The Unfinished Church: La Sagrada Familia


La Sagrada Familia is the Catholic basilica, which is famous for its incomplete construction for over 100 years, has a unique architecture and attracts more and more tourists every year. The construction process started with Antoni Gaudi’s taking over the project and still continues. At the moment, seventy percent of the construction is finished and it is planned to finish on Gaudi’s 100th death anniversary.

Antoni Gaudi, who is one of the pioneers of the modern architecture, worked for the La Sagrada Familia from the time he took over the project, to his death. Even though, only the quarter of the planned was finished when he was alive. After the death of the architecture, protests, fund-related arguments, and the breaking off the Spanish Civil War brought the construction to a halt, frequently. The most compelling case for the construction was the burning of the blueprints and templates during the Civil War. At the end of the war, remainders were reinterpreted and that made the start off of today.

As well as the other gothic churches, La Sagrada Familia has a long and thin structure. It is a total masterpiece with its stained glasses, and towers resembling fairy chimneys. Columns are designed like trees branching out. Stairways climbing to towers resemble snail shells and the glasses that cover the church’s walls are engraved with nature figures. Gaudi said: “Originality consists of returning to the origin.” and he believed that the best way to honor God is designing structures that based on his works. The church is consists of 3 facades: Nativity, Passion, and Glory. The Nativity was finished when Gaudi was alive, and it covers the east side. Also, it was decorated with the artworks that symbolize the significance of life. Every 4 tower represent a saint. The Passion addresses the crucifixion of Jesus and it was designed plainer than the east side. The Glory is described as the “The Road to God”. When the construction of this facade finished, it will make the La Sagrada Familia the tallest church in the world.

This structure, which gives the feeling of continuous motion, has actually no walls or columns vertically put onto the ground. Taking account of the complexity of the structure, even modern technologies have difficulty in the construction. In spite of the deficient parts, La Sagrada Familia is one of the most popular places in Spain and it draws 3 million tourists, annually. Moreover, it is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, since 1984.

Berfu Baran


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