The Sagrada Familia: The Church of the Future

The longtime European construction project.

By Google Arts & Culture

La Sagrada Familia 2 (2019-06-07/2019-06-07) by Alejandro Rodríguez

Sagrada Família

This basilica is one of the masterpieces of Catalan Modernist architect Antoni Gaudí. Its construction has taken more than 135 years. Due to its futuristic design and details, the project has been overseen by various architects of different generations.

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La Sagrada Familia

Inspired by nature

Antoni Gaudí was inspired by nature when he took over the design of this temple.

Consequently, instead of straight structures, his plan incorporated natural arches in their ceilings, and pillars that resemble trees that change their shape depending on the perspective, as it happens with real trees.

This monumental church also features different animal figures like turtles, doves, snails, and pelicans, among others, that make true Gaudi’s quote: “Nothing is art if it does not come from nature”.

Architectural composition

This minor basilica has three façades, one yet to be finished, and it is expected to have 18 towers that will represent important biblical characters. Currently, there are only 8 towers.

The Nativity façade was completed by Gaudi. The Passion and the Glory façades were built much later following the drawings and instructions left for future architects and sculptors. 

A colossal challenge

The details and complexity of its design still represent a challenge for modern architects, whose goal is to maintain the essence of Gaudí’s design.

State-of-the-art technology has been incorporated to keep the progress of the construction, although most of it during the 20th century was using wood scaffolding. 

Its construction has taken over a century and we cannot yet estimate a completion date, although it should not be too far off.

The Nativity façade and the Crypt of La Sagrada Familia are among the works of Antoni Gaudi inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Did you know it receives three million visitors every year and that income helps support the construction?

La Sagrada Familia 10, Alejandro Rodríguez, 2019-06-15/2019-06-15
La Sagrada Familia 5, Alejandro Rodríguez, 2019-06-10/2019-06-10
La Sagrada Familia 4, Alejandro Rodríguez, 2019-06-09/2019-06-09
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La Sagrada Familia 7 (2019-06-12/2019-06-12) by Alejandro Rodríguez

La Sagrada Familia has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984 because of its unique architecture.

Its construction started in 1882 following the design of Francisco de Paula del Villar.

In 1883 Antonio Gaudi took over the project until his death in 1926.

At least 9 different architects have led its construction plan.

When the basilica is finished, it will be the tallest religious building in Europe at 170 m.

La Sagrada Familia 1, Alejandro Rodríguez, 2019-06-06/2019-06-06
La Sagrada Familia 9, Alejandro Rodríguez, 2019-06-14/2019-06-14
La Sagrada Familia 8, Alejandro Rodríguez, 2019-06-13/2019-06-13
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La Sagrada Familia 6 (2019-06-11/2019-06-11) by Alejandro Rodríguez

The Sagrada Família encompasses Gaudi’s vision of the future. Its design creates a perfect atmosphere to connect with spirituality due to symbolisms that can be found in the construction. It is a magnificent example of Catalan Modernism that shapes Barcelona´s landscape.

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