Catalonian most well known and iconic Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, nothing less than Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia. Combining Gothic and curvilinear Art Nouveau forms, it started to get constructed in 1882. Even though not yet completed, the church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and in November 2010 Pope Benedict XVI consecrated and proclaimed it a minor basilica, as distinct from a cathedral which must be the seat of a bishop.
(CC BY-SA 2.5 Собор Саграда Фамилия)
It was designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926). The Basilica of the Sagrada Família was the inspiration of a Catalan bookseller, Josep Maria Bocabella, founder of the Spiritual Association of Devotees of St. Joseph. Incredible but thruth, Antoni Gaudí began work on the church in 1883 but was not appointed Architect Director until 1884, and it wasn't the original architect in the first place.
(CC BY-SA 2.5 Olavfin)
Newly constructed stonework at the Basilica is clearly visible compared to the darker older sections, touched and aged by the weather.
Taken in consideration the long time it will take to construct the church, Gaudí had said: “My client is not in a hurry.” When Gaudí died in 1926, the basilica was between 15 and 25 percent complete. After Gaudí’s death, the work continued under the direction of Domenec Sugrañes i Gras until stopped again by the Spanish Civil War in 1936.
(CC BY-SA 3.0 Rp22)
One projection anticipates construction completion around 2026, the centennial of Gaudí’s death—while the project’s information leaflet estimates a completion date in 2028.
In 2008, some very well known Catalan architects advocated a stop to construction, to respect the original designs by Gaudí, which, although they were not exhaustive and were partially destroyed during civil war by Catalan anarchists, but have been partially reconstructed in recent years.
(CC Christophe MOUSTIER)
Since 2013, AVE high-speed trains have passed near the Sagrada Família through an underground tunnel that runs beneath the centre of Barcelona. Service through the tunnel was inaugurated on 8 January 2013. Track in the tunnel makes use of a system by EdilonSedra in which the rails are embedded in an elastic material to dampen vibrations. No damage to the Sagrada Família has been reported to date.
Art critic Rainer Zerbs describes Sagrada Família as, “It is probably impossible to find a church building anything like it in the entire history of art” and Paul Goldberger opinion: “The most extraordinary personal interpretation of Gothic architecture since the Middle Ages.”
(CC BY-SA 2.5 Marek Holub)
We hope you will find this short post useful and helpful to have a little more knowledge of this amazing edification in the center of Barcelona! And of course, don’t forget if you need any help with tours, transport passes or anything regarding Barcelona, please click HERE!