La Sagrada Familia, Spain

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La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona
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La Sagrada Familia is an impressive piece of architecture and a great cathedral in Barcelona.
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Information about La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia (The Holy Family) is a large Roman Catholic basilica under construction in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. The formal title of the basilica is the Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família or Expiatory Temple of the Holy Family. The basilica is the last, and perhaps most extraordinary, of the designs of the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. It is not a cathedral; the cathedral of Barcelona is the Cathedral of Santa Eulàlia, a Gothic building of the late Middle Ages.

The Sagrada Família was planned in the late 19th century and construction work, under the supervision of Gaudí, commenced in the 1880s. After disagreements between the founding association and the original architect Francesco del Villar, Gaudí was assigned the project in 1883 and created an entirely new design. At the time, the basilica stood in an empty field over a mile away from urban Barcelona.

Gaudí worked on the project for over 40 years, devoting the last 15 years of his life entirely to this endeavour; on the subject of the extremely long construction, Gaudí is said to have joked, "My client is not in a hurry." After Gaudí's death in 1926, work continued under the direction of Domènech Sugranyes until interrupted by the Spanish Civil War in 1935.

Parts of the unfinished building and Gaudí's models and workshop were destroyed during the Spanish Civil War by Catalan anarchists. The design, as now being constructed, is based both on reconstructed versions of the lost plans and on modern adaptations. Since 1940 the architects Francesc Quintana, Isidre Puig Boada, Lluís Bonet i Gari and Fracesc Cardoner have carried on the work. The current director and son of Lluís Bonet, Jordi Bonet i Armengol, has been introducing computers into the design and construction process since the 1980s. Sculptures by J. Busquets, Etsuro Sotoo, and the controversial Josep Subirachs decorate the fantastical façades.

According to the newspaper El Periódico de Catalunya, 2.26 million people visited the partially built basilica in 2004, making it one of the most popular attractions in Spain, alongside the Museo del Prado and Alhambra. The central nave vaulting was completed in 2000 and the main tasks since then have been the construction of the transept vaults and apse. Current work (2006) concentrates on the crossing and supporting structure for the main tower of Jesus Christ as well as the southern enclosure of the central nave which will become the Glory facade.

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