Temple of the Sagrada Familia Barcelona
Josep Maria Bocabella Verdaguer (1815-1892) was a bookshop owner who, moved by his great mercy, was inspired and felt the vehement desire to organize what he gave the name to of the Association of Devotes of Saint Joseph.
In 1881 the Association bought a whole block of Barcelona’s Eixample district within the municipalit of Sant Martí de Provençals.
The early project for the Expiatory Temple of the Sagrada Familia was produced by the architect Francesc de Paula del Villar y Lozano in 1882, project that was interrupted in 1883 after the disagreements between Villar and the architect advising Bocabella, Joan Martorell Montells.
The direction of the works was offered to Martorell who for reasons of politeness did not accept, but he proposed his former assistant Antoni Gaudi. From then on the temple took on a different form ant spirit, the Villar project being consigned to oblivion.
On taking over the works Gaudí regretted the arrangement of the crypt since he would have preferred to orientate the building diagonally across the block.
On not being able to put his idea into practice he limited himself to surrounding the crypt with a large ditch, making it no longer a basement, and finishing it without introducing variants other than changing the motifs of the capitals which lost their Corinthian appearance to become naturalist interpretations of the flora. In May 1885 Gaudi signed the project for ground plan of the Sagrada Familia which he used to ask for the works permit in the Sant Martí Council. There is no evidence to show that the council approved it. In 1892 work began on the neo-Gothic apse was completed in which wheatears of the pinnacles and the gargoyles of amphibians and reptiles underlined the naturalist tendency of the decoration which the would have. The first bell tower of this facade was completed in 1925. Gaudi expressed his joy on seeing, “how that spear joined heaven with the earth”. The architect could not continue his work since he died the following year. Nevertheless, in 1923, he came up with the definitive solution for the naves and roofing in plaster models at scale 1:10 and 1:25. The models that Gaudí left, partly destroyed during the Civil War, have enabled the works to be continued and can be seen in the Sagrada Família Museum.
The Expiratory Temple of the Sagrada Família, the construction of which continues in line with the spirit of Gaudi, is a church with five naves, with three facades, Nativity, Passion and Glory at the ends of the crossing and foot of the church. It is surrounded by a cloister and will have a large stairway facing the Glory Façade where there will be a cresset and a fountain in front of the baptism and communion chapels. Two large sacristies flank the apse, in the middle of which will figure the chapel of the Assumption. Eighteen towers are built in honour of Jesus Christ, the Virgin, the Apostles and the Evangelists. Gaudí conceived this temple not only as an expression of his naturalist architecture but also as a biblical text in architectural form.
Text source: Gaudi The Entire Works