Antoni Gaudi’s masterpiece in Barcelona, the Sagrada Familia Basilica, will soon be finished.
Let me elaborate on that though. It will be finished, but not very soon. If you’re looking forward to schedule your Barcelona trip to see its full grandeur, you may have to wait for another ten years. The construction is entering the final phase, and it’s scheduled to be completed in 2026.
Considering that it’s been more than a century since the construction have started, it’ll be a wonderful feat to be in this generation to see when it is completed. The administration said that it’s currently in schedule for Antoni Gaudi’s centennial death anniversary on 2026. According the records, the first stone for La Sagrada Familia was started way back in 1882. Unknown to most, Antoni Gaudi wasn’t the first architect. He started working on the huge basilica a year after the construction began and it’s been his life’s work, until he died in 1926.
Europe’s Tallest Religious Building
Once the basilica is finished, it will have six new towers. The central spire, called Tower of Jesus Christ, will stand as the tallest religious tower in the continent, rising at 172.5 meters.
The current architect of the entire project is Jordi Fauli, who have been working on it since 2012. In over a decade ago, the inner part of the basilica had no roof. Now, they revealed a new inner chamber with a small amphitheatre with stained glass windows and arch ceilings that look so surreal with light.
Walking towards it in Barcelona, it’s not hard to miss this impressive structure. The nativity façade and spires makes it look like someone made a huge sand castle from afar. But with a closer look, it reveals astounding details in the form of art and complex sculptures. Many say that it’s part late Gothic with mix of art nouveau.
It was never intended to be a cathedral, because Gaudi’s design deviated from traditional church architecture. There even used to be a school there, now it’s an exhibition gallery. However the whole structure was known before as a cathedral, until Pope Benedict XVI declared it as a basilica in 2010. It has several chapels and one of them is the home of Antoni Gaudi’s tomb.
The spires have sculptures of angels, and traditional symbols of saints. There are three facades on the church; nativity, passion and glory facades. Each one has its own unique set of scultures depicting the theme. For instance, the nativity facades has all sorts of symbols of life and nature. There are sculptures of or turtles at the bottom of the columns, and ornate scenes of people all over.
Currently La Sagrada Basilica is around 70% complete. Even in its unfinished stage, this basilica is one of the most magnificent structures in Spain and in the world. It’s a major UNESCO heritage and tourist site with over 3.2 million visitors in 2014. With that amount of people, the entrance fees are used to fund the rest of the construction and maintenance.