More than 137 years after construction began, the city of Barcelona has finally issued a building license for one of its most famous tourist attractions as the Sagrada Familia, the famed Roman Catholic Church designed by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí.
The church has stood unfinished for more than a century, but now has official permission from the city authorities to continue with its construction with a projected completion date of 2026.
The city of Barcelona and the Sagrada Familia foundation started working on a plan in 2016 to legalise the remainder of the church’s construction while taking into consideration the surrounding area’s current urban planning.
“It was a historical anomaly that the Sagrada Familia did not have a license,” said Janet Sanz, Barcelona’s deputy mayor for ecology, urbanism and mobility, who added, “They were working on the church in a very irregular way. We were very clear that, like everyone else, the Sagrada Familia should comply with the law.”
Work on the basilica first started in 1882. An application for a permit was submitted in 1885 with a blueprint of the plans signed by Gaudí, but the council never responded before Gaudí’s death in 1926.
During Gaudí’s life only the crypt, apse, and part of the facade were completed. Since his death, a number of architects have overseen the building’s continued construction.