One of the icons of the city of Barcelona it is, without doubt, the Expiatory Temple of the Holy Family. It seems that in a few years it can be finished, but the people of Barcelona have grown accustomed to seeing it grow little by little and to discover in reality the parts that were nothing more than a project and that years ago advanced very slowly and now at great speed. Join us to know 25 fascinating Curiosities of the Sagrada Familia.
Since the great architect Antoni Gaudí began to build the basilica in 1882 have passed through the construction sites 9 generations of architects. It is expected that the current one will be the last one and that the works will finish by the year 2026. If so, it will have taken 144 years to complete it, but surely it will have been worth it.
25 Curiosities of the Holy Family
1. Although many Barcelonians do not know it, the Sagrada Familia is the true center of the city. Located in the middle of the plain of Barcelona, there is practically the same distance from the temple to the sea as to the mountain, and almost the same distance to the Besos river as to the LLobregat river.
View of the Sagrada Familia in the center of the plain of Barcelona
2. Gaudí was not the first architect of the project, but Francesc de Paula Villar , but due to problems with the city council it left it. Gaudí was 31 years old when he took charge of building the Expiatory Temple of the Sagrada Familia.
3. Antoni Gaudí, the modernist architect who he left his mark throughout Barcelona , knowing that he would not see the works of the Sagrada Familia finished, left models, plans and sketches so that the work could be continued once he had died. Unfortunately, most of that documentation was burned during the Spanish Civil War.
4. The Sagrada Familia is the second most visited church in Europe after the Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican. It is one of the most visited places in Spain, ahead of the Prado Museum, the Cathedral of Seville or the Alhambra in Granada.
5. When the works are finished and the highest tower is finished, it will be the highest Christian church in the world.
6. One of the curiosities of the Sagrada Familia it is that it is an expiatory temple, which means that the Blessed Sacrament is permanently exposed for the atonement of sins and that in the beginning the works were covered with the money of the atoning donations. This meant that the progress was very slow and that Gaudí could adapt the techniques he was using in other constructions.
7. Currently, with the money collected for the payment of the entrance to the site the works are paid. There are several types of tickets depending on what you want to visit and the average visit lasts about 90 minutes.
8. In Barcelona there is another important expiatory temple, besides the Sagrada Familia. It is the temple of the Sacred Heart of Tibidabo that dominates the city from the mountain of the Sierra de Collserola.
9. Gaudí worked at the Sagrada Familia since he was 31 years old and especially he devoted himself to the last 15 years of his career, so it is considered a synthesis of all the styles and solutions he had tried in other buildings such as the crypt of the Colonia Güell or the park of the same name and is also the culmination of the naturalist style.
10. The naturalist style is evident throughout the work, from the columns in the form of a tree, the large amount of stained glass that bring light and color and the plant and animal elements throughout the architecture.
Interior of the basilica
11. Of the three facades that the temple will have, those of the Nativity and that of the Passion are finished. The third, the Glory is about to end.
12. The facade of the Passion is the work of the sculptor José María Subirachs and Sitjar and raised great controversy when it was inaugurated, as many accused him of not following the line marked by Gaudí on the facade of the Nativity.
13. One of the curiosities of the Sagrada Familia They are its towers. The basilica will have when it is finished 18 towers. In each portal or facade four, which in total will add 12, by the twelve apostles. On the transept, 4 towers will be erected by the four evangelists, on the apse a 120 m tower will be erected. dedicated to the Virgin and the central tower-dome will be for Jesus and will measure 172.5 meters. At the moment totally finished there are only 8 towers.
14. The Towers of the Sagrada Família were inspired by a Gaudí Project for the Franciscan Catholic Missions in Tangier sponsored by the Marquis of Comillas and that never came to fruition.
Gaudí's project for the Franciscan Catholic Missions in Tangier
15. During Gaudí's lifetime, only the crypt, part of the facade of the birth, the apse and the tower of San Bernabé were completed.
16. Next to the basilica, on the corner of Sardenya and Mallorca streets, there are small buildings of clear Gaudinian style, which today house an exhibition entitled "Gaudí's workshop" and which are known as "the schools of the Sacred Family". These buildings, which were originally inside the enclosure on the Façade of Glory, housed a school for the workers who worked on the temple works.
Schools of the Holy Family
17. On the facade of the Nativity we can see two columns that rest on two turtles, one of sea and one of land. There has been much speculation about its meaning, which ranges from representing the equilibrium of the cosmos of Chinese culture to a cabalistic meaning, as representatives of duality upholding the pillars of the rigor and mercy of the tree of life.
18. The remains of Gaudí rest in the Sagrada Familia, in the Chapel of Carmen de la Crypt.
19. One of the curiosities of the Sagrada Familia is that everything has a meaning in it; Nothing is left to chance. The temple is said to be a representation of the Bible in stone.
20. Another of the curiosities of the Sagrada Familia It is on the facade of the Passion. There you can see a magic square. Add their numbers in the direction you add them, the result will always be 33, the age of Christ being crucified.
Magic square whose sum is always 33 on the facade of the Passion
21. The façade of the Nativity is subdivided into three porticos: that of faith, that of hope and that of charity. Many of the figures we see they hide a great symbolism . For example, at the top of the portal of charity we can see a pelican feeding its two chicks. According to medieval belief, the female of this animal was able to feed her chicks with their own blood if necessary, so it is considered an allegory of the Eucharist.
Pelican allegory of the Eucharist
22. The symbolism is not only on the outside, but also on the inside. The dome of the apse has a mosaic-based covering that represents the vestments of God that cover the celestial vault.
23. The façade of La Gloria began to be built in 2002, but it is difficult to see it completed faithfully following Gaudí's project due to the buildings that the town hall allowed to be built a few decades ago in the place where the stairway over the Majorca street and that they should be knocked down .
24. It was not until 2010 that the temple was finished.
25. As the last of these curiosities of the Sagrada Familia , we allow you to recommend some interesting books about the great architect Antonio Gaudí and his most famous works. The novel, "La Clave Gaudí" by Esteban Martín and Andreu Carranza , for children " Gaudi " of
Other curiosities of famous monuments
If you are interested in knowing the secrets of different cities in the world you can discover with us Curiosities of New York , Curiosities of London , Curiosities of Tokyo or Curiosities of Buenos Aires , among other cities in Europe, Asia or America or know directly those of some of its most famous monuments:
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As you can see, a monument as interesting as the Gaudí basilica in Barcelona hides many secrets to discover. What do you think about our selection of curiosities of the Sagrada Familia ? Do you know any that we have not taken into account? Tell us and we can expand this list of curiosities.
Images: Canaan ,