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Digital Subscriptions > History Revealed > October 2015 > How did they do that?

How did they do that?

In the heart of Barcelona sits famed architect Antoni Gaudí’s unfinished gothic masterpiece


Construction on the Expiatory Temple of the Holy Family (better known as La Sagrada Família, or ‘ The Holy Family’) began in 1882, but – over 130 years later – it remains unfinished. That, however, hasn’t stopped the mighty basilica from becoming one of Spain’s most popular tourist locations, with some 3 million people flocking every year to marvel at the wholly unique architecture of Antoni Gaudí. He may only have seen a quarter of the building finished, but others have stepped in to make sure that Gaudí’s dream is fulfilled.

REACH TO HEAVEN When completed, La Sagrada Família will be the tallest church building in the world


It has recently been announced that La Sagrada Família will finally be finished by 2026, on the 100th anniversary of Gaudí’s death. The great architect lived to see only one tower erected, but construction carried on using the designs and models he left. These were mostly destroyed in 1936 – when anarchists fighting in the Spanish Civil War stormed the building – so plans had to be pieced together from surviving notes. This continues to court controversy, as many have argued that the completed Sagrada Família will be nothing like what Gaudí envisioned.

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The October 2015 issue of History Revealed