiet, despite the amount of visitors it attracts.
A cafe/restaurant is also situated near the church and funfair entrance.
We reached the top of Tibidabo by coach. On the way up, our guide pointed out the Collserola Telecommunications Tower, also situated on Tibidabo. The tower was built to transmit the Olympic Games of 1992, and also has a viewing platform. Another building located here is the Planetarium, and there are also restaurants giving spectacular views across the city.
I must admit it was very steep in parts when travelling up Tibidabo, and I could not look out of the window! However, once off the coach and standing on the ground I was fine, and enjoyed the panoramic views of Barcelona below.
It is also possible to reach the summit via tram and the Funicular railway.
I would recommend a visit to Tibidabo and the Sacred Heart Church to anyone visiting Barcelona.
Later in the day on our trip, we were taken up Montjuic on the south of the city, and from here you had a great view of Tibidabo and the church in the distance rising above the city.
The church is located on top of Tibidabo hill.