Spain's La Sagrada Família Will Finally Be Completed In 2026

The largest unfinished Catholic church in the world is set to be completed after 144 years of construction
La Sagrada Família is the largest unfinished Catholic church in the world
La Sagrada Família is the largest unfinished Catholic church in the worldValerie2000/Shutterstock

144 years after it began construction, the Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família is finally nearing completion.

The largest unfinished Catholic church in the world whose architect Antoni Gaudí died an untimely death, La Sagrada Família will be completed in 2026 to coincide with the centenary of his passing, according to the cathedral’s construction board. The completion of the building is now possible due to increased ticket sales after the post-pandemic travel boom, after years of delays and stoppages due to the Spanish Civil War, fire and insufficient funds.

Antoni Gaudí
Antoni GaudíPau Audouard Deglaire/Wikimedia Commons

Gaudí’s masterpiece is the most photographed building in Barcelona and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The most controversial part of the structure is a large entranceway which will require the demolition of nearby houses and businesses, which is estimated to affect some 3,000 people. When the first stone was laid the area was open farmland. Work on this section will last into 2034 but has to be approved by Barcelona City Council.

While people fawn over La Sagrada Família’s beauty today, it has been derided for its architecture by notable personalities such as George Orwell, who described it as “hideous.” The building itself will be 90m tall and the tallest spire will be 170m high—one among 18 to be built. Gaudi is buried in a crypt at the church.

A detail from La Sagrada Família
A detail from La Sagrada Famíliaagsaz/Shutterstock

The architecture of the building is a combination of Gothic and Art Nouveau designs. It has three façades: the Nativity façade to the east, the Passion façade to the west, and the Glory façade to the south. Out of these, only the Nativity façade bears the most direct influence of Gaudí himself. The Glory façade represents one's ascension to God and will depict scenes from the seven deadly sins and the seven heavenly virtues.

Tickets start at INR 2,327 for one person to gain entry to the La Sagrada Família.

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