Why was Gaudí’s cathedral never finished?
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.