Sagrada Família

This item appears on page 16 of the February 2011 issue.
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Sagrada Família church under construction in Barcelona. Photo: Bitman

My wife, Rosalie, and I spent three days in Barcelona in June ’10. One of Barcelona’s most popular tourist attractions is Antoni Gaudí’s unfinished masterpiece, the church Sagrada Família.

Construction started in 1882. The first architect planned a neo-Gothic church. Gaudí took over as lead architect in 1883, when he was only 31, and changed the design drastically to fit his modernist vision. At his death, in 1926, only a small portion of the church had been built.

Construction then slowed to a crawl due to lack of funds and civil war. Since Gaudí had been constantly improvising and changing the design as construction was underway, he left few models or designs behind, and most of those were destroyed in 1936 during the Spanish Civil War.

Construction began again in the 1950s, but it may not be completed until 2041. By 2010, two facades and eight towers had been completed. During our visit, they were working on the nave and the main southern facade, known as the “Glory Facade.”

There is a small museum on site that tells the story of Gaudí and the history of the church. Even though the church is far from complete, it is well worth a visit.

The cost to see the construction going on was €6 (about $8.50). For an extra €2, you can take an elevator to the top of the tower for a magnificent view of Barcelona.

GERALD BITMAN
East Setauket, NY

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.
Sagrada Família church under construction in Barcelona. Photo: Bitman

My wife, Rosalie, and I spent three days in Barcelona in June ’10. One of Barcelona’s most popular tourist attractions is Antoni Gaudí’s unfinished masterpiece, the church Sagrada Família.

Construction started in 1882. The first architect planned a neo-Gothic church. Gaudí took over as lead architect in 1883, when he was only 31, and changed the design drastically to fit his modernist vision. At his death, in 1926, only a small portion of the church had been built.

Construction then slowed to a crawl due to lack of funds and civil war. Since Gaudí had been constantly improvising and changing the design as construction was underway, he left few models or designs behind, and most of those were destroyed in 1936 during the Spanish Civil War.

Construction began again in the 1950s, but it may not be completed until 2041. By 2010, two facades and eight towers had been completed. During our visit, they were working on the nave and the main southern facade, known as the “Glory Facade.”

There is a small museum on site that tells the story of Gaudí and the history of the church. Even though the church is far from complete, it is well worth a visit.

The cost to see the construction going on was €6 (about $8.50). For an extra €2, you can take an elevator to the top of the tower for a magnificent view of Barcelona.

GERALD BITMAN
East Setauket, NY