Known more often by its informal name of ‘Temple of Tibidabo’, the Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (in catalan Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor de Jesús) in Barcelona is located at the highest point of the mountain of Tibidabo. This, together with its beautiful and almost imposing silhouette, ensures that it’s one of the most iconic sights of Barcelona.
The motivation for the construction of the temple was the fear that on this site a Protestant temple was going to be built, which led the ‘Junta de Caballers Catòlics’ (the Board of Catholic Knights) to buy the land and donate it to ‘Sant Joan Bosco’ (John Bosco) during his visit to Barcelona, in order to promote the construction 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. This was dedicated to John Bosco, and it still stands at the top of the mountain. Finally, in 1902 work started on what would become the Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Enric Sagnier i Villavecchia was initially in charge of the project, and it was completed some 60 years later by his son Josep Maria Sagnier i Vidal in 1961.
Visits to the Church
Most visitors draw a comparison between the Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Basilique du Sacre Coeur de Montmartre in Paris, owing to the fact that they are aesthetically quite similar, 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 divided 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 style, and it’s covered by a dome, upon which the statue of the Sacred Heart – ‘Sagrat Cor’ – overlooks the church. It is in gilded bronze, made by the artist and sculptor Josep Miret.
Visiting the temple is free of charge (for the crypt and the church), but if you’d like to enjoy the fantastic views from the very top, you’ll need to pay to go up in the lift.
OPENING HOURS OF THE BASILICAJanuary, February, November and December: from 11:00 until 18:00. March, April, May and October: from 11:00 to 18:00. June, July, August and September: from 11:00 to 20:00. Crypt: from 08:00 to 20:15.
ENTRY COSTFree of charge: entry to the basilica and the crypt is free of charge. €3: You would need to pay €3 to go up in the lift, which will allow you to access the highest point of the temple, from which you can enjoy spectacular views of the surroundings.
Although it might seem a long way to go to see the temple at the top of the mountain of Tibidabo, it’s actually well worth the journey, and we’re sure you won’t regret it, especially as from it you will see one of the best views of the city of Barcelona.
If you’re visiting with children, or even if not, you might like to make the most of the time at the top of the mountain by going to the Tibidabo Amusement Park, that you will find at the foot of the church.
Map, and how to get to Tibidabo
To get to the top of the mountain of Tibidabo, and in order to visit the Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, you could use your own private transport or you can arrive by public transport, which is covered by three different options.
Without a doubt, the easiest way of getting to the top of the mountain of Tibidabo 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. These buses operate every day while the amusement park is open.
Take Line 7 of the FGC, and get off at the Avinguda Tibidabo stop, from where you can cross the road and take the Tramvia Blau. This leads you to the Funicular del Tibidabo, which takes you to the top of the mountain, just a short walk from the church.
Take Line S1 or S2 of the FGC to the Peu de Funicular stop, where you’ll need to take the Funicular de Vallvidrera, getting off at Vallvidrera Superior in order to take the local bus number 111.
Summit of the Tibidabo Mountain, Barcelona.
You can find more information above.
Visit to the church: free.
To take the lift to the top of the church: €3.00.