How Long Has The Sagrada Familia Been In Construction

How Long Has the Sagrada Familia Been in Construction?
The legendary Sagrada Familia has been in construction for nearly 150 years, since Antoni Gaudi began his life’s work on the stunning temple in 1882. Situated in Barcelona, Spain, the Sagrada Familia, or ‘Sacred Family’ as it translates from Catalan, is a truly unique, awe-inspiring engineering feat and is rightly regarded as one of the great wonders of the modern world.
Although it was initially intended to be a replacement for a smaller chapel on the same site, Gaudi’s original sketches and designs suggest that, even then, the masterpiece was designed to be something grander and even more impressive. Gaudi however was never to see his work completed, as in 1926, at only 74 years old, he sadly passed away due to a fatal tram accident.
A succession of ambitious architects and engineers have stepped up to the challenge since Gaudi’s passing, and in 2010, the basilica was consecrated as a Catholic Church by Pope Benedict XVI, 83 years after Gaudi’s passing. Still, the project has been beset by numerous difficulties and controversies over the years, including issues over funding and lack of resources, however the temple’s current chief architect, Jordi Fauli, remains determined to the task.
Structural Innovation and Intricacy of the Sagrada Familia
The structure of the Sagrada Familia is quite remarkable to behold. Its most striking feature is the extravagant grand towers that spiraling from its body, which are intended to represent the four members of the holy family; Jesus, Moses, Elijah and Mary. At its core, is an incredibly intricate blend of Gothic and Art Nouveau styles, including intricate buttresses, arches, balustrades and spires. Gaudi’s simple yet ingenious use of hyperboloid geometry in its construction has been hailed as elegantly revolutionary.
The Sagrada Familia is also renowned for its awe-inspiring interior beauty. Gaudi is famously known to have taken inspiration from nature while designing the interior, incorporating shapes, textures and colours imitating the beauty of the natural world. The intricate stained glass windows and curved vaults that adorn the walls of the basilica also create a kaleidoscope of illumination and elegance within its sanctuary.
Symbolism of the Sagrada Familia
Throughout the Sagrada Familia, visitors may observe countless symbolic representations of Christian scripture and teachings. In addition to the grand towers, representing the Holy Family, the basilica also features numerous spires, one dedicated to the 12 apostles and 4 dedicated to the four evangelists. The geometric designs used to make up the structure also represent a spectrum of ideologies, such as Humanism, Liberalism and the Façade of Passion which illustrates the events of Jesus’s arrest, trial and crucifixion.
Sagrada Famlia Impact on Architecture
Since its construction, the Sagrada Familia has served to inspire numerous architecture projects across the world. Its intricate beauty and conceptual design has made it a symbol of exquisite architectural finesse and engineering achievement and as such, it continues to be praised and eulogized to this day. In fact, it was even put forward as a nominee for the 1893 World’s Fair.
Exploring the Sagrada Familia
Visitors to the Sagrada Familia may explore the entire interior and exterior of the temple, even visitors can explore the construction zone, where visitors can observe the progress of the on-going project. Although some visitors may disagree, the presence of scaffolding accommodates the overall feeling of grandeur and it also acknowledges that the work is not finished yet and that the entire basilica is still a work in progress.
Technologies Used in the Construction of Sagrada Familia
The engineering and construction technologies used at the Sagrada Familia has been advancing in leaps and bounds since the 1830s. Cutting-edge and computer-aided design technologies have now made it easier for the workers to create and build the complex structures of the temple. Through this, the use of technology has enabled the construction to remain true to Gaudi’s original vision for the temple.
Sustainability in the Construction of the Sagrada Familia
Efforts to minimize the ecological impact of the construction have driven success in recent years. Today, the Sagrada Familia is considered to be a leader in sustainable construction, as an eco-friendly manner of construction has been maintained throughout the project. Eco-friendly gears, fuel, and materials are now used in the construction, in addition to the use of rainwater harvesting, solar panels and air-conditioning systems to sustainably power the temple’s facilities.
Funding the Sagrada Familia
The cost of building the historic yet unfinished temple is estimated to reach €4 billion by the time it is completed. Nonetheless, the project has maintained considerable popularity with philanthropic organizations, who have been able to fund the project over the past decades. In addition to this, visitors to the Sagrada Familia have also been able to make donations to aid the completion of the beloved temple. Ingenious initiatives like these have made the project self-sufficient and even profitable at points, allowing it to remain largely unaffected by the economic downfalls that have curved its course over the years.
The Future and Completion of the Sagrada Familia
It is estimated that the Sagrada Familia may be completed by 2026 – or 144 years after the original construction began – in time for the 100th anniversary of Gaudi’s passing. Collectively, the ongoing efforts of architects, engineers, and philanthropists shall turn a classic vision into reality, cementing the historical and artistic legacy of the great architect, Antoni Gaudi.
Gaudi’s Other Works Around Barcelona
Gaudi’s stunning masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia, is undoubtedly the most famous of his works, however, the city of Barcelona is abundant in Gaudi’s creations. Many of Gaudi’s other works such as the Park Guell and the Casa Mila are also lauded as some of the city’s most popular attractions. All of the aforementioned works feature elements of the same hyperboloid geometry which Gaudi made famous in the Sagrada Familia.
Gaudi’s Popularity Across the World
The work of Antoni Gaudi is continuously praised and sought after around the world. From Barcelona to Tokyo, Gaudi’s name is ubiquitous with the presence of much of his creative and ingenious works of Architecture. As one of the rare great architects, Gaudi is cherished for his brilliance and charm, with many of his works making him one of the most recognized and celebrated architects of all time.
Gaudi’s Impact on Future Architects
The works of Antoni Gaudi are renowned and inspire many current and future architects around the world. Gaudi focused on organic forms in his work and it is these that have constructed his legacy, showing the importance of combining creativity, innovation and sustainability in future works. His pioneering use of hyperboloid geometry was revolutionary and has created a benchmark for more contemporary works. Finally, Gaudi’s passion for social and environmental justice has seen him become an advocate for sustainable projects, providing inspiration for many architects for generations to come.
The Cultural Relevance of the Sagrada Familia
The Sagrada Familia is one of the most celebrated works of architecture on the planet and recognised as a masterpiece of Catalan culture. As the cultural flagship of Barcelona, the temple has attracted millions of visitors from all over the world, with many of them journeying to the city exclusively to witness its grandeur.
The temple is cherished as a symbol of the people’s resilience and strength and has become a source of pride for many Catalans. In a region beset by political and economic turbulence, the Sagrada Familia acts as a beacon of hope, inspiring many to remain steadfast in the face of trying times and adversity.

Herman Shaw is a passionate traveler and avid photographer who has seen many of the world's most awe-inspiring monuments. He has developed expertise in various aspects of world architecture and culture which he enjoys sharing with his readers. With deep historical knowledge and insight, Herman's writing brings life to these remarkable artifacts and highlights their importance in the grand scheme of human history.

Leave a Comment