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99% Invisible: La Sagrada Familia


The line to enter Barcelona’s most famous church often stretches around the block. La Sagrada Família, designed by Antoni Gaudí, draws so many people to see it that the neighborhood is congested with tour buses and taxis and scooters. It’s estimated that some three million people went inside of the church in 2016, and another seven million came just to stare at the outside of the strange, behemoth structure.

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