The expiatory temple of the Sagrada Familia, is a catholic basilica in Barcelona designed by the architect Antonio Gaudí. Initiated in 1882, it is still under construction. It’s a Gaud’s master project, and the maximum exponent of the modern Catalan architecture. It is one of the most visited monuments in Spain, together with el Museo del Prado and the Alhambra in Granada, and it is the church most visited in Europe after the San Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.
Since the beginning the Sagrada Familia has been financed with charities and donations, what originated that in several occasions the works were slowed down or even stopped by the lack of contributions. By then, in 1905 the poet Joan Maragall wrote an article titled “Una gràcia de caritat”, to call the public’s attention to collaborate with the construction of the temple.
While Gaudi was alive the crypt, the apse and the façade of the “Nacimiento” were the only things completed. The architect only got to see one of the towers crowned before his death, the San Bernabé. After his death, his helper Domènec Sugrañes was the one in charge (during the years 1926-1936), who finished the three towers left in the façade of the “Nacimiento”.
On july 20th of 1936, two days after of the military rising that originated the Spanish civil war, grups of exhalted people set on fire the crypt, which destroyed most of the workshop in which Gaudi had worked, and where his models were. Some days after the clutter, the architect Lluis Bonet i Garí requested that the broken fragments of the models, which were saved, to be recovered. Among these, others that were buried and recovered later and the photographs preserved of the original models, from 1940 Francesc Quintana, Isidre Puig i Boada and Lluís Bonet i Garí restored and reconstructed the models, elaborated his plans and constructed a new one Replica of the model of the main nave at scale 1:10, which can be seen today in the museum of the basilica.
The Sagrada Familia is still under construction and is still paid today only with donations.