La Sagrada Familia
I’m at a Church that has been in construction since 1882! I’m at Barcelona and behind me is La Sagrada Familia, or the Bascilica of Sagrada, a majestic structure that still does not have a completion date.
Where is La Sagrada Familia located in Barcelona?
The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família (long name, right!), is a large roman catholic church in Barcelona, designed by the Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi.
Is the Sagrada Familia finished?
The construction of this huge church commenced in 1882. Gaudi got involved in the construction in 1883, and remained involved in the process into his final years, until his death in 1926. And even then, only a quarter of the project was completed.
The Bascilica is a striking sight to behold, and being incomplete does nothing to dispel its majestic force. In fact, it is already a UNESCO world heritage site! This being the most well-known church in Barcelona, I signed up for a tour at once. Interestingly, there’s also an option of an audio guide, explaining the facades and interior of the basilica for those who wish to wander and explore the Bascilica at their own pace. But I love talking to guides and asking my questions, so I opted to have the guide present with me during my visit. My guide tells me that the reason the bascilica is taking so long to be built is because it was mainly funded by private donations, and the construction was interrupted by the Spanish Civil war, and only resumed construction in the 1950s.
The bascilica is huge, and is based on the traditions of Gothic and Byzantine Cathedrals. This is what gives the bascilica its cathedral like appearance. The difference between the Sagrada Familia and a cathedral, I’m told, is that a cathedral has a seat for the Bishop. The church has a total of 18 towers, each of them with a distinct significance to Christian religion. My guide tells me that the completed church will serve to express the teachings and basis of the Christian religion even to those who know nothing about it. Isn’t that marvelous? As of today, the tower of Jesus is under construction, I’m told, and there will also be the towers of Evangelists and the tower of the Virgin Mary above the apse.
I was curious to learn whether there is in fact, any anticipated completion date, and it turns out that there is one. The completion date is estimated to be somewhere in 2026, a hundred years after Gaudi’s death. Antoni Gaudi devoted most of his adult life to the construction of this bascilica, and this would serve as a testament to his efforts. In any case, I’ve joined the list of people who eagerly await the completion of this masterpiece.