The Sagrada Familia, Antoni Gaudí‘s unfinished masterpiece, is one of Barcelona’s most popular tourist attractions. The architect Francisco de Paula del Villar designed a Neo Gothic Church and led the construction which started in 1882.
One year later, the modernist architect Antoni Gaudí took over as lead architect at the age of 31. From that moment on, Gaudí devoted most of his life to the construction of the church. When he died in 1926 only one facade (the nativity facade), one tower, the apse and the crypt were finished. The artist was run over by a tram on the Gran Via. He died in hospital two days later and was mourned by all of Catalonia. He is buried in the crypt of the Sagrada Familia. The work was interrupted by the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1935. The building remained intact during the war, but in 1936 many of its models and plans were destroyed by Catalan anarchists. The last version of his design called for a church 95m/312ft long and 60m/197ft wide. The Sagrada Familia will have a total of 18 towers. Four Towers on each of the three facades represent the 12 apostles. The towers reach a height of 90 to 120m (394ft). Another four towers represent the 4 evangelists. They will surround the largest, 170m/558ft tall tower, dedicated to Jesus Christ. The last tower, dedicated to Virgin Mary, will be built over the apse. Estimated completion dates of The Sagrada Familia range from 2017 to 2026, the 100th anniversary of Gaudi‘s death.