Imagine having an idea for the craziest cathedral ever built and its gonna take decades to finish. You start construction and then 130 years later it is barely finished. That is essentially what happened to Antoni Gaudi and his masterpiece: La Basilica de la Sagrada Familia.
Let’s do a quick history run, to show you how amazing this place actually is. It began construction in 1882 and it is still under construction today! Gaudi is famous for his gothic style architecture and unique artistic style. He is basically a god now in Barcelona. His work is some of the best things to see in the city. George Lucas said that some of his architecture is what inspired the Stormtrooper’s helmets in Star Wars. Gaudi took over the Sagrada Familia project from another designer and applied his own ideas into what is being constructed today. When Gaudi died at age 73 in the year 1926 the project was less than a quarter complete. A huge reason it has taken so long is that it was stalled by the Spanish Civil War for a couple decades but was able to resume construction with help from private donations and funding from visitors.
The entire building is covered in symbolism. Its spires represent the apostles and other bible figures. The entire story of Jesus Christ is carved into elaborate sculptures all over the front of the entrance. One side is the nativity scene, the other is the calcification and other stories of his life. It is absolutely insane to look at in person and try to imagine the work and effort put into creating it. Besides the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome it is one of the most fascinating structures I have ever seen. Art Critic Rainer Zerbst said: “It is probably impossible to find a church building anything like it in the entire history of art”
The enormous number of visitors it receives each year is its primary source of funding as they strive to complete the building by 2026 with all the decorative aspects completed by 2030.
The video shows some incredible views as it towers over city of Barcelona. The inside has gigantic pillars extending into the sky that are carved to resemble giant trees and you feel like you are inside a forest. All the windows are perfectly designed to let the light in in just the right way to resemble a forest with sunlight beaming through the branches. It becomes very clear that there is not a single aspect of the cathedral that was not specifically designed to symbolize a religious concept or to give a certain feeling and awe to visitors. Antoni Gaudi was buried in the tomb of his biggest masterpiece ever.
You can go in and take a tour of the whole cathedral for about 15 bucks and you can have an audio guide with headphones that will explain things to you as you go through the building. It is absolutely amazing and a must see for anyone visiting Barcelona, Spain.
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