If it were necessary to choose just one representative monument of the city of Barcelona, the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia would undoubtedly receive unanimous support, as it is one of the most spectacular buildings in the modern world.
It is the third most visited monument in all of Spain after the Prado Museum and the Alhambra in Granada. In addition, it is the second most visited church in the world after Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome.
This extraordinary church was designed by Antonio Gaudí, the world-famous architect and illustrious son of Barcelona. Its construction started in 1882 and is still in progress. When it is finally finished, the basilica will be more than 170 meters high and will be the tallest Christian temple in the world.
The modernist design of the church is colossal in all its aspects. Since 1915, Gaudí devoted himself almost exclusively to this work, which revealed his unique naturalistic and organic architectural style, mixed with a neo-Gothic current that harmoniously combined the ornamental elements with the structural ones.
The Sagrada Familia is undoubtedly the highest level that Gaudí reached. Both its apse and its crypt present a neo-Gothic style, while the rest was part of its original organic style imitating nature. For example, the enormous inclined helical colonnades resemble a forest of vines forming a resistant and flexible structure.
The basilica is full of symbolism. Its huge plan is in the shape of a Latin cross, with five central naves, a transept made up of three naves and the apse with seven chapels. Its exterior is spectacular, with three facades symbolizing the birth, Passion and Glory of Jesus, along with another 18 towers symbolizing the 12 apostles.
While Gaudí was alive, he managed to finish the apse, the crypt and part of the first façade. Later, the ambitious project passed into the hands of his assistant, Domingo Sugrañes, until it reached Jordi Faulí i Oller, who has served as architect since 2012.
In 2005, this lavish unfinished work of art was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.