La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

English: West side of the Sagrada Familia, Bar...
English: West side of the Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain Français : Côté ouest de la Sagrada Familia, Barcelone, Espagne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Sagrada Família, Barcelona
Sagrada Família, Barcelona (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

View of the Passion Façade (Western side) in September 2009

Construction started:1882   Height170 m   OpenedNovember 7, 2010  The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, commonly known as the Sagrada Família, is a large Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. WikipediaAlthough incomplete, the church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and in November 2010 was consecrated and proclaimed a minor basilica by Pope Benedict VI.

It certainly has taken a long time to see it finally opened for public viewing & appreciation. We first laid eyes upon this spectacular structure during our Whitsun Holidays in 1960, when we visited France, Spain & Portugal. This was one sight not to be missed in Barcelona that was a MUST-SEE in our itinerary. Of course, we didn’t get to see the inside!

The building is still under construction so be prepared to see a lot of work continuing when you visit. The interior proves to be more interesting than its unusual exterior.The Sagrada Familia it is a truly magnificent building and an absolute must-see when you visit Barcelona.


Though construction of Sagrada Família had commenced in 1882, Gaudí became involved in 1883, taking over the project and transforming it with his architectural and engineering style—combining Gothic and curvilinear Art Nouveau forms.

Gaudí devoted his last years to the project, and at the time of his death in 1926, less than a quarter of the project was complete. Sagrada Família’s construction progressed slowly, as it relied on private donations 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 centennial of Gaudí’s death

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Describing Sagrada Familia, 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 called it ‘the most extraordinary personal interpretation of Gothic architecture since the Middle Ages’.

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 recent possibility that an underground tunnel of Spain’s high-speed train could disturb its stability.

Antoni Gaudi

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