10.06.

1926: Antoni Gaudí: The Brilliant Architect who Designed the Future Tallest Church Building in the World

1926: Antoni Gaudí: The Brilliant Architect who Designed the Future Tallest Church Building in the World
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 10 June 1926
  • The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is probably the most magnificent of Gaudi's works. Less than a quarter of the building was complete at the time of Gaudí's death, and the works are still in progress. When its main spire of Jesus Christ (170 meters) is completed, the Sagrada Familia will become the tallest church building in the world.

On this day, one of the most interesting architects throughout history, Antoni Gaudí, died.

All who visited Barcelona certainly know that his works stand out from the traditional architectural norms, but at the same time invoke deep associations of European historical artistic styles.

Gaudí was born and died in Catalonia. He was a devout Catholic, so there are initiatives today to declare him a Catholic Blessed.

He became a vegetarian quite early in his life and often fasted. By the end of his life he became particularly preoccupied with religion and strove towards humbleness and asceticism. He dressed so modestly that he was sometimes taken for a beggar.

On the eve of this day in 1926, he took his daily walk to church for prayer and confession, when he was hit by a tram. He lost consciousness. Due to his clothing and lack of identity documents, passers-by thought he was a beggar and no one helped him at first.

However, a police officer finally took him to hospital, where he was given only rudimentary treatment.

He was recognized only much later, when his condition had already worsened considerably. On this day, only three days after he was hit by a tram, he died. He was 73 years old.

The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is probably the most magnificent of Gaudi’s works. Sagrada Familia actually means Holy Family (the church is dedicated to it and was proclaimed a basilica).

Less than a quarter of the building was complete at the time of Gaudí’s death, and the works are still in progress. The completion of the Sagrada Familia is anticipated in 2026, i.e. the centenary of the architect’s death.

The Sagrada Familia is extremely large. Gaudí’s designs predict a total of eighteen spires, of which only eight have been built so far. The 18 spires have the following symbolism:

– 12 spires for the 12 apostles
– 4 spires for 4 evangelists
– 1 spire for the Virgin Mary
– 1 spire for Jesus Christ.

Of course, the spire of Jesus Christ will be the tallest, 170 meters high. Gaudí allegedly chose that height to make it a few meters lower than the famous Barcelona’s Montjuïc hill because he apparently did not want to surpass God’s creation.

With completion of the Christ spire, the Sagrada Familia will become the tallest church building in the world. Currently, the tallest tower is the one of the Ulm Minster in Germany, which is 161.5 meters high.

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