La Sagrada Família (Catalan, ‘The Holy Family’) is a large Roman Catholic basilica under construction in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Construction began in 1882 and its formal title is Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família. Antoni Gaudí worked on the project for over 40 years, devoting the last 15 years of his life entirely to this endeavour. On the subject of the extremely long construction period, Gaudí is said to have joked, “My client is not in a hurry.” After Gaudí’s death in 1926, work continued under the direction of Domènech Sugranyes until interrupted by the Spanish Civil War in 1935.
Parts of the unfinished building and Gaudí’s models and workshop were destroyed during the war by Catalan anarchists. The design, as now being constructed, is based both on reconstructed versions of the lost plans and on modern adaptations.