La Sagrada Familia (Barcelona, Spain)
There are a lot of unique churches in the world but La Sagrada Familia stands out amongst them. It has a design that is both radical and spectacular, which has very much divided opinion. Should construction on the site ever finish it will be one of the most impressive churches in all of Europe. Even know as a construction site it attracts huge numbers of visitors.
La Sagrada Familia is a Catholic Church in Barcelona Spain. Despite having been under construction since 1882 it is still not complete. In fact it has just passed the half way point. The goal now is to complete the building by 2026. There are several reasons for the slow pace of construction, the first being the very complicated design, the other being money. Construction has been paid for by private donations and these have not been enough to cover the cost of construction of the very large and elaborate church. Nevertheless progress continues to be made.
The design for La Sagrada Familia was done by the architect Antoni Gaudi. Gaudi was not actually the original designer he got involved a year into construction and completely changed the look of the building. The design became a combination of gothic and art nouveau and used a large number of curving lines. The result is a church that does not look like any other church that you will see anywhere else. It also created a church that was very difficult to build. Gaudi died in 1926 while the project was barely a quarter done. This is another reason why the pace of construction has gone so slowly.
Since construction of La Sagrada Familia started it has been controversial and has strongly divided opinions. The first concern was over why it was being built in the first place since it became a competitor to the Barcelona Cathedral. The next issue was the design of the building which has been polarizing, it is one of those designs that people either love or they hate, there is not a lot of middle ground. Lastly since the death of Gaudi there is a feeling that the architects who have taken over the work have not remained faithful to his designs.
Despite the fact that La Sagrada Familia is nowhere near being completed it has been awarded status as a Unesco World Heritage site. It received this status along with six other Gaudi designed buildings in Barcelona because of the influence that they have had on Spanish architecture. In 2010 La Sagrada Familia was consecrated and made a minor basilica by Pope Benedict. Although the church is still a construction site it is one of Barcelona's most popular tourist attractions. It is definitely worth checking out if you are in Barcelona, you can be sure that you will not see another church like it.