Building a Cathedral in 144 Years

One of Europe’s emblematic skylines is provided by Antoni Gaudí‘s La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.  Its construction began in 1882.  It’s due to be completed in 2026.  The cranes which are a constant feature of the skyline will at last become a thing of the past.


Square Perspectives

43 thoughts on “Building a Cathedral in 144 Years”

    1. I love it too, but can’t help feeling it’s becoming somewhat Disneyfied in the last few years. I’d like to see it now though, without having to elbow through the visiting thousands.

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  1. I can’t help wondering what else there is to add, but it’s a story in itself. I can’t truthfully say I like the outside that much, but I was blown away by the light and space inside. 🙂 🙂 Just one woman’s opinion.

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  2. Yes, it does resemble the castle in Sleeping Beauty at first sight. I’m guessing though, that’s it’s a very different experience inside. There’s something fitting about the length of time it is taking to complete: cathedrals measure time in centuries. 2026 is not that far away now. What will the world be like when this is finally completed…

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    1. Yes, Cathedrals shouldn’t be built in a year or two, and of course few are. It will be quite something to see this innocent of scaffolding within and without. An yes, what kind of world will it be?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Such an exuberant building. Sadly, I am yet to see it in real life. I think the square format for your photos has worked well here, you’ve made a positive of the constraints making the square emphasise the strong verticals. Was interested to read your comment about it becoming somewhat Disneyfied – I was wondering what are they doing or not doing that makes you say that?

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    1. Nobody can any longer be sure of what Gaudí’s intentions were at this stage. This is true of course of almost every cathedral. Generally there is no Supremo in charge of every detail, especially over a long time scale. I think I was somewhat exasperated at the crowds (of whom I was one of course!) , and therefore being herded along a prescribed pathway, and not being able to focus on what I wanted to see because of all the selfie-seekers. It’s hard to get to viewpoints where one can appreciate Gaudí’s indebtedness to nature, to soaring forests. I felt hemmed in. If I were a believer, I think I might have particularly resented the busy, noisy atmosphere. Maybe Covid 19, in thinning the numbers allowed to visit, will provide a better experience? For all that, it’s most definitely a building well worth making the time to see.

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      1. Sad that he didn’t get to complete it, as I love his work. But it is fascinating to see how others have interpreted it and continued the work.
        Though I’m not sure I share your optimistic view on it actually being finished in 2026, especially with the virus recession kicking in.

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      2. Yes, I can agree with you about so many ‘tourist attractions’ being overcrowded. The Covid restrictions may indeed make visits more pleasant, but I see even our local museum is setting up a one-way system. Not sure how I feel about that. It’s all going to take a little time to sort out and for people to become familiar with the new rules. I feel that Gaudi wouldn’t have been particularly keen on prescriptive rules somehow.

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