Start browsing the Gothic architecture I want with the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. This is one of my favorite pieces of architecture.
Sagrada Familia, Sagrada família (Catalan. Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família) is located North of the Old City of Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain) in the Eixample district. The construction of the temple started in 1882 and still not completed.
The project of the Cathedral was originally designed by architect Mr. Francesco del Villar (del Villar Francesco), which is a year after the start of construction was replaced by Antonio Gaudi. Gaudi completely redesigned the project, completing it in a mixture of styles of art Nouveau and modernism. The financing of the construction was done by subscription, donations from the Catholic community and state grants.
Construction history: 1882-1926
For the new Church was dedicated free site, who was at that time a few kilometers from the city. Antoni gaudí was the main architect of the project for 40 years until his death. On Voprosy unusually long duration of the works, he replied: “My client is not in a hurry.” As construction progressed, the Cathedral acquired its unusual for a Catholic Church type: spindle-shaped tower, shaped like sand castles, elements of the roof, in the style of cubism.
Gaudi dedicated the temple for more than 40 years of his life. The duration of the construction of the temple is explained not only by the complexity and size of the construction, but the decision of the initiators of the Foundation of the temple Association of admirers of St. Joseph – that the construction should be financed only through donations of parishioners. Therefore, the work was suspended for lack of funds.
The history of the construction from 1926
After Gaudi’s death in 1926 the work on the temple continued under the direction of Dominique Sugranyes (Catalan. Domènech Sugranyes). But soon the events of the Civil War in Spain for some years, interrupted the construction. During the war, Catalan anarchists destroyed the model of the Cathedral and destroyed the drawings of gaudí. The building itself also suffered damage. In 40-ies of the works were resumed. In 80-ies on the initiative of the architect Jordi Bonet i Armengol for the calculation of the constructions of the Cathedral began to use computer models.
In the mid 90-ies around the unfinished Cathedral, any debate about the advisability of continuing work. A group of architects and city planners, headed by the famous Catalan architect Oriol Bohigas called for their complete cessation. However, the project was continued, funded by the now conservative Catholic organizations, individuals and from abroad (a significant portion of funds comes, for example, from Japan).
Near the end of the project also hampered by the complexity of manufacturing the stone blocks forming the eccentric shape of the Cathedral. According to computer models, each of them requires individual treatment and fit. The preliminary date of the completion of specified 2026 the centenary of the death of the author of Antoni gaudí. In 2008 will have to complete an important stage — coating the roof of the Central nave of the building.
Thanks to its unusual appearance, the unfinished Cathedral has become one of the main attractions of Barcelona. According to the newspaper El Periódico de Catalunya, in 2006 the Cathedral was visited by 2.26 million people, which puts it on par in popularity with the Prado Museum and the Alhambra Palace.
The goal of Gaudi was to make the Sagrada Familia the “last great sanctuary of Christianity”, whereby the architectural elements of the temple are full of Christian symbolism. The most impressive is the spindly spires of the Cathedral, a total of 18, symbolizing (with increasing height) of the 12 Apostles, 4 Evangelists, the virgin Mary and Jesus Christ. The towers of the evangelists decorated with sculptures of their traditional symbols: a bull (St. Luke), the angel (St. Matthew), eagle (SV. John) and lion (St. Mark). The Central spire (Jesus Christ) will be topped with a giant cross, so that the maximum height of the Cathedral will be 170 m — 1 m lower than the Montjuïc mountain in Barcelona. So, as conceived by gaudí, his creation wasn’t supposed to surpass God’s creation. The smaller tower is also decorated with sheaves of wheat and bunches of grapes, symbolizing the Eucharist.
The Cathedral will have three facades, symbolizing the Nativity (East), Fame (not finished yet) and the Passion (Western) of Christ. The Nativity facade was completed before the Civil war and executed in accordance with the original idea of Gaudi. The facade of the passion of Christ is different figurei emaciated people, including sculptures representing flagellation and the crucifixion of Christ. The author of these sculptures is Josep Subirachs.
The building is decorated with widely used texts of the Liturgy, including the words “Hosanna”, “Excelsis” and “Sanctus”. The main gate of the facade of the passion of Christ is decorated with quotations from the Bible in several languages, including Catalan. The Glory façade will be decorated with words of the Apostolic creed.