Barcelona (English /bɑrsɨˈloʊnə/, Catalan: [bərsəˈɫonə], Spanish: [barθeˈlona]) is the capital of Catalonia and the second largest city in Spain, after Madrid, with a population of 1,620,943 within its administrative limits on a land area of 101.4 km2 (39 sq mi). The urban area of Barcelona extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of around 4.5 million within an area of 803 km2 (310 sq mi), being the sixth-most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, London, the Ruhr, Madrid and Milan. About five million people live in the Barcelona metropolitan area. It is also the largest metropolis on the Mediterranean Sea. It is located on the Mediterranean coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs and is bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola ridge (512 metres (1,680 ft)).
The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família (English: Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family; Spanish: Basílica y Templo Expiatorio de la Sagrada Familia), commonly known as the Sagrada Família (Catalan pronunciation: [səˈɣɾaðə fəˈmiɫiə]), is a large Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926). Although incomplete, the church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and in November 2010 was consecrated and proclaimed a minor basilica by Pope Benedict XVI.
Though construction of Sagrada Família had commenced in 1882, Gaudí became involved in 1883, taking over the project and transforming it with his architectural and engineering style—combining Gothic and curvilinear Art Nouveau forms.
Gaudí devoted his last years to the project, and at the time of his death at age 73 in 1926, less than a quarter of the project was complete. Sagrada Família's construction progressed slowly, as it relied on private donations and was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War—only to resume intermittent progress in the 1950s. Construction passed the midpoint in 2010 with some of the project's greatest challenges remaining and an anticipated completion date of 2026—the centennial of Gaudí's death. The basílica has a long history of dividing the citizens of Barcelona—over the initial possibility it might compete with Barcelona's cathedral, over Gaudí's design itself, over the possibility that work after Gaudí's death disregarded his design, and the recent possibility that an underground tunnel of Spain's high-speed train could disturb its stability.