Theodore Slate - Apr 1, 2024
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The Sagrada Família in Barcelona, designed by Antoni Gaudí, has been under construction for 142 years and is finally nearing completion. The organization's president responsible for the project, Esteve Camps, confirmed that the construction will be finished by 2026 in the Basilica's annual report.

Thanks to increased attendance, the funds required to begin the final phase of the work were raised entirely from private sources. According to the Basilica's press release, in 2023, a total of €126.9 million was raised, with 52% going towards the construction and 26% towards managing the temple. Before the rise of tourism, the work was financed entirely through alms, creating unpredictable cash flow since tourism has become a stable source of income, with almost 5 million visitors paying between €25 and €40 per visit annually.

The construction work on the Sagrada Família is picking up pace after a brief pause. As a result, construction expenditures are expected to increase. The final phase of the works includes completing the Evangelist Towers by November and building the Assumption Chapel and the Jesus Tower. The chapel is scheduled to be completed in 2025, while the tower is expected to be finished in 2026. The Jesus tower, designed to be the highest point of the Sagrada Família, will stand at 172.5 meters tall.

According to experts, if the building is to be completed by 2026, which marks the centenary of the architect's death, work on the sculptures and the staircase leading to the main entrance must continue until 2034. The area was undeveloped when construction began in 1882, but the town has since grown around the church. The staircase, which would span two large blocks, would require the relocation of approximately 1,000 families and businesses.

Even though some experts in Gaudí's work question the necessity of this decorative element, the president insists on following Gaudí's original plans "to the letter." "We are his heirs, and we cannot abandon his project. The plan presented to the local authority in 1915, signed by Gaudí himself, includes the staircase," he stated during the annual report presentation. Esteve Camps is currently in talks with the mayor of Barcelona, who is responsible for making the final decision.

Antoni Gaudí started building the Sagrada Familia when he was 31 years old. He spent four decades working on it until he was hit by a tram in 1926. In 2005, the Sagrada Familia has been declared a world heritage site.

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