The Sagrada Familia is one of the most famous landmarks in Barcelona. The church is such a huge size, so they often referred it as “cathedral”, but without having a bishop’s seat. Pope Benedict XVI. inaugurates the Sagrada Familia on November 7, 2010. The church building is raised to a basilica.
The church in the district Eixample is being built since 1882, and is supposed to be finished in 2026. From 1883 the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí took over the leadership of the works until his death in 1926. The building is significantly influenced by him.
You should give yourself a lot of time for examining the details of the facades, where many embassies and biblical stories are hidden.
With the expected completion in 2026, the construction is financed solely from donations and ticket money. Currently, 8 out of 12 about 100 meters tall bell towers are completed. The higher towers of the facade of the glory and the central dome with a height of over 170 meters will be built. Currently, part of the cloister and the apse are getting built.
The start of construction
In the middle of the 19th Century the booksellers José María Boca Bella, Chairman of the Holy Brotherhood, planned to build a church in Barcelona and to devote it to the Holy Family ( “Sagrada Familia“). The land he chose was a parcel within the “Poblet (village). He would have preferred land closer to the city centre, but due to the already high land prices it wasn’t possible.
The planning of the church began with the architect of the Diocese Francisco del Villar. He designed a church in Gothic style and began with the construction of the crypt in 1882. Because of fundamental disagreements with Boca Bella he had to resign from his job. A few months later in 1883, the young architect Antoni Gaudí took over his work.
The Sagrada Familia became Gaudí’s life work. He worked on it until his death on 10th June 1926.
Because of its extensive dimension and its lush design, the curch became so important, that people soon called it “the Cathedral”. Even Gaudí called it the Cathedral, although it doesn’t house a bishop. He was convinced that one day the city would be known because of its church.
Gaudí influenced the construction and design of the Sagrada Familia significantly. Many new parts are built according to plans, which aren’t in good condition so that it often depended on assumptions about how the great architect had originally planned the parts. Of course everyone is sure of one thing: the Church Sagrada family will – in case of completion – surpass all previously built christian churches in magnificence.
The Sagrada Familia should not only be seen as a church in the artistic point of view. At consideration of the church with its facades and towers one has to involve even religion.