The idea of building a temple church dedicated to the Holy Family in a new land of Barcelona's Eixample was Josep Maria Bocabella bookcase, inspired by Father Josep Manyanet - canonized in 2004, founder of religious congregations Congregation Sons of the Holy Family and Congregation of Missionary Daughters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, in charge of promoting the cult of the Holy Family and promote Christian education of children and youth. To this end, Bocabella founded the Association of Devotees of St. Joseph, with the aim of raising funds, and for the construction of the temple took an entire block of the Eixample in a place known as El Poblet, near the Camp de l' Arpa , in Sant Martí de Provençal, between Calle Provenza, Mallorca, Marina and Sardenya . The site cost 172 000 pesetas.
The project was commissioned architect first Farncisco de Paula del Villar y Lozano, who devised a set Gothic and Bocabella dismissed the idea of making a replica of the Shrine of Loreto, which was supposedly the home of Joseph and Mary in Nazareth. Villar's project consisted of a three-nave church, with the typical elements of the Gothic, as honeycombed windows, exterior buttresses and high needle-shaped bell.
The first stone was laid on March 19, 1882 ( St. Joseph's Day ) with the presence of the bishop of Barcelona José maria Urquinaona. Gaudí attended the ceremony, as he had worked as an assistant on several projects Villar, at which time he could not imagine that he would become the architect of that work. The works did not begin until August 25 1883 , being awarded the contractor Macari Planella i Roura.
The building is located in the center of Barcelona, and over the years has become one of the most universal signs of identity of the city and the country. Annually it is visited by millions of people, and there are also many who study its architectural and religious content. The temple has always been atoning that is, from the beginning, is now over 131 years, and was built from donations. In this sense, Gaudí himself said: "The Church of the Holy Family makes the people and is reflected in it.'s A work that is in the hands of God and the will of the people. "Construction continues and might end in the first third of the century.
In late 1883, Gaudí was commissioned to continuing the work, did not leave work until his death in 1926. Since then, several architects have continued the work following the original idea of Gaudi. In 1926, the death of Gaudí, only had built a tower. Building project plans and retained only a model in plaster that was badly damaged during the Civil War. However, since then have continued without interruption works: currently finished the portals of Birth and Passion, and has started the Gloria, it has covered the entire interior space, and laid the foundations of the six central towers.
The work he did Gaudí, ie the Nativity façade and crypt, was included in 2005 by UNESCO in the World Heritage Site of Humanity. The temple was consecrated and declared a minor basilica on November 7, 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI.
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