The Church of La Sagrada Familia
is perhaps the most famous
under-construction Catholic church in the world. Started in 1882 under the direction of Francisco de Paula del Villar, Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi
took over construction in 1883, after which it became his life's work.
La Sagrada Familia
was dedicated in 2010, after the installation of the roof, and is scheduled to be complete in 2028
Let's look around:
The site has a virtual tour
as well as lots of information.
The church is in the shape of a Latin cross, with the columns, arches, vaults and domes of complex geometric
shapes like hyperboloids and ruled surfaces. The entire structure is related by rigorous proportions,
which has allowed the current generation of builders to continue Gaudi's work. His use of models
, especially the famous string models
, allowed him to develop new ways of arranging the columns and support structures
. Gaudi was part of the Modernisme
movement, a uniquely Catalan
Gaudi wanted to move beyond Gothic
construction, with its fragile buttresses and planned a tree-like system of columns
to take advantage of the compressive strength of stone and the new material of reinforced concrete
. The cloister will enclose the church
, protecting it from the noise of the street, a unique development. The interior
has many different spaces inside, both to provide quiet spaces for private worship and large spaces.
Designed by Francesc de Paula de Vilar in a neo-Gothic style
, the crypt was completed before Gaudi was taken on to re-design the church.
THE NATIVITY FACADE
The only facade completed
during Gaudi's life, the stone is filled with scenes
from Jesus' life and various creatures, people and objects, both biblical and mundane. There are three doorways, dedicated to Faith and Mary
, Hope and Joseph
, Charity and Jesus
. The entire facade is topped with the cypress
, an evergreen.
THE PASSION FACADE
It was recently completed, and tells the story of the Passion
, with the figures
carved by Josep Maria Suribachs
. The Via Crucis
is told in serpentine
along the facade, topped with the sculpture of the crucifixion
, and the entire portico supported by what might be enormous bones
THE GLORY FACADE
This will be the main entrance
when completed, and will be truly
monumental in scale
THE STAINED GLASS
The work of Joan Vila Grau
(Flash), the stained glass adds color and lightness
to the already-light structure.
THE FINISHED SPIRES
From the outside, the church
rises above the surrounding neighborhood. The eight completed
spires will be among the smallest of the completed work, with four more along the Glory facade, one over the apse, four at each corner of the crossing and the largest one surmounting it, with a height of 170 meters.
Sagrada Familia: Gaudí's cathedral is nearly done, but would he have liked it?
Bon Nadal & Bones Festes!