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Originally an insight of a bookseller, Josep Maria Bocabella, Sagrada Familia was initially designed in the form of a Gothic revival church by Francisco de Paula del Villar in 1882. The first stone of the church was laid on 19th March 1882. After Villar’s resignation in 1883, Antoni Gaudi took over the responsibility for the design and changed the entire composition with the intent to build a cathedral of the 20th century.
Initially, Gaudi completed the work on crypt in 1889. With ample private donations, Gaudi further proposed a grander design plan. In 1894 the foundation for the Nativity Façade was completed. From 1914 to 1923, Gaudi exclusively focused on designing and construction of Expiatory temple of Sagrada Familia. The construction of the first bell tower culminated in 1925. Unfortunately, due to a tram accident injury, Gaudi died on 10th June 1926, and was buried in the Chapel of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Sagrada Familia.
After Gaudi, his collaborators took over the management and continued the construction. Although it was interrupted during the Spanish Civil war in 1936, still its construction was resumed but with a slow pace. Gradually the different parts of the Familia were completed, with still 30% unfinished as on 2017. Thanksgiving Mass took place on December 14 this year to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Brothers of Saint John of God.
A masterpiece of the great master of Modernism in architecture, Antoni Gaudi, the Sagrada Familia was ambitiously constructed by Gaudi during his lifetime and is still under construction, as per his plans. Expected to be finished by 2026, the year of the centenary of Gaudi’s death, Sagrada Familia’s construction period will last up to 144 years. Very famously said by Gaudi for slow erection of the building, “My client (God) is in no hurry”.
The basilica has a central nave flanked by four aisles and intersected with a central nave flanked by two aisles, forming a Latin cross. The top of the cross is closed by the semi-circular apse. The basilica has three monumental facades, each one representing one of the three crucial events of Christ’s existence:
Four, 40 meters high domed structures are sited at each corner, which will be linked by a wide covered corridor and a double wall that will allow circulation from one building to another without the need to cross the main nave.
The monument has 18 towers with individual significance. In the middle is the tower dedicated to Jesus Christ (172.5 meters high) and around it are four towers representing the Gospels (135 meters high). The tower above the apse represents Virgin Mary, while the remaining 12 towers represent the 12 Apostles.
Gaudi had further designed the Sagrada Familia cleverly with colour and light, in the form of construction materials, and also stained glass windows and inscriptions on the light as well as skylight in the vaults.
There is a crypt where Gaudi is buried as well as the transept and central nave with its giant, tree-like pillars and spectacular vaulting. A museum narrates the history of the church and tells the story of its great architect. An elevator and a long walk will lead you to the top of the tower from where you can have a magnificent view of Barcelona.
1. Upon the completion of its construction, it will take 10 times longer to finish Sagrada Familia, Barcelona than the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza and 123 years longer than the time taken to finish Taj Mahal.
2. Antoni Gaudi was well aware that the basilica will take generations to complete, thus he was not very concerned with the pace of its work.
3. The only other person buried in Sagrada Familia is Josep Maria Bocabella, the person who took an initiative to come up with this monument.
4. The Sagrada Familia’s construction is funded by private donations through friends of the Sagrada Familia and through entry tickets to the monument.
5. When fully completed, one of the tower representing Jesus Christ will give the basilica its full height of 560 feet, intentionally slightly shorter than Montjuïc hill, Barcelona's highest point. The architect’s reflection was that nothing made by man should surpass what was made by God.
For more information of International Masses schedule, contact on the email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information on Masses schedule, please refer to the link: http://www.sagradafamilia.org/en/worship-at-the-basilica/
Restaurants serving vegetarian meals along with non-vegetarian delicacies are easily accessible near the basilica. It is preferable to visit the monument between Monday to Wednesday to avoid the overcrowded situation during weekends. Although with pre booked tickets the queue can be avoided.
Around 66 kms from Girona and 120 kms from Latour de Carol, Barcelona is well connected with other parts of Europe.
November- February: 9AM- 6PM
March & October: 9AM- 7PM
April- September: 9AM- 8PM
December 25th & 26th, January 1st & 6th: 9AM- 2PM
1. As it is a Catholic church, visitors must dress appropriately, following these restrictions:
2. Since commencing construction in 1882, advancements in technologies such as computer aided design and computerized numerical control (CNC) have enabled faster progress and construction passed the midpoint in 2010. However, some of the project's greatest challenges remain, including the construction of ten more spires, each symbolizing an important Biblical figure in the New Testament.
3. The basilica 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 2007 proposal to build an underground tunnel of Spain's high-speed rail link to France which could disturb its stability.
4. The most extraordinary personal interpretation of Gothic architecture since the Middle Ages
5. Parts of the unfinished basilica and Gaudí's models and workshop were destroyed during the war by Catalan anarchists. The present design is based on reconstructed versions of the plans that were burned in a fire as well as on modern adaptations. Since 1940 the architects Francesc Quintana, Isidre Puig Boada, Lluís Bonet i Gari and Francesc Cardoner have carried on the work. The illumination was designed by Carles Buïgas.
6. The current director and son of Lluís Bonet, Jordi Bonet i Armengol, has been introducing computers into the design and construction process since the 1980s. Mark Burry of New Zealand serves as Executive Architect and Researcher. Sculptures by J. Busquets, Etsuro Sotoo and the controversial Josep Maria Subirachs decorate the fantastical façades. Barcelona-born Jordi Fauli took over as chief architect in 2012.
7. 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.
8. The church shares its site with the Sagrada Família Schools building, a school originally designed by Gaudí in 1909 for the children of the construction workers. Relocated in 2002 from the eastern corner of the site to the southern corner, the building now houses an exhibition.
9. Since 2013, AVE high-speed trains have passed near the Sagrada Família through an underground tunnel that runs beneath the centre of Barcelona.
10. The central vault reaches sixty metres (200 ft). The apse is capped by a hyperboloid vault reaching seventy-five metres (250 ft). Gaudí intended that a visitor standing at the main entrance be able to see the vaults of the nave, crossing, and apse; thus the graduated increase in vault loft.
11. There are gaps in the floor of the apse, providing a view down into the crypt below.
12. The towers are decorated with words such as "Hosanna", "Excelsis", and "Sanctus"; the great doors of the Passion façade reproduce words from the Bible in various languages including Catalan; and the Glory façade is to be decorated with the words from the Apostles' Creed.
13. Entrance to either of the towers requires a reservation and advance purchase of a ticket. Access is possible only by lift (elevator) and a short walk up the remainder of the towers to the bridge between the towers. Descent is via a very narrow spiral staircase of over 300 steps. There is a posted caution for those with medical conditions.
14. The construction budget for 2009 was €18 million
15. Visit with audio guide-
16. Visit with guide-
17. Unused tickets are refundable
18. Visitors’ bags, rucksacks, luggage and personal effects will be inspected at the entrance.
19. Sale of tickets finishes 30 minutes before closing time.
20. The Nativity façade celebrates the birth of Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God made man. It is also referred to as the façade of Life, of Joy, or of Christmas
21. HOW CAN I MAKE A DONATION?
There are two options if you would like to contribute funds to help build the Sagrada Família:
VISA donations under €100
(*In compliance with Law 10/2010 on the Prevention of Money Laundering )
Other donations, by bank transfer
You can contact us directly at The Foundation: email@example.com