On Trend Attraction: Sagrada Família, Barcelona, Spain

Sagrada Familia (with cranes digitally removed)

Sagrada Familia (with cranes digitally removed)

Fast Facts
The Sagrada Família, is a large Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926).  Although incomplete, the church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and in November 2010 was consecrated and proclaimed a minor basilica by Pope Benedict XVI.

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.  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.
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. (Extract and picture courtesy: Wikipedia)Owner description
Expiatory Church
The expiatory church of La Sagrada Família is a work on a grand scale which was begun on 19 March 1882 from a project by the diocesan architect Francisco de Paula del Villar (1828-1901).  At the end of 1883 Gaudí was commissioned to carry on the works, a task which he did not abandon until his death in 1926.  Since then different architects have continued the work after his original idea.
The building is in the centre of Barcelona, and over the years it has become one of the most universal signs of identity of the city and the country.  It is visited by millions of people every year and many more study its architectural and religious content.
It has always been an expiatory church, which means that since the outset, 131 years ago now, it has been built from donations.  Gaudí himself said: “The expiatory church of La Sagrada Família is made by the people and is mirrored in them.  It is a work that is in the hands of God and the will of the people.”  The building is still going on and could be finished some time in the first third of the 21st century. (Extract courtesy La Sagrada Familia)[showmyads]

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