At the top of 512 meters above sea level of the Tibidabo mountain sits the majestically decorates the Church of the Sacred Heart. The full name of the Expiatory Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor / Templo Expiatorio del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus), has already become one of the landmarks of Barcelona.
The motive for the building the ‘Temple of Tibidabo’ was due to the fear of the Board of Catholic Knights from building a new Protestant temple nearby! this led to purchasing the land and donating it to ‘Sant Joan Bosco’ (John Bosco) during his visit to Barcelona, in order to promote the development of a large temple at the top.
For many years the project was put to one side, although during this time a small neo-gothic chapel was erected. Finally Enric Sagnier, I Villavecchia was set to be in charge of the project, and it was eventually completed some 60 years later by his son Josep Maria Sagnier I Vidal in 1961.
Most visitors notice a similarity between the Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Basilique du Sacre Coeur de Montmartre in Paris, due to the fact that they are aesthetically quite alike, and both are at the top of a mountain. Although its exterior might give you grand expectations, the reality is that the interior of the temple is not quite what you might expect.
It’s quite clearly separated into two floors; on the ground floor, entering from the Baroque main entrance, you will find the neo-byzantine style crypt, whereas the church itself can be found on the upper level.
It’s a mix of Roman and Gothic styles, and it’s hidden by a dome.
To get here might look a lengthy drive but in reality, it’s actually quite easy and well worth the journey.
To get to the top of the mountain you could use your own private transportation or you can use one of the many public buses. The easiest way is to catch the T2A ‘Tibibus’ bus, which leaves from Plaça de Catalunya, or the T2B bus which leaves from San Genís, next to Vall d’Hebron. This leads you to the Funicular del Tibidabo, which takes you to the top of the mountain, just a short walk from the church.
If you’re traveling with your families you might want to make the most of the time at the top of the mountain by going to the Tibidabo Amusement Park as well this way you will enjoy both a bit of history and have tons of fun... plus the views of Barcelona up there is amazing!
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