Sagrada Familia Stained Glass Windows

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The history of Sagrada Familia’s stained glass windows is closely tied to the architectural vision of Antoni Gaudí. 

His aim was to surpass the conventional Gothic style and create a unique and captivating space. 

The construction’s focal point is the stunning stained glass windows, some stretching more than two stories high. 

They are crafted to draw the eye upwards and encourage contemplation of the divine.

Read on to explore the history, craftsmanship, and significance of the windows that illuminate the soul of this architectural masterpiece.

Gaudi’s Design Philosophy

Gaudi’s Design Philosophy

Gaudí famously said, “Sunshine is the best painter.” 

He defied the traditional style of Gothic cathedrals, which emphasized stained glass as the primary source of light. 

Instead, Gaudí prioritized natural light. He initially considered using trichrome, a system of stained glass that uses three colors to create a specific effect. 

He later decided to use leaded glass, which had more than six hundred years of experience. 

He sought maximum contrast, with the most transparent stained-glass windows at the top lighting up the mosaics and golden vaults. 

The inspiration for the stained glass designs came from the natural world. 

Warm colors like yellows and oranges evoked sunrises, while cooler blues and greens reflected the sea. 

This connection to nature further distinguished the basilica from the often more rigid iconography of Gothic stained glass.

Note: Make sure to check out Sagrada’s opening hours to plan your visit easily!

Stained Glass Significance

Stained Glass Significance

The basilica’s stained glass windows are not just decorative elements; they also serve as a means of education and reflection. 

From a historical perspective, stained glass windows are also valuable artifacts, reflecting the artistic and technological achievements of their time. 

They represent a convergence of craftsmanship, artistry, and religious devotion.

The various sections of the windows are used, such as vignettes, telling stories from the scriptures or related to the basilica itself. 

The windows are designed to create a setting more appropriate for reflection and meditation. 

The densest color at the bottom is the richest in iconography and closest to the faithful, where it can be read or interpreted better.

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How does the sun affect the stained glass windows?

sun affect the stained glass windows

The light from the sun affects the stained glass windows of Sagrada Familia during sunrise and sunset in several ways:

Color and Symbolism

The colors of the stained glass change throughout the day, with cool blues and greens dominating during sunrise and warm reds and oranges taking over at sunset. 

This creates a stunning visual spectacle and holds a significant meaning. The windows designed to face the sunrise exhibit a cool color palette. 

In contrast, the windows through which the light enters during sunset are red and orange, becoming warmer as the day progresses.

Light Direction

The angle of the sunlight also influences how the windows are illuminated. 

During sunrise, the sunlight enters the basilica at a low angle, while the setting sun bathes the interior in a warm glow, almost shining directly through the windows.

A play between Light and Color

The colors keep changing like a colorful music show. It’s because of the special windows that catch and let in different colored light. 

This makes the interiors bright and adds to the overall architecture of the basilica. 

How many Stained Glass Windows are there?

Sagrada Familia has 18 magnificent stained-glass windows that are crafted meticulously and act as a radiant jewel inside the basilica.

There are a variety of glass types, which are carefully selected to achieve specific aesthetic and functional purposes:

  • Opalescent Glass: This type of glass contains multiple colors that create a luminous effect when light falls over it.
  • Cathedral Glass: Cathedral glass, also known as transparent glass, allows natural light to filter through while adding a subtle tint to the interior space.
  • Antique Glass: This glass is used to create a sense of depth and richness in stained glass compositions.
  • Flashed Glass: This type of glass allows for precise control over the intensity of color and can produce striking visual effects.
  • Mouth-Blown Glass: Some of the glass used in the Sagrada Familia’s windows may be mouth-blown, a traditional technique that results in unique variations in thickness and texture.

What is the best time to see the magnificent windows?

Time to VisitDescription
5 pm to 6 pmDuring this hour, witness the transformation of the windows from daylight colors to sunset colors (warm reds and oranges).


1. Who designed the stained glass in Sagrada Familia?

2. Do I need a ticket to see Sagrada Familia’s stained glass windows? 

3. How does sunlight affect the colors of the stained glass windows?

4. How does stained glass contribute to Sagrada’s overall experience?

5. What is the best time to see the La Sagrada Familia stained glass windows? 

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