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STRUTH!Spanish Church 144 Years In The Making

February 25, 2017 Weird & Wacky No Comments Email Email

WHEN members of Spain’s Spiritual Association of Devotees of St Joseph conceived the idea in his honour of a massive church whose tallest of eighteen spires would make it the highest religious building in Europe, they had little idea just how long their dream would take to fulfil.

For it was started 135 years ago, and it will be another nine before it is finally completed in 2026.

The Basilica of La Sagrada Familia (“Holy Family”) was begun in Barcelona in March of 1882 and by the time it is finished it will have taken longer to build than all of Egypt’s pyramids, and just 50 years less than the 8,852km Great Wall of China.

And will justify what its pious architect, Antoni Gaudi when asked why it was taking so long to complete, replied simply: “My client is not in a hurry.”  His ‘client,’  of course, being God.

Gaudi died at 74 years of age when hit by a tram in 1926, his Sagrada Familia far from completed. Many critics say builders have strayed widely from his original masterful concept, but as most of his plans were destroyed during the 1930s Spanish Civil War, today’s work relies largely on guesswork as to what Gaudi had in mind.

The huge centre-piece of the church will be eighteen massive spires: one for each evangelist, one for every apostle, and one each for The Virgin Mary and Jesus, His being the highest and central spire and 170m tall.

STILL under construction 135 years on, and with nine still to go before it is officially completed, Barcelona’s basilica of La Sagrada Familia.

Today 3,000,000 people a year visit Sagrada Familia as work goes on around them, contributing E25,000,000 in entrance fees towards its completion in 2026 – the centenary of architect Gaudi’s death.

David Ellis

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