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T he "S agrada F amília"

Gaudí considered some monumental stairways to the door, of such size that they would cross Mallorca street over a tunnel, but this will be impossible because the grounds across the street is not property of the Temple. In the square in front of the Gloria Façade there will be two great monuments: one dedicated to water, with helix-shaped fountains, on the side of the baptistery, and the other dedicated to fire, near the door of Penitence, because these two elements are those that purify man. The other two elements will be represented naturally, as they are, earth and air.

Gaudí left no written plan but he left, clearly specified on the model which was built, his thought about the form and symbolism of the building. He was always conscious that he would not be able to finish the work due to its great magnitude. He also left some drawings in which the polychrome nature that the building will have can be observed-because he said that color is life.

The Holy Family can be considered a Bible in stone, due to the great quantity of catholic symbols which Gaudí chose to mold into his façades. In them are found (or will be) from Adam and Eve to the Twelve Apostles, passing through all the episodes of the life of Jesus as well as the symbols of the Old Testament. It is a monument which declares the catholic creed.

But the importance of Gaudí's unfinished building is not only religious; it may be considered the "Book of Gaudí" because it is the clearest explanation of his method of construction. In this work Gaudí applied all the structural solutions that he had studied and tested more than once in the works which he created throughout his life. These solutions were, for him, simple corrections of the errors that previous styles committed. Gaudí had learned much by observing nature and its shapes, and by simply trying to imitate them. The structure of the temple is formed, based on leaning columns, with abundant ramifications in the upper sections, whose branches hold up small fragments of hyperboloid vaults, which produce the effect of a forest.

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