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02nd Jun 2024

The Sagrada Familia finally has a completion date after 140 years in the making

Nina McLaughlin

It has been more than 140 years since the first stone was laid.

Barcelona is known for a lot of things, but one of the Spanish city’s biggest pulls is the incredible architecture, in particular the works of Antoni Gaudi.

His biggest project was the Sagrada Familia – an incredible cathedral standing at 172 meters (566 feet) tall.

The architect, who is buried underneath the building, envisioned 18 massive towers that each symbolised a different biblical figure.

Work began in 1882, and was only 10 to 15 percent completed when Gaudi died in 1926.

Since then, there have been many more challenges to get it finished, including the Spanish Civil War, which led to many of the plans for the building being destroyed.

However, more than 140 years later, completion of the Sagrada Familia is in sight.

“The Chapel of the Assumption is expected to be finished in 2025 and the tower of Jesus Christ, in 2026,” the cathedral said in a statement announcing the publication of their 2023 annual report.

However, the full construction is still not set to be completed until 2032, as a controversial stairway framing the cathedral will not be finished until then.

Plans for the stairway involve disrupting 1,000 businesses and families as they extend across two blocks of the city.

However, the chairman of the project, Esteve Camps, insists they were part of Gaudi’s original plans.

“We are following Gaudí’s plan to the letter,” he said, via The Guardian. “We are his heirs and we can’t renounce his project. The plan presented to the local authority in 1915, which was signed by Gaudí, includes the stairway.”

It is fitting that the cathedral will be completed 100-years on from Gaudi’s death.

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Image credit: Vitold Muratov/Wikimedia Commons, Jiuguang Wang/Wikimedia Commons, Txllxt TxllxT/Wikimedia Commons