His­tory an­swers

Why was Gaudí’s cathe­dral never fin­ished?

All About History - - SPAIN - Tiffany Hester

When famed ar­chi­tect An­toni Gaudí was placed in charge of the Sagrada Família project, a Ro­man Catholic Church in Barcelona, in 1883, he knew that he would not live to see it com­pleted. He en­vi­sioned a mas­ter­piece that com­bined both Gothic and Art Noveau ar­chi­tec­tural styles and de­voted the rest of his life to the project, cre­at­ing 3D mod­els of his de­sign so that the church could be com­pleted in the fu­ture with­out him.

Gaudí died in 1926 in a tragic tram ac­ci­dent, at which point only roughly a quar­ter of the church had been com­pleted. Progress on the project has been slow since it is funded through pri­vate do­na­tions, and work has been dis­rupted nu­mer­ous times due to protests and of course, dur­ing the de­struc­tive Span­ish Civil War when work ground to a halt. Since Gaudí’s death, nu­mer­ous ar­chi­tects and builders have been in­volved in the church’s con­struc­tion, on a quest to fi­nally get it fin­ished.

Al­though it is still un­fin­ished, the church at­tracts over three mil­lion vis­i­tors a year and is the most vis­ited tourist at­trac­tion in

Barcelona, and an iconic land­mark of Spain. Cur­rently, the Sagrada

Família is on course to be com­pleted in 2026, the cen­te­nary of

Gaudí’s death and 144 years af­ter con­struc­tion first be­gan.

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