La Sagrada Familia [official site | wiki], or Catalan for “The Holy Family”, is a yet-to-be-finished Roman Catholic basilica in Barcelona, Spain.
The church’s design is rich with Christian symbolism, with façades featuring intricate details describing the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Perhaps the most awe inspiring is the eighteen towers representing the 12 Apostles, 4 Evangelists, the Virgin Mary, and a central tower – the tallest of them all – representing Christ.
The construction of the Sagrada Familia basilica started in 1882, directed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, who devoted his life to it. When people said that the construction had taken a very long time, Gaudí replied that he was building the church for God, and that his client wasn’t in a hurry. He then became known as “God’s Architect.”
In 1926, Gaudí got run over by a street car. Because of his raggedy attire and empty pockets, no one wanted to take him to the hospital. Eventually, he was taken to a pauper’s hospital where no one recognized him until his friends found him and tried to move him to another hospital. Gaudí refused, saying that he belonged with the poor, and died a few days later.
Because Gaudí refused to work with blue prints, preferring to use his imagination and memory instead, construction of La Sagrada Familia was halted after his death. Part of the church was even burnt during the Spanish Civil War. Construction of La Sagrada Familia was restarted afterwards and continues until today.