Barcelona: La Sagrada Familia (The Holy Family)


La Sagrada Familia has been under construction since 1886. It is today’s living example of how gothic cathedrals were built – slowly, often over hundreds of years, evolving with the styles and the decisions made by each architect/builders in turn.

The project was designed and initiated by architect Antoni Gaudi. (Read about him here.) After Mr. Gaudi’s untimely death in 1926 building of the cathedral continued under the direction of his chief assistant. It has actually never stopped although it was vandalized during the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s. It’s expected that construction will be complete in about ten years.

I first saw this magnificent place in 2002 when my husband, George, and I visited Barcelona. I was happy to return a few days ago to see the great progress that has been made since. My pictures aren’t the best. If this subject interests you, go to and spend some time considering the many images you will find there. I can’t begin to tell you all I’d like to about the history and construction of this remarkable church. Instead, below are a few links. Begin with the official site of La Sagrada Familia.

I leave you with this image of the new doors to the Glory façade. The doors are approximately 50’ x 50’ and have been scultped by Josep M. Subirachs and Bruno Gallart.  The image on these doors is the Lord’s Prayer in the Catalan language with a background of the words in many other languages.


Additional Resources: (I’m unfamiliar with this site but I shows a representation of what the finished church will look like.) Mary Ann Sullivan at Bluffton University has posted a site about Sagrada Familia with more than 90 photos. Click on pictures that interest you to make them much larger.

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