One of the longest construction projects in the world that continues to this day is a church in Barcelona, Spain – the Sagrada Familia. with Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia as its official name, the construction of the basilica began in 1882 and is still being completed to this moment. Considered to be a very ambitious project of the architect Antoni Gaudi, the Sagrada Familia is brimming with religious symbols and meanings as conceived by Josep Bocabella, a Catalan publisher. Gaudi was not the original architect commissioned for the project but upon his involvement, he completely redesigned the plan. because of the very intricate but slow pace of the project, people began inquiring about it where he replied, my client is not in a hurry. however, Gaudi died on 1926 in an accident and the project was continued by Domenech Sugranyes until the Spanish Civil War interrupted the construction. The project resumed in the 1950s and is directed by Mark Burry as the executive architect at present. The projected completion of the church is on the year 2026.
The basilica is truly a tourist attraction in Barcelona with more than two million visitors in 2004 in its incomplete state. from the outside, the most extraordinary features of the church are its spindle-shaped towers. There are 18 of these towers, the tallest with the cross representing Christ. four more towers represent the evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Twelve towers will carry the name of the twelve apostles and a tower will also represent the Virgin Mary. The tallest structure in the church will be less than one meter than the Montjuic Hill for Gaudi believes that the structure must not surpass that of God’s creation. Sagrada Familia has three symbolic facades: The Passion Facade, the Nativity Faade, and the Glory Facade. Christian symbolisms like biblical characters, saints and religious concepts are prominent in the interior of the basilica.
Sagrada Familia is a privately-funded church. Finances for completion of the project also come from tourism. Entrance fee costs 12 Euros, 10 Euros and 8 Euros for adults, students and children respectively.