Home Travel Unfinished monumental buildings that deserve a visit

Unfinished monumental buildings that deserve a visit

Will they officially open someday?


1The Sagrada Familia (Barcelona, ​​Spain)

Sagrada Familia

In the heart of the Ciudad Condal, the Temple Expiatorio de la Sagrada Familia has been under construction for more than 130 years. Gaudí went to work in 1882 and worked in it during almost all his professional career, although he paid special attention in his last years of life.

It is not only the greatest expression of Catalan modernist architecture, but the synthesis of the evolution of the architect, from the initial neo-Gothic to its characteristic organic style with which he imitated the forms of nature.

When he died in 1926 his assistant Domingo Sugrañes took over, and after several subsequent changes, since 2012 the director of works is Jordi Faulí i Oller. It is one of the most visited monuments not only in Spain but throughout Europe and when it ends will have a total of eighteen towers.

2National Monument of Scotland (Edinburgh, Scotland)

At the top of Calton Hill, a privileged place to observe the panoramic views of Edinburgh, this replica of the Athens Pantheon was begun in memory of the Scots fallen in the Napoleonic Wars.

Its design fell on the architect William Henry Playfair, who started the work in 1826. But three years later it was paralyzed, and although the gossips say that it was because Playfair ran away with the money budgeted, the official version points out that The funds simply ran out.

In any case, the neighbors nicknamed it since then “the shame of Edinburgh.” The architectural complex of Calton Hill is classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and receives hundreds of visits daily.

3Westminster Cathedral (London, England)

After several failed attempts, its construction began in 1895 under the archbishopric of Herbert Vaughan, who commissioned the work from architect John Francis Bentley. Bentley would not be able to see his finished work upon his death in 1902, a year before it opened.

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However, the interior decoration is not yet finished today due to lack of funds, and continues to receive anonymous donations to finish their elaborate mosaics.

4Neuschwanstein Castle (Bavaria, Germany)

The most photographed castle in Germany, with almost one and a half million visits per year. It was commissioned by King Ludwig II of Bavaria in 1866, and remained unfinished when the monarch died in 1886. Pure romantic fantasy that has inspired numerous works of popular culture.

It has been the model for the castle of the Sleeping Beauty of Disney and the Castle of Hades in The Knights of the Zodiac, it appears in films like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang or The crazy history of the galaxies and even in the cover of the single of Blur Country House or the Neuschwanstein lithography by Andy Warhol.

It was occupied by the Nazis to hide works of art stolen during World War II, and can now be accessed on guided tours of about 40 minutes.

5Cathedral of Siena (Italy)

This Gothic cathedral was designed by Giovanni Pisano on the basis of an older structure between 1215 and 1263. In 1339 he began a plan to triple its dimensions that was thwarted by the ravages of the black plague in 1348.

The Museo dell’Opera Metropolitana del Duomo is currently located in the finished spaces of the extension. It is declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO as part of the historical center of Siena. Its interior houses works signed by artists such as Donatello, Michelangelo, Andrea Bregno, Jacopo della Quercia or Baldassare Peruzzi.

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6Unity Tower (Krakow, Poland)

What were going to be the offices of the NOT (Naczelna Organizacja Techniczna, “Central Technical Organization”) began to be built in 1975, but they were frozen in 1981 due to economic problems.

The result is a phantasmagorical structure 91 meters high, which earned him the nickname “Szkieletor” in reference to Skeletor, the evil character of the Masters of the universe.

It is located in the Grzegórzki district of Kraków, at the Mogilskie roundabout, and was only used to hang huge advertising banners until 2016, when works were resumed for its future opening (estimated for 2019) under the name of Unity Tower.

7Hotel Ryugyong (Pionyang, North Korea)

This ambitious pyramid-shaped skyscraper began to be built in the middle of Pyonyang, the capital of North Korea, back in 1987, with the aim of becoming the tallest hotel on the planet thanks to its 330 meters high.

But after the fall of the Soviet Union the country went into a deep crisis that paralyzed the work in 1992, and its 105 plants were left without windows and without interior fittings.

After sixteen years of inactivity, in 2008 the Egyptian company Orascom Construction Industries decided to finish it. The work continued with the goal of inaugurating it in 2013, but the country’s political tensions put it back on stand-by to this day. He has not had a single client in more than thirty years.

8Financial Center Confinanzas (Caracas, Venezuela)

It is commonly known as the ‘Tower of David’, since it was the businessman Jorge David Brillembourg Ortega, president of the Financial Group Confinanzas, who decided to start building this huge 190-meter high skyscraper in Caracas with the aim of creating a Wall Venezuelan street.

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Brillembourg died in 1993, and a year later his heir faced the banking crisis that would paralyze the work until today. In 2007 it began to be occupied illegally by families without resources who would live there precariously until their eviction in 2014 as part of Operation Zamora, which relocated the occupants in Ciudad Zamora.

Despite several projects ranging from demolition to reuse, its future remains uncertain today.

9Crazy Horse Memorial (South Dakota, USA)

In response to the iconic heads of the presidents of Mount Rushmore, in 1948 this monument to the Sioux warrior Caballo Loco in the Black Hills of South Dakota, on sacred ground for Native Americans, began just 13 kilometers away.

When finished, this mountain-statue is estimated to have proportions of 195 by 172 meters. Only the head will be 27 meters high, compared to 18 meters from Rushmore. But the lack of funds and government support is delaying its conclusion to infinity.

Meanwhile, you can visit what has been done next to the Indian Museum of North America and the Native American Cultural Center.

10Cathedral of San Juan el Divino (New York, USA)

It has been under construction for more than a hundred years, which has earned it the nicknames of ‘San Juan la interminable’ or ‘San Juan la incompleta’. It was designed in 1888 and the first stone was placed in 1892. Since then it has gone through the hands of many architects, including the Spanish Santiago Calatrava, which is noticed in a variety of styles ranging from neo-Byzantine or Neo-Gothic for the neo-romantic.

Its great interruptions are due to the two World Wars and a fire in December 2001, which forced to close its doors until 2008.


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