Soaring above Barcelona's cityscape, the Sagrada Família will be the world's tallest church upon completion. This 130-year labour of love, dreamt up by Antoni Gaudí, is one of the world's most controversial basilicas, but also one of the most visited: some five million tourists descend upon it each year to gawk at the architectural achievement that has brought nature, light and religion together into one stunning ensemble piece. The interior is like a giant jigsaw puzzle, with each new architect's style blending into the rest of Gaudí's vision. Note how the light dances through space, while the bright colours emote a sense of peaceful celebration. Though it may be just that innovative vision and design that has the slated completion year of 2026 looking like another unattainable feat, the Sagrada Família, with its modernista style and conventional gothic themes, is a masterpiece because of its impossibilities.
You’re likely familiar with Gaudí's masterwork in Barcelona, La Sagrada Família, or his less ambitious (but equally striking) La Pedrera. But the modernista king’s one-of-a-kind style can be admired in many other architectural wonders scattered throughout the city. No matter if you’re taking in Casa Batlló or wandering the paths of Park Güell, you can detect the influence of Gaudí's three greatest passions – architecture, nature and religion. But it’s in the details where the architect truly shines. Each of his characteristic mediums – wood, wrought iron, ceramics and stained glass – are seamlessly intertwined to tell a story of life, death and the faith in between.
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