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La Sagrada Família, Antoni Gaudí's masterpiece in Barcelona.

It is the architect Antoni Gaudí's great unfinished legacy, a creation in which he expressed all his artistic potential, talent and technical expertise.

It is a place of worship as well as a shrine to art, which invites contemplation. The Sagrada Família is Gaudí's jewel, the maximum exponent of the Catalan Art-Nouveau movement, modernisme, and the originator of other key buildings and places, such as La Pedrera and the Park Güell. The 12,800 square metres of the church of atonement rise up in the middle of the Eixample district like a mountain pointing skywards.

Sagrada Família, which was declared a World Heritage Site in 2005, is the most visited landmark in Catalonia and one of the world's best-known buildings. Nevertheless, the church, which was designed to provide a Cathedral for the Poor, is still under construction. It is over 130 years since the spiritual association of worshippers of Saint Joseph decided to build it, works started on March 19th, 1882 and Antoni Gaudí took over the project in 1883, following the resignation of the architect Francisco de Paula Villar.

More than 20 years passed before Gaudí decided to devote himself exclusively to building the church. In 1914 he went to live on the premises of the Sagrada Família to supervise the building work in situ in the hope of completing the church in a few years time, but also to take refuge in his solitude. His dream was cut short in 1926 when he was run over by a tram and killed.

The Nativity Facade, the bell tower dedicated to Saint Barnaby and part of the crypt where Gaudí is buried were the only parts of the church completed during his lifetime. His work has been carried on by several architects who have followed his plans, and building continues thanks to donations and bequests. This means that the Sagrada Família follows in the tradition of the great Gothic cathedrals, in terms of the style and architectural structure, and the length of time it has taken to be built.

It is one of the wonders of the world and, every year, as Gaudí's church nears completion, it becames even more majestic.

  • La Sagrada Família
    Mallorca, 401
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