Gaudi’s work of a lifetime!
Visited by almost 3 millions of tourists. This incredible Cathedral is the symbol and pride of Barcelona. Don’t miss the Sagrada Familia ‘s visit before it is finished, the leaders of this Titanic site have estimated the completion of work to 2026!
Above all, enjoy the beauty, the greatness of the work and the history.The incredible epic of this monument begins in 1882.
The Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family is a huge unfinished Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926).
Gaudí’s work on the building is part of 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.
You can buy your tickets online. Click here!
In 1882 construction of Sagrada Família commenced under architect Francisco Paula de Villar until 1883, when Villar resigned. Gaudí took over as chief architect, transforming the project with his architectural and engineering style, combining Gothic and curvilinear Art Nouveau forms. Gaudí devoted the remainder of his life to the project, and at the time of his death at age 73 in 1926, less than a quarter of the project was complete.
Relying solely on private donations, Sagrada Familia’s construction progressed slowly and was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War, only to resume intermittent progress in the 1950s. Construction passed the midpoint in 2010 with some of the project’s greatest challenges remaining and an anticipated completion date of 2026, the centenary of Gaudí’s death.
The basílica has a long history of dividing the citizens of Barcelona: over the initial possibility it might compete with Barcelona’s cathedral, over Gaudí’s design itself, over the possibility that work after Gaudí’s death disregarded his design, and the 2007 proposal to build an underground tunnel of Spain’s high-speed rail link to France which could disturb its stability. Describing Sagrada Família, art critic Rainer Zerbst said, “It is probably impossible to find a church building anything like it in the entire history of art” and Paul Goldberger describes it as, “The most extraordinary personal interpretation of Gothic architecture since the Middle Ages.”
THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE SAGRADA FAMILIA!
THE DESIGN OF THE SAGRADA FAMILIA WAS DESIGNED TO PERMIT CONSTRUCTION EVEN AFTER THE DEATH OF GAUDÍ
Gaudí imagined the Sagrada Familia with pure and simple geometric shapes. Therefore, he ensured that any architect would be able to understand the plans and apply them in order to continue construction of the Basilica after the disappearance of Gaudí. The latter knew well that he would not see the end of his work before his death and designed the plans of the Glass Façade – the model of which was destroyed in 1936 – so that future architects base their work on the plans of Gaudí . However, Gaudí wanted every architect’s generation to bring his own style to the Sagrada Familia. He wanted each part of the Basilica to be built separately, one after the other, in order to absorb new architectural styles over the years.
THE SAGRADA FAMILIA HAS 3 FACADES EACH WITH A SPECIAL MEANING.
The first façade, that of the Nativity, was built in 1935 and remains the only facade to have been completely imagined by Gaudí, the latter directly directing its construction. It represents the birth of Jesus Christ, symbolized by the sunrise to the northeast. The façade also represents elements of Nature and the creation of life.
The second facade, that of the Passion, much purer and dedicated to the suffering of Christ during his crucifixion The facade was supposed to represent the sins of men. Many architects have worked on this façade while trying to remain faithful to the style of Gaudí while bringing their personal touch. The facade faces west facing the sun, a symbol of the death of Christ.
The third facade, that of the Glory, is the most imposing of the Sagrada Familia but is still under construction. It is dedicated to the glory of Jesus and the way to the eternal kingdom through death, final judgment, and glory.
THE CONSTRUCTION OF LONG-TERM BASILICA WAS FINANCED ONLY BY DONATIONS.
The Basilica of the Sagrada Familia received the title of the expiatory temple because its construction was never supported by financial aid from the State or the church. Indeed, for many years the construction of the Basilica was financed by patrons. The Sagrada then received many private funds, donations or alms. These funds were used exclusively for the construction of Gaudí’s dream. Today donations to the Sagrada Familia are scarcer and the bulk of the construction is financed by visitors paid by visitors to visit the temple.
SAGRADA FAMILIA IS THE MOST VISITED MONUMENT IN SPAIN.
With nearly 3 million visitors each year, the masterpiece of Gaudí – classified as a world heritage by UNESCO – goes beyond the Alhambra de Granada and the Prado Museum in Madrid. Today it is the most welcoming monument in Spain.
GAUDÍ’S WORK HAVE BEEN FOR LONG DISCREDITED.
Antoni Gaudí (June 25, 1852 – June 10, 1926) has long been misunderstood by the general public and his work has long been discredited. In the last years of his life, Gaudí had nothing, no family, money or property. This is one of the reasons why he devoted his last years to the construction of the Basilica. Gaudí also had health problems and was taken for a beggar.
On June 7, 1926, as he was going to the church of Sant Felipe Neri on the Gran Via of the Catalan Corts, Gaudí was struck by a tram. Because of his neglected appearance and because he had no identity papers, passersby took him for a vagabond. After several minutes lying in the middle of the street almost unconscious, Gaudí was taken to the hospital Santa Creu by taxi. There he was recognized by the priest of the church of Sant Felipe Neri and died of his wounds at the age of 73 years. He was buried on June 12 in a crypt in the Sagrada Familia, surrounded by thousands of people who came to pay the last tribute to the child prodigy of Barcelona.
After his death, his works were widely criticized and forgotten. It was only in 1950, when artists such as Salvador Dalí or the famous architect Josep Luis Sert paid tribute to the whole of his work, that Gaudí was rightly recognized as the genius he was.
THE CONSTRUCTION OF SAGRADA FAMILIA WILL BE LONGER THAN THAT OF THE PYRAMID OF KHEOPS
The construction of the Basilica began in 1882 and should end in 2026 or 2028 for the centenary of Gaudí’s disappearance. Historically speaking, the construction of the Sagrada Familia will be longer than that of the Great Pyramid of Giza. Indeed, the latter took 20 years to be built while the Sagrada Familia took between 146 and 148 years to be completed.
THE CURVES OF BASILICA HAVE A SIGNIFICATION.
Antoni Gaudí designed the Sagrada Familia, like most of his works, with misshapen curves. According to Gaudí, pure and straight lines do not exist in Nature, so the temple – which reflects Nature, life and death – should not be built with straight lines. Like a symbol of Nature, the columns of the Sagrada Familia were built in root forms in ways to support the temple alone, such as roots supporting a tree.
SAGRADA FAMILIA KNOWN ACTS OF VANDALISM.
During the Spanish Civil War in 1936, the Sagrada Familia was the prey of numerous acts of vandalism. Indeed, the crypt where Gaudí was buried was vandalized and a large part of Gaudí’s workshop was burned. Many plans and models of the Sagrada Familia disappeared that day. With the will of architects such as Francesc Quintana, Isidre Puid or Luís Bonet, and with only a few instructions and plans left by Gaudí, construction of the Sagrada Familia continued. The architects tried to remain faithful to Gaudí’s style but also brought their own style respecting Gaudí’s wish to involve each generation in the creation of the temple. In April 2011, a new act of vandalism shook the press, a fire having been started in the Sacristy by a pyromaniac.
YOU CAN OBSERVE A “MAGIC SQUARE” ON THE PASSION FACADE.
This is one of the mysteries of the expiatory temple. On the facade of the Passion you will find a magic square, a mathematical puzzle with 15 digits and the meaning of which remains a complete mystery to this day. Some have found the magic constancy – when adding all the numbers horizontally and vertically – is the number 33, as the age of the christ when it was crucified. The same number 33 also appears in the Parc Guëll (also imagined by Gaudí) where the sum of the stairs comes to 33.
Others argue that the number 33 of the magic square represents the highest rank that can be reached within Freemasonry. Indeed, Gaudí was probably a Freemason, just as his childhood friend Eduard was, as was his Guëll, and because Gaudí was born in Reus, one of the cradles of the franc- masonry. Moreover, within the magic square, the number 12 does not appear, thus contradicting the mathematical rules of the square. One explanation would be that Gaudí intentionally obscured the number 12 to deny the existence of the 12 apostles. In any case, this magic square remains a mystery that Gaudí carried with him in his tomb.
THE TOURS OF BASILICA HAVE A RELIGIOUS MEANING
When the Basilica will be completed, the Sagrada Familia will have 18 towers. 12 will be dedicated to the apostles, 4 to the gospels, one to Jesus and one to Mary. The tallest tower will reach 170 meters high.
THE HEIGHT OF THE SAGRADA FAMILIA IN A LONG TIME WAS STUDIED BY GAUDÍ.
According to Antoni Gaudí, nothing should be more majestic than Nature. This is why Gaudí has long reflected at the size of the Basilica. He finally decided that the highest tower, Torre del Salvador (“Tower of the Savior”) would reach 170 meters high, one meter less than the Montjuic Mountain. According to Gaudí, no human work should go beyond Gaudi’s work. Gaudi’s work is burnt down, construction resumes in 1952 according to the existing plans and models.
The Sagrada should be able to accommodate more than 13,000 people, and the stands, on the aisles, a choir of 1,500 people. The whole building is an allegory of the Christian religion.
It is extremely difficult to provide a program for the future, the complexity and importance of the project make it virtually impossible to date the time needed to build the remaining ten rounds.
The most important factor is the firm will of a large number of people who wish to contribute to the completion of the temple. And realize the wishes of Gaudi, “a Cathedral open to all”, and which will express the spiritual faith of the Christian message, a place of the fraternity for all.