Sagrada Familia is Gaudí´s masterpiece and the main building among Catalan Modernism. It is the most visited monument in Spain receiving each year nearly 4 million visitors.
Gaudí dedicated 43 years of his life to the design and construction of Sagrada Familia , from this period, the last 15 were focused exclusively to its completion . Unfortunately upon his death the building was far from being concluded and has remained pending to conclusion ever since .
Sagrada Familia is the consummation of the gaudinian language where the architect displayed most of the characteristic features of his unique vision .
While expressing freely his personal style he was sufficiently bold to come up with remarkable innovations both structural and architectonic. The elevated cone-shaped towers that stand out above the portals are an excellent example . The design features a parabolic torsion giving an ascending appearance to the façade. This trait is enhanced by the numerous windows drilling the tower that follow a spiral trajectory.
Once more Sagrada Familia showcases Gaudi´s profound interest and inspiration in nature The interior was designed to resemble a dense forest . This effect was achieved by placing slightly bent tree-shaped columns supporting hyperboloid and parabolic vaults to form a perfect catenary, which was one of Gaudí´s trademark traits in most of his buildings .
Gaudí´s suddden death in 1926 left Sagrada Familia unfinished with just one of the 18 original towers completely finished. The project was continued following some of Gaudí´s drawings since a good amount of the work was severely damaged during the Spanish civil war.
As much as with nature , Gaudí´s conceptual realm was very linked to religious symbolism. Being a cult space, Sagrada Familia is filled with these references . He was deeply inspired by liturgical rituals . The exterior of the temple represents the church through its apostles , the virgin and Jesus . With the main tower Gaudi evokes the triumph of the Church while the interior references the Universal Church . The transept is a symbol of heaven and its mystical significance of eternal peace.
The two main facades of Sagrada Familia depict the birth and passion of Jesus.
The Nativity façade is profusely decorated with elements representing life . It was constructed between 1894 and 1930 . Knowing that the project would not be finished in his lifetime, Gaudí decided to build this façade entirely instead of following a coherent order of construction as a way to exemplify the general style and sense of the building.
The Passion façade was started in 1954 . It reflects the crucifixion and death of Christ. To convey the anguish and suffering of this moment Gaudí , designed a simple and austere smooth stone outer surface resembling bones. Josep Maria Subirachs was the catalan sculptor in charge of the design of the numerous pieces of the façade.
The prominent towers in Sagrada Familia are one of the most outstanding elements of the building . They show a parabolic profile crowned by meaningful elements in catholic cult such as the crown , and the miter.
Over the years Sagrada Familia has become the main touristic attraction in Barcelona and one of the most admired buildings in the world. Sagrada Familia has received worldwide distinction as a World Heritage building by Unesco in 2005 . It has been included as well as one of the 12 Treasures of Spain.
Sagrada Familia is without a doubt the top must-gawk building in Barcelona.