One of Barcelona's most famous landmarks is the Templo de la Sagrada Família (“Church of the Holy Family”), to which Antoni Gaudí dedicated the last 16 years of his life, without ever completing it. In 1883, the 31-year old architect took over the monumental building project, which was financed by private donors and was designed to hold up to 15,000 people once it was complete. According to Gaudí’s plans, there was to be a five-aisle basilica with a three-aisle transept, topped by a total of seventeen 350-foot tapering steeples. To date, only four of these towers, the ones above the east and west portals, have been completed.
The building was designed as a “church for the poor” and, as with his other works, the architect was inspired by nature with its soft, rounded and flowing forms, and therefore decided to dispense with flying buttresses and supporting pillars. From the top of the Barnabas tower, which you reach by elevator or by climbing a seemingly endless spiral staircase, there is a spectacular view over the rooftops of the city.
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