If you have based your VILLAS IN ALICANTE why not jump on a train and travel up to the cosmopolitan city of Barcelona? Barcelona is home to Antoni Gaudi's unfinished masterpiece, The Sagrada Familia. This unfinished edifice has already become the most visited tourist destination in Barcelona even though it will not be completed for several decades.

The city of Barcelona sunk into a period of dechristianisation of the Catalans due to the industrialization and increasing wealth of the city. As a result, a godly group of people put forth the idea of constructing a new church to combat this time of apathy. This group of people organized the purchase of a piece of land in the Eixample district in1877. At which time they employed the architect Francisco de Paula del Villar to design a Neo-Gothic church. After appropriate funds were raised by this new organization the construction work got underway in 1882.

For some unknown reason this new organization dismissed Villar as the architect one year later and hired Antoni Gaudi in his place. This 31 year old modernist architect was to devote the remainder of his life to the completion of this project. Gaudi didn't stay with the original design but changed it to his trademark modernist design which was based on naturalistic forms. Due to Gaudi's fanatic desire he constantly improved and changed the design during the construction. As a result at the time of his death in 1926 he had only completed one facade (the nativity), one tower (the apse) and the crypt. Because his designs were made for the most part on site Gaudi left little behind to continue his work and what he did leave behind was destroyed during the civil war in 1936.

Gaudi did leave behind some basic plans for the church which gave future architects an idea of how to proceed. These basic plans called for a church of 95 metres long and 60 metres wide which would hold at least 13,000 people. Although only one tower had been completed, another 17 towers were called for when the Sagrada Familia was finished.

Twelve of the towers were to represent the apostles with four towers on each of the three facades, reaching heights of between 90 to 120 metres. The four evangelists are to be represented in another set of towers. The tallest tower of 170 metres represents Jesus Christ and is to be surrounded by his evangelists. The last of the 18 towers is to be built over the apse and dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

The construction of the church came to a halt after Gaudi's death for a number of reasons. This was a time of economic decline, and the civil war was imminent not discounting the Second World War which was only a few years away. It wasn't until the 1950s that the construction was started in earnest. Today there are two facades and eight towers completed and in 2000 the main nave was roofed.

When staying in your VILLAS IN ALICANTE don't pass up the opportunity to jump on the train and make the journey to Barcelona to visit the Sagrada Familia Church. Even though this unfinished masterpiece is yet to be completed you will be amazed when you walk into the crypt where Gaudi is buried. While you are here, visit the museum that traces the history of this great man and that of the Church.

Author's Bio: 

Travel writer writing especially about my adopted home of Spain for Akilar.com providing Holiday Rentals from the OWNERS DIRECT.