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99% Invisible

La Sagrada Familia

The line to enter Barcelona’s most famous cathedral often stretches around the block. La Sagrada Família, designed by Antoni Gaudí, draws millions of visitors each year.

There are a lot of Gothic churches in Spain, but this one is different. It doesn’t look like a Gothic cathedral. It looks organic, like it was built out of bones or sand. But there’s another thing that sets it apart from your average old Gothic cathedral: it isn’t actually old.

Gaudí wasn’t able to build very much of his famous church before he died in 1926. Most of it has been built in the last 40 years, and it still isn’t finished. Which means that architects have had to figure out, and still are figuring out, how Gaudí wanted the church to be built.

La Sagrada Familia

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