Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

Sagrada Familia, or the Basilica of the Holy Family, is a large, incomplete church in Barcelona, Spain.

Work commenced on Sagrada Familia in 1882. A year later the project was taken over by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi, who transformed the project with his particular style. Dedicating the last years of his life to the project, Gaudi died in 1926.

Gaudi is affectionately known as “God’s architect” and the Vatican is considering a petition by the Archbishop of Barcelona to beatify him. When he died after being run over by a tram only a quarter of the project had been completed.

When it is finished the basilica will have three façades: the Nativity, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection.

Work on the last phase has yet to start.

In 2010 construction passed its mid-point, and Sagrada Familia was consecrated by Pope Benedict, and proclaimed a ‘minor basilica’.

The hope is that Sagrada Familia will be completed by 2026, the hundredth anniversary of Gaudi’s death.

Sagrada Familia gets praise from art critic Rainer Zebst, who says it’s “probably impossible to find a church building anything like it in the entire history of art”, while architect Paul Goldberger called it “the most extraordinary personal interpretation of Gothic architecture since the Middle Ages”.

Reflecting its special cultural and physical significance, the nativity façade is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

A recent video provides a spiritual journey through Sagrada Familia, a journey yet to be completed.

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