Sagrada FamíliaThe Temple:
The Basilica of La Sagrada Família is a large Catholic church, designed by Catalan architect
Antoni Gaudí. Although incomplete, the church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The construction of Sagrada Família commenced in 1882. When Gaudí died in 1926, the basilica was between 15 and 25 per cent complete. After Gaudí's death, work continued until interrupted by the Spanish Civil War in 1936. Parts of the unfinished basilica and Gaudí's models and workshop were destroyed during the war. The present design is based on reconstructed versions of the lost plans as well as on modern adaptations.
Since 1940 the architects Francesc Quintana, Isidre Puig Boada, Lluís Bonet and Francesc Cardoner have carried on the work. The current director and son of Lluís Bonet, Jordi Bonet, has been introducing computers into the design and construction process since the 1980s.
The central nave vaulting was completed in 2000 and the main tasks since then have been the construction of the transept vaults and apse. As of 2006, work concentrated on the crossing and supporting structure for the main tower of Jesus Christ as well as the southern enclosure of the central nave, which will become the Glory façade. This facade is the largest and most monumental, is the main facade and gives access to the central nave. While the rear facade is called the Passion façade.
One projection anticipates construction completion around 2026 (the centennial of Gaudí's death), while the project's information leaflet estimates a completion date in 2028.
The style of la Sagrada Familia is variously likened to Spanish Late Gothic, Catalan Modernism and to Art Nouveau or Catalan Noucentisme. Newly constructed stonework at the Sagrada Família is clearly visible against the stained and weathered older sections.
The church plan is that of a Latin cross with five aisles. The central nave vaults reach 45 metres while the side nave vaults reach 30 metres. The columns of the interior are a unique Gaudí design. Besides branching to support their load, their ever-changing surfaces are the result of the intersection of various geometric forms.
Essentially none of the interior surfaces are flat; the ornamentation is comprehensive and rich, consisting in large part of abstract shapes which combine smooth curves and jagged points.
Even detail-level work such as the iron railings for balconies and stairways are full of curvaceous.
In July 1926, one month after Antoni Gaudí's death, Joaquim Folch i Torres, director general of the Barcelona
Arts Museums, suggested opening one in his workshop to conserve and publicise his work.
The Museum was inaugurated in 1961 in the half-basement on the Passion facade. That original core, with later extensions and refurbishments, is now part of the Museum. While not forgetting Gaudí's output as a whole, the exhibition focuses on the building works on the church.
The Museum of the Sagrada Família offers a multitude of items and objects that allow us to understand the significance and complexity of the great work of Gaudí. Among the outstanding exhibits are drawings, plans, photographs taken at the time, liturgical furniture and models: restored originals, replicas of originals and new ones.
La Sagrada Família
Mallorca Street, 401
Phone: +34 93 207 30 31, Fax: +34 93 476 10 10
October to March: 9:00 to 18:00 h. (doesn't close at midday).
April to September: 9:00 to 20:00 h. (doesn't close at midday).
* 25 and 26 Dec – 1 and 6 Jan: 9:00 to 14:00 h.
* Line 2 - Sagrada Família station.