The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família is the largest unfinished Roman Catholic church in the world located in Barcelona, designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. 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.
In 1882, construction of Sagrada Família started under architect Francisco Paula de Villar. In 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.