Tag: History

The sculptures inside the Temple: The Holy Family… and Saint George!

Antoni Gaudí made the outside façades of the Sagrada Família appear like huge altarpieces, with a clearly catechistic and evangelising purpose. In contrast, he wanted the inside to be a space of reflection and prayer, and this is why we find no large altarpieces or imagery but instead just a few sculptures with pronounced symbolic …

Who were the real models for the crèche on the Nativity façade?

Sculptors in Gaudí’s time created plaster moulds of objects, animals and plants, but hid this practice as they thought it took away from their achievement. The artistic avant-garde was moving towards exalting the artist and avoiding copies. However, when Gaudí discovered that the Greeks had used this technique, he felt justified in his choices and …

The Passion façade: key moments in its history

Video post

Last July, we officially completed the Passion façade, putting the final piece in place on the sculpture group of the Resurrection: the shroud covering the body of Jesus Christ. And with this historical milestone, we’ve decided to look back on the key moments of a façade that covers the period from death to resurrection, and …

Is the Sagrada Família prepared to withstand an earthquake?

To calculate his structures, Gaudí innovated with the empirical, experimental method of suspended chains. By inverting the image in a mirror, these gave him not only the best geometry for the project, meaning the angle the columns and walls should have to withstand compression forces, but also a way to measure the force on each …

Saint Joseph, an important day for the Sagrada Família

Work on the Sagrada Família began on this day 136 years ago. It was 19 March 1882, on the feast of Saint Joseph, when the cornerstone of the Temple was laid in an event with all the required honours featuring top civil, political, religious and military leaders, as can be seen in this engraving from …

Reinforced concrete for the Temple? Of course!

Many times, looking at the work currently under way on the Sagrada Família, visitors wonder what Gaudí would have done without reinforced concrete. One could even think that the architects today, with all this reinforced concrete, are cheating because Gaudí only used stone. And that would be a grave mistake. The fact is, reinforced concrete …

What would the Sagrada Família be like if Gaudí hadn’t taken over the project?

Although today the Basilica of the Sagrada Família is intrinsically linked to Antoni Gaudí, he wasn’t named head architect until 1883, one year after the cornerstone was laid and after architect Francisco de Paula del Villar y Lozano had stepped down. These circumstances, which occurred 134 years ago, have decisively conditioned the Basilica as it …