The layout of the cloister of the church is completely original in the history of Christian architecture, since it does not form the atrium as in Latin basilicas, nor is it attached to one side of the church as in Benedictine monasteries and Mediaeval cathedrals.
The cloister runs all around the church and is only interrupted by the doors and the apse, so that it acts as a protective wall that guards the interior of the church and separates it from the outside noise. And so we can say that Gaudí uses the exact meaning of the word 'cloister', which means 'close'.
The cloister is also an element that connects the different parts and allows processions to pass through in certain religious solemnities. For that reason Gaudí said: "The cloister will be made for praying the rosary in procession."
Each intersection of the cloister with a façade leads to a ornamented door, dedicated to a different aspect of Our Lady. At each point where the cloister reaches a corner there are three obelisks, the central one larger and the other two smaller. Each group symbolises a cardinal point, a virtue and a tempora (the fasts observed by Christians at each season) in gratitude for the fruits of the earth.