La Sagrada Familia – The Unfinished Masterpiece


More familiarly known as La Sagrada Familia, the Basilica y Templo Expiatorio de la Sagrada Familia is one of Spain's major tourist attractions. While construction of the minor basilica located in Barcelona, ​​Spain has not yet been completed, the church's architectural and religious significance draws visitors to have a look at the structure. Besides boasting magnificent views from the towers, the edifice houses the Sagrada Familia Museum, which documents the church's tumultuous history, and explains the concept and symbolism of its architecture.

The church is considered to be the masterwork of Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi, who spent the last fifteen years of his life heading the project. Before Gaudi took over the endeavor, the Spiritual Association of the Devotees of St. George Joseph arranged for architect Francisco de Paula del Villar to handle the design work. When Gaudi died in 1926, construction slowed due to lack of funding and the civil war. The pace picked up again in the 1950s and continues up to the present. The target completion year is 2026.

When finished, the Sagrada Familia is expected to have 18 spires overall, each measuring 90 to 120m in height. The towers represent the twelve apostles, the four evangelists and the Virgin Mary. The tallest spire, which will reach 170m high, is going to stand for Jesus Christ.

In addition, the minor basilica will have three grand facades. The Nativity facade is already accomplished. It faces east and depicts Christ's birth, childhood and young adulthood. The Passion facade looks toward the west, and presents the sacrifice, suffering and death of Christ. The Glory facade is intended to face south. This section will show a person's ascension to God. Scenes such as hell and purgatory, as well as the seven deadly sins and seven heavenly virtues are also going to be rendered.

By Pollux Parker

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