The Expiatory Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, also known as Sacred Heart Church is a temple located on top of the Tibidabo mountain in Barcelona.
Built for about 60 years using stone from the Montjuïc mountain, church is known for its verticalism and having a crypt not located in a basement as usual, but on the ground level. It is accessed from a square through a huge staircase. Above the crypt was built neo-Gothic church with sharp lines that blend with the rest of Neo-Byzantine lines. This distinctive mixture of styles is typical for Catalan Modernism. The upper temple has a central plan with a dome supported by eight columns. At the top of the dome a monumental statue of the Sacred Heart adorns the temple. This is a work of Josep Miret, who in 1950 remodelled the original one by the sculptor Frederic Marès, which was destroyed during the Spanish Civil War.
The Church was designed by the architect Enric Sagnier i Villavechia and the first stone was laid in 1902. Works continued till 1961, later directed by his son Enric Sagnier i Josep Maria Vidal. Before the temple was built, at this site a neo-Gothic hermitage existed at the top of the mountain, which was annexed to the Church as well as a viewing point in neomudéjar style built for the Universal Exhibition 1888, which was demolished. After completion in 1961 it received a status of Minor Basilica granted by Pope John XXIII. The temple was built in the likeness of some of the most important temples as the Sacré-Coeur in Paris and the Temple of the Sacred Heart of Gesù in Rome.
There are notable differences between the crypt, built between 1903 and 1911 with strong influence of Catalan modernism, noticeable neo-Byzantine elements and classic lines, and the temple itself, built from 1915 to 1951 in neo-Gothic character and vertical lines. The crypt has a richly ornamented façade adorned with different sculptures in honour to the saint patrons of Barcelona, Catalonia and Spain (the Virgin of Mercy, Saint George and James). The entrance to the crypt from the main façade leads through three doors designed as arches on columns crowned by a rich mosaic by Daniel Zuloaga representing the Holy Trinity. The temple has a square floor-plan, three apses and a central tower and four smaller towers with twelve sculptures representing the twelve apostles. The church's interior is divided into three naves, on the walls four rose-windows coexists with stained-glass windows with different motives.
The building was sponsored by Dorothea Chopitea and St. John Bosco.