BARCELONA – The British newspaper ‘The Telegraph’ recently made a remarkable statement about one of Spain’s most visited monuments. The structure in question attracted 3.8 million visitors last year, which makes the newspaper’s conclusion somewhat surprising.
British media often publish positive travel advice about Spain. However, ‘The Telegraph’ has now labelled the Sagrada Familia as “the ugliest cathedral in the world”. George Orwell said the same thing previously. This unprecedented criticism describes the building as follows: “It looks like an ordinary church, but made of wax that melts.”
The article continues with previously expressed criticism of the policies of some restaurants in Barcelona, which would discourage or even ban solo diners. This observation was part of a larger story about the practices employed by hospitality establishments in the Catalan capital. Moreover, in the same article the newspaper writes critically about Catalan nationalism.
TripAdvisor and The Guardian see it differently
In stark contrast to ‘The Telegraph’, TripAdvisor has declared the Sagrada Familia “the most beautiful building in the world” out of 20 in total. ‘The Guardian’ has also praised the cathedral for its unique, dynamic design, an example of Gaudí’s genius. “The interior is an immensely tall building of ribs and pillars, which wobbles, leans, bends and jumps, resplendent with its coloured glassware. For the visitor the problem is to find a place on the ground to lie down and climb up.” as it is crowded with visitors,” according to The Guardian.
Despite divided opinions, the Sagrada Familia remains one of the world’s most visited monuments. In the past year it received 3,781,845 visitors, an impressive number, although still lower than pre-pandemic figures. Furthermore, approximately 20 million people visit the Sagrada Familia from outside every year, without actually entering the building.
Progress of construction work
Recently, the Sagrada Familia celebrated the completion of the towers of the evangelists Matthew and John. With 13 of the 18 planned towers completed, the Tower of Jesus Christ is expected to be completed in 2026, which will be the tallest and most important at 172 metres. The yet-to-be-completed Gloria facade, with the planned grand staircase, remains an integral part of Gaudí’s original vision. Previously scheduled for completion in 2026, to coincide with the centenary of Gaudí’s death, it has now been postponed until 2033.