The Temple was originally a private initiative, that of Josep Maria
Bocadella, who chaired the Associació Espiritual de Devots de Sant
Josep. Work began in 1882 under the direction of Francesc de Paula
Villar, who intended to give the work a neogothic style, in fashion
at that time. However, the differences between the architect and
the municipality led him to give up the project. He was replaced
by Antoni Gaudí i Cornet who, from then on, would give the work
his own personality.
Temple has three façades, one of which looks onto the streets Marina
and Cerdenya, the so-called Birth,
which was built in the year 1891. The second one is the Passion,
with the door of the Faith.
It is presided over by the symbol of Saint Joseph, and includes
groups of sculptures devoted to the visitation and to the infancy
of Jesus. There are three groups of sculptures in the symbol of
Jesus: the Annunciation, Nativity and Coronation of the Virgin.
to the left can be found the door of hope,
with the symbol of Mary and scenes concerning the holy family (a
rock from Montserrat mountain, the spiritual heart of Catalonia,
was placed on the crest).
main façade which faces the sea evokes the Glory of God. The Towers,
which are the main symbol of the temple, are more than 100m high
and, according to the plans, above them, at 170m, crowning the central
dome of the nave, a symbol of the Saviour will be installed.
his death, Gaudí had time to complete most of the interiors of the
temple. The architect was so obsessed by this project that he even
slept in the temple. It is thought that a distraction due to being
lost in thought about the work may have been what prevented him
from seeing the tram which knocked him down in 1926.
Gaudí died, the architect Sugrañés i Gras took over the project
until 1935, when the work came to a standstill because of the Civil
War. After the interruption of the war, the architect Quintana i
Vidal took over the work, followed by Lluís Bonet, Isidre Puig,
Francesc de Paula Cardoner and the current coordinating architect,
sculptor Josep Maria Subirachs is currently in charge of the sculptures
(which some people criticize for their stylized lines, considered
to be too distant from the original idea of Gaudí).
best way for visitors to get to know Gaudí's projects is to visit
the Sagrada Familia Museum,
which exhibits abundant graphic material on the design of this temple.
Visitors can climb to the top of one of the towers of the temple,
which offers extraordinary views both of the city and of the temple