When Was La Sagrada Familia Built

La Sagrada Familia is a symbol of Barcelona and a world-famous cultural landmark. It is one of the world’s most stunning examples of architectural design and art. The original version of La Sagrada Familia dates back to 1882 when it was begun by architect Francisco de Paula del Villar and subsequently taken up by Antoni Gaudi. The construction of this temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2005, is spread out over a period of more than 130 years and is still in progress.

Work began on the basilica on March 19th, 1882. This was in response to a request from a group of Catalan businessmen who wanted to construct a church and dedicate it to the Holy Family. The Sagrada Familia was designed with a combination of Neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau architectural styles. Gaudi was called upon as the architect to take over the temple’s development after Villar abandoned the project in 1883. Gaudi took the project and ran with it, eventually designing his famous unconventional style.

Though the original building plan was to be completed within two decades, funds ran out and much of the cathedral was left incomplete. It was only after Gaudi’s death in 1926 when the city of Barcelona became aware of the unfinished business of La Sagrada Familia and finally adopted the space and deliberately decided to develop it into a symbol of the city. It soon became one of Barcelona’s most popular attractions, attracting millions of visitors.

Gaudi spent the last years of his life dedicated entirely to La Sagrada Familia. Under his leadership, the temple was transformed from neo-Gothic design to a more modern art nouveau style. Gaudi incorporated nature into the basilica, incorporating elements like cacti, cypress plants and olive trees. He also made use of new construction techniques such as reinforced concrete structures and began building out sections with enormous arches and intricate stone work. He also added four large towers to the structure along with the symbolic facades dedicated to the birth and death of Jesus.

His revolutionary style has become iconic, and he worked on the project until he died in 1926, leaving it still incomplete despite almost four decades of effort. Since Gaudi’s death, there have been various attempts to complete the church, ranging from architects continuing his plans to modern solutions developed by contemporary engineers. Its ambitious progress continues in 2019, because of the complexity which means that the original plans must be updated frequently with the help of modern technology and techniques.

The Temple de La Sagrada Familia is a work of art and a landmark of extraordinary beauty with a deep and symbolic meaning. This splendid architectural achievement has achieved worldwide recognition and admiration and continues to be a source of architectural inspiration for many.

The Building of La Sagrada Familia

The construction of La Sagrada Familia began in 1882 by architect Francisco de Paula del Villar and progressed under Antoni Gaudi’s supervision from 1883 onwards. Gaudi worked on the project until his death in 1926, and his revolutionary mixture of nature and architecture made the design of the temple unique and distinct. Over the years, there have been various attempts to complete the project, spanning a period of more than 130 years and involving a variety of stakeholders and construction techniques.

In recent years, the progress has been rapid. In 2008, the final tower was completed, and the final tiles and pieces of the veneer were in place. In 2010, the Sagrada Familia was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and in November 2010, Barcelona’s city council declared it as an “exceptional cultural public interest”. This marked the beginning of the final testing stage, where the architects inspected the safety and stability of the structure. The aim of this stage was to ensure the durability of the structure over time and strengthen the capacity of the stone and veneers.

The official completion date for the construction of the temple was originally set to be 2026, to mark the centenary of Gaudi’s death. However, the current pandemic has delayed the construction as well as increased the cost of the works. The new prediction is that the temple will be completed in 2028. In 2021, the central tower is scheduled to be complete and will be dedicated to Jesus Christ.

Gaudi’s Contribution in the Building of La Sagrada Familia

Before Antoni Gaudi and his brilliant mind took over the project, La Sagrada Familia was in danger of becoming an ordinary catholic temple, following a traditional design. In 1883, Antoni Gaudi took over the project and transformed it into a unique, unconventional temple, one that was ahead of its time. His vision was groundbreaking and his role was crucial for the development and transformation of the Sagrada Familia.

Gaudi took the plans for a traditional temple and went against the grain by infusing his own style and personality into it. He embraced a combination of art nouveau and Gothic architecture together with the integration of modern building techniques and the introduction of organic elements such as flora and fauna. Gaudi incorporated nature into the construction of the temple by using cypresses, cactuses, and olive trees to embellish the facades.

Gaudi also rejected conventional materials, like marble that were popular at the time, in favour of focused on using mainly stone, iron and concrete. He was a pioneer of the use of tin and glass in the construction of temples, and the Sagrada Familia was the first major project in which he incorporated his signature style of architecture. He also developed and patented a unique process of cast-iron construction to create the most intricate ornamental designs in the basilica’s interior.

Uniquely, Gaudi worked on the Sagrada Familia until his death in 1926 and persevered with the project despite significant obstacles in its construction. Gaudi’s legacy is visible throughout this temple and his imaginative spirit and groundbreaking designs are admired to this day.

Current Progress in the Building of La Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Familia is still under construction and is about 70% complete. There are still several towers left to finish and the final touches on the exteriors are also incomplete. However, the works have been proceeding rapidly since 2010, when the Barcelona city council gave the temple a “cultural public interest” status. This push of monetary and political incentive has allowed the works to go much faster.

In 2020, the Sagas Familia opened its first museum in order to record its progress and display the works of Gaudi over the years. Various pieces of furniture, tools, and sketches have been displayed in the museum, and even prototypes of the veneer used for the façades are being kept here. The museum has also opened a room to commemorate the architect himself, which has become a popular attraction.

In the present decade, the temple is going through the tests of stability and durability. The components of the temple are also undergoing reinforcement and protection to ensure that they will be able to hold strong against external elements. Apart from that, several other artworks courtesy of Gaudi are also in the process of being preserved or restored, ensuring that his legacy will remain intact.

Practical Implications of La Sagrada Familia

In addition to being a World Heritage site, La Sagrada Familia has many practical implications for the local area. The church is a major source of income for locals, who benefit from influxes of tourists it attracts each year. The presence of such an iconic building in the area has spurred investment in many other commercial and recreational areas, making it a profitable destination for both tourists and locals.

It is also a major source of cultural pride for the locals. Its sheer size and grandeur is befitting of Barcelona’s place as a cultural leader in Spain. The temple has become a symbol of Barcelona and a major representation of its culture and history. It is also a very important part of Catalan identity, as it is a visible reminder of their region’s past and how far they have come in the present.

The presence of La Sagrada Familia also serves to highlight the importance of preserving architectural heritage. The church is a living testimony of the city’s past and the efforts of countless individuals, including Gaudi himself, who dedicated their lives to creating a masterpiece.


La Sagrada Familia is an iconic symbol of Barcelona and a breathtaking example of architectural and artistic brilliance. Construction began in 1882, and since Gaudi took over the project in 1883, it has continued for more than a century. Despite various obstacles and challenges, the progress has been consistent, and today the church is about 70% complete.

Gaudi’s revolutionary style and imagination have left an indelible imprint on the structure, which has earned it recognitions from all over the world. The temple has also become a symbol of the city and an integral part of its culture, as well as a major source of income for the locals. As the works in the temple continue and its final completion estimated to be in 2028, the world can look forward to the world’s most spectacular architectural masterpiece.

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.

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