The Sagrada Família is one of Barcelona’s most recognisable attractions, a towering basilica that has welcomed millions of worshippers and visitors alike since its construction began in 1882. Today it stands as a crucial part of the city’s identity – but is Sagrada Família still under construction?
To try and answer this question, let’s take a look at the construction of the great basilica. Antoni Gaudi, one of the city’s most renowned architects, was commissioned by the Catholic church to work on the basilica in 1882. His design, inspired by Gothic and Art Nouveau features, drew huge crowds in the early years of construction but Gaudi passed away in 1926 before the basilica was finished. His death has posed a unique challenge over the years; without Gaudi at the helm, how could the Sagrada Família be faithfully built to his designs?
Since Gaudi’s death, around 80% of the basilica has been completed, with the remaining 20% carrying on the work he left behind. Eventually, it is hoped that the Sagrada Família will be finished in 2026, the centennial anniversary of Gaudi’s death, although some experts believe it isn’t possible given the complexity of the structure. As well as being a religious icon, the basilica is architecturally unique, with curved spires and organic design features that have posed a huge challenge for all involved.
One of the greatest influences on the continued construction of Sagrada Família has been private patrons who have donated large amounts of money towards its completion. This includes the ‘Friends of Gaudi’ foundation, who have spent more than 50 million euros to finance the construction of the building and ensure that it is finished to Gaudi’s exact specification.
Team of Expert Architects
Gaudi’s absence has meant that a team of expert architects are responsible for the construction of the basilica. These architects have worked hard to faithfully recreate Gaudi’s designs and make sure that the basilica looks exactly like the one Gaudi envisioned. Despite the challenge of recreating a masterpiece, the team of architects have managed to quite successfully replicate the curved edges and large spires that make up the Sagrada Família.
As the basilica gets closer to completion, the team of architects have been able to focus more on the finer details that make up the structure. This includes intricate carvings and sculptures that are portrayed on the walls and windows of the basilica; a particularly unique touch which has been recreated to imitate Gaudi’s own works.
Today the Sagrada Família is almost complete. The towering spires, a permanent reminder of Gaudi’s genius, dominate the Barcelona skyline and make the basilica a stunning sight. Although not completed yet, tourists are invited to visit the basilica to experience this unique part of Barcelona’s cultural and architectural landscape. The continual work that is being done on the basilica is evident – with the recent installation of stained-glass windows adding to its aesthetic beauty.
Visitors of the basilica can expect to see the building continuing to evolve, with Gaudi’s team of architects continuing to develop the structure and make sure it is completed to a high standard. There is a positivity that the basilica will be finished in 2026, and Gaudi’s vision will become a reality.
The ongoing construction of the basilica has been aided by huge support from locals, both religious and non-religious, who donated large amounts of money and their time in order to make Sagrada Família a reality. Not only was this done out of admiration for the architect, Gaudi, but for the wider impact that the completion of the basilica would have on the city. It has been argued that the basilica has become ingrained into the city’s identity, a source of pride for its citizens and a shining symbol of Barcelona’s progress over the years.
This has also been evident in recent years, as the building is frequently used for weddings, baptisms, and as a venue for religious ceremonies.
From a creative standpoint, the Sagrada Família has proved to be a hugely inspirational structure. Although it will take years to build and explore, the basilica has already proven to be a source of architectural innovation and creativity – something that can be seen in the edgy, curved features that make up the unique façade.
This has also been copied by other architects, with many famous buildings across Europe taking inspiration from the basilica’s design. Likewise, the basilica has sparked a new appreciation for the Gothic and Art Nouveau movements, two aesthetics that were mostly forgotten about until Gaudi began work on his masterpiece.
The construction of the basilica has presented a few environmental challenges, with the demolition of old buildings, deforestation, and the use of natural resources to build the structure. These issues have been somewhat rectified with the use of ecological materials and the addition of trees and gardens to the basilica grounds.
When completed, the basilica will be an immense source of pride for the city, introducing a new architectural style to Barcelona’s urban landscape. In the long-run, it is hoped that the Sagrada Família will be a success story that showcases the potential of both the Catholic Church and Gaudi’s incredible vision.
One of the key challenges associated with completing the Sagrada Família is ensuring that the knowledge of Gaudi is preserved and passed on. With the techonology used to build the basilica varying over time and new architects joining the project regularly, knowledge has been accumulated and shared in a number of ways. This has included the use of books, heirlooms, and even computer simulations to recreate some of Gaudi’s expectations for the structure.
Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of those involved, some of Gaudi’s more obscure designs may remain unfinished, a reminder of the man’s incredible vision and the imaginative structres he wished to create.
Symbol of Progress
By 2026, the Sagrada Família is likely to be finished – a symbol of progress for both Barcelona and Catalonia. After years of construction, the basilica is likely to be a must-see attraction and will finally be completed to Gaudi’s exact specifications. It is hopeful that the basilica will welcome locals, tourists and worshippers alike, making them all part of an incredible journey that began more than a hundred years ago.
It is evident that the Sagrada Família is more than just a religious structure or a tourist attraction, it is a living monument. A testament to the amazing architecture of Gaudi and the continuing commitment of the people of Barcelona to finish the Basilica as they enter a new era of progress and development.
The basement of the Basilica holds the remains of Gaudi, a final tribute to the man whose vision and creativity has made the Sagrada Família such an icon. An architectural symbol of progress, the basilica will be the result of hard work and dedication by those who believe in the potential of the city and Catalonia – a fitting tribute to Gaudi’s memory.
As the construction of the Sagrada Família continues, technology is becoming more and more integral to the process. In recent years, sophisticated software has been used to help recreate some of Gaudi’s designs and make sure that they are faithfully implemented.
From 3D modelling and engineering software to computer simulations and augmented reality, the developers of the basilica have been able to take advantage of modern technological advances in order to build the structure to a higher standard. This technology has not only allowed for the building of the basilica but has also allowed for a greater understanding of Gaudi’s vision and the structures he was hoping to create.
The Impact of Gaudi
The Sagrada Família is often referred to as Gaudi’s crowning achievement. It is a symbol of his drive, faith, and dedication which leaves a lasting impression on all who visit. Although the completion of the basilica is still some years away, Gaudi’s legacy will continue to have a major impact on both the visitors of the basilica and the people of Barcelona – something that will continue to inspire and encourage generations of architects in the years to come.
The Sagrada Família is proof that Gaudi’s work was influential and revolutionary and that the power of creativity and imagination can be used to build something remarkable. The basilica will be a celebration of his life and work and will be a reminder to all of the potential that Gaudi had and the world-famous projects he was able to create in his lifetime.