The Sagrada Familia, Antoni Gaudí's unfinished masterpiece, is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Barcelona. The Sagrada Familia is a giant Basilica that is under construction since 1882 and the construction on this church will continue for at least another decade, but it has already become Barcelona`s most important landmark.
The planning of the church began with the architect Francisco del Villar. He designed a neo-Gothic church and led the construction which started in 1882.
A few months later in 1883, the young architect Antoni Gaudí took over the leadership of the work until his death on the 10th of June 1926. The building reflects his influence.
After Gaudí's death, the construction slowed dramatically, due to a lack of funds and the beginning of the Civil War. The construction started again in the mid 1950’s. Nowadays, 2 façades and 8 towers are completed.
At that time, they expected further constructions to last another hundred years, but modern technology has enabled architects to speed up construction, so the Sagrada Familia is now expected to be completed in 2026.
Barcelona’s most famous Art Nouveau architect played an active role in directing the construction of the Sagrada Familia until his death in 1926.
Gaudí used his trademark modernist style, which was based on forms found in nature. He devoted most of his life to the construction of the church and he changed the design drastically. He was convinced that one day the church would be recognized as “his” church.
When he died in 1926 only one façade (the Nativity Façade), one tower, the apse and the crypt were finished. Most of these were destroyed in 1936 during the Civil War.
Visiting La Sagrada Familia
Even though the Sagrada Familia is far from finished, the remarkable church is definitely worth a visit. The building is still under construction so be prepared to see workers.
When you visit the building you will see the contrast in the stone color between the front and back of the building, the old finished part and the new part which is still under construction. Also the actual style of construction appears somewhat different between the new and old parts of the building.
You can also visit the towers. An elevator and a long walk will lead you to the top of a tower, from where you have an amazing view over Barcelona. Regardless of all the controversy surrounding the Sagrada Familia, it is a truly amazing building you must see in Barcelona.
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