La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona - The Traveller

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Friday, April 8, 2016

La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

La Sagrada Familia

Basilica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia – Huge Roman Catholic Church


The Basilica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia or Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family is said to be a huge Roman Catholic Church in Barcelona. It had been designed by a Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi and though incomplete, the church has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Sagrada Familia had been Antoni Gaudi’s strong obsession and with the commission of a conservative society which intended to build a temple as atonement for the sins of modernity of the city, Gaudi envisaged its completion as his holy mission. When the funds seemed to be less, he had contributed his own and in the last years of his life he did not shy away in pleading with anyone he thought to be a likely donor.

Gaudi created a temple 95 m long and 60 m wide which could accommodate 13,000 people with a central tower of 170m high above the transept –representing Christ and another 17 of 100m or more. The 12 besides the three facades seemed to represent the Apostles and the remaining five tend to represent the Virgin Mary with the four evangelist.

Gaudi gave his towers enlarged outlines since he was inspired by the peaks of the holy mountain Montserrat outside Barcelona and covered them with a tangle of sculpture which seemed an extension of the stone.

Pope Benedict XVI – Consecrated/Proclaimed it a Minor Basilica


In November 2010, Pope Benedict XVI had consecrated and proclaimed it as a minor basilica, distinct from a cathedral that must be the seat of a bishop. Gaudi’s masterpiece is the most popular attractions in Barcelona with its amazingly intricate exterior together with the appealing stained glass windows.

However, La Sagrada Familia’s construction is unending and is not expected to be completed till 2026. The construction of Sagrada Familia had begun in 1882 where Gaudi had been involved in 1883 in taking over the project and changing it with his architectural as well as engineering style with the combination of Gothic and curvilinear Art Nouveau forms.

He had devoted his last years to the project and at the time of his death at the age of 73, in 1926, less than a quarter of the project had been completed.Construction of Sagrada Familia seemed to progress slowly since it depended on private donation and had been interrupted by the Spanish Civil War and resumed irregular progress in 1950s.

Anticipated Completion – 2026


At Gaudi’s death, only the vault, the apse walls, a portal and a tower had been completed. Three more towers had been added by 1930 that completed the northeast – Nativity façade. Toward 1936 rebels had burned and smashed the interior inclusive of workshops, models and plans and the work commenced in 1952.

However controversy often hinders the progress. Foesof the continuation of the project stated that the computer models based on what little plans of Gaudi had survived the rebels’ rage, had led to the creation of a monster which has little to do with the plans and style of Gaudi. It is a dispute which tends to have little hope of resolution.

Constructions moved to midpoint in 2010 though some of the greatest challenges of the project remained. The anticipated completion date is 2026 which is the centenary of Gaudi’s death. The church seem to share its site with the Sagrada Familia Schools building which was originally designed in 1909 by Gaudi for the children of the construction workers.

 Repositioned in 2002, from the eastern area of the site to the southern corner, the building presently tends to house an exhibition.

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