Sagrada Familia is one of Barcelona’s major attractions, although the church is not finished. The church is very ornate, and it’s hard not to be impressed by its details. Despite this, Sagrada Familia still missing the most important – the church’s main tower.
The architect died in tram accident
Antoni Gaudí was the architect of the church. During his time as an architect, he had developed a sensual and organic style with expressionist and oriental features. Gaudi was an opponent of the increasingly modern construction material, steel, and used instead wood and bricks.
Antoni Gaudi died at the age of 73, hit by a tram. Gaudi died not directly in the accident, but because of his poor appearance refused the taxi driver to drive him to a hospital. Instead Gaudi died of the injuries at a hospital for poor in 1926.
The church that never was finished
The bookseller Josep Maria Bocabella ran a religious congregation in 1866 and began collecting money to build a temple. Money came from donations and 1882 could be the construction of the church started. The first step was to buy the land.
Quite promptly came Josep Maria Bocabella in mischief with the original architect, and the mission was given to Antoni Gaudi. Gaudi wanted to abandon the former architect’s plans, and seven years later he was able to present a first drawing.
The first built part of the church was the Nativity façade. Gaudi was fully aware that the church probably could not be completed in his lifetime, so instead he focused on every detail.
Sagrada Família today
Today it is crowded in the church because of all the tourists. The churc is one of Spain’s main attractions. This despite the fact that it is not finished. What is particularly lacking is what they called the “Central Tower”, which will be 170 meters high.
2010 the goal was set that the church should be completed by 2026. In 2026, it is 100 years since the architect died, but a more realistic goal is 2030.
The funding is currently managed entirely by the entry fees which in 2009 amounted to EUR 18 million. Although the church is far from ready, it is among the most fascinating things you can find in Barcelona.