Barcelona and the Sagrada Familia

by Andrew Stein

Onwards to Barcelona. We start our time in Barcelona by learning about its history through architecture.  At the time of the Industrial Revolution, Barcelona really takes off, and as part of the expansion created by the rush of people to cities, Modernist architects such as Antoni Gaudi get their chance to shine.  Our guided tour throughout the city helps us appreciate these unique and beautiful buildings.

One building in particular, the Sagrada Familia, was very impressive not only in its grandeur, sculpture, stained-glass windows, attention to detail, but also for the fact that it began in the late 1800s and is still being built today.  During these 150 years, there was one major hiccup in 1936 during the Spanish Civil War when Gaudi’s original plans, drawings and models were all destroyed.  Although Gaudi had already passed away, many of the other architects and builders were able to at least piece most of his original vision back together. But many believe that Gaudi would have also fully approved of the building evolving over time as long as the original intent and vision remains intact.  

I had the chance to visit this basilica back in 2010 and it was incredible to see the progress that has been made since.  In the pictures below, I’ve included the old next to the new to appreciate how much grander the site has become.  And now, our guide was saying that the Sagrada is predicted to be completed by 2026 to mark the 100 year anniversary of Gaudi’s death.  Although there’s still about 25% of the work remaining, because of new technologies plus an influx in funding from all of the ticket sales of visitors coming to witness the site, it may only be another 6 years.