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Published: March 7th 2011
The hotel desk clerk was circling interesting places to visit on a Valencia city map. He drew a circle and said, "The Sagrada Familia is very interesting. You will have to take city transportation. It is too far to walk." He was wrong. We walked, not only to the Sagrada Familia but also to a number of other spots during the day. By evening we guessed that we had walked seven or eight miles ... perhaps more. We were tired, but happy at what we had seen and we had no problems going to sleep.
Still under construction
Though construction on the Sagrada Familia began in 1882 it is still under construction. The projected completion date is 2026. A person could spend most of their adult work life employed on this one project.
Antoni Gaudi, the famous architect, began working on the project in 1883. When asked about the long time the construction would take he is reported to have said, "My client is not in a hurry."
The original design was to be in the Gothic revival style. Gaudi radically changed the style. This is apparent as you can see in the photographs.
Working construction cranes.
There are parts of the church where the stones appear as if they have melted together. I stood looking and wondering how in the world did he, and other architects following him, complete the calculations needed to ensure that the building did and does not collapse. My hat is off to them.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site
Even though the church is incomplete it has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Spanish Civil War interrupted the project. Construction resumed later. On the 7th of November 2010 Pope Benedict XVI consecrated the church.
We did not go inside the church. There was a very long line stretching almost a block from the ticket booth and it was late in the afternoon. We were quite tired and had a long walk back to the hotel. Also we were afraid that we would have only a few minutes inside and then be told the church was closing for the day. It closes at 6:00 p.m. The outside is so fantastic that we know the inside must be majestic.
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