136 Years Later, Famous Landmark to Be Completed

Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain, finally has necessary permits to be finished
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2018 1:10 PM CDT
The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain.   (Getty Images/TomasSereda)

(Newser) – It's taken nearly 140 years of building and two recent years of talks, but it looks like Barcelona's most-visited tourist attraction, the unfinished Sagrada Familia, may finally see its finishing touches put on. The Guardian and New York Times report a $41 million, 10-year deal has been struck between trustees for the famous Roman Catholic church and the city council so that the structure—whose name means "holy family," per Reuters—can get the licensing paperwork from the city, which it's never had, that it needs to be completed. The money paid out to the city, which People notes is the amount accrued over all these years in fees from lacking the proper permits, will help fund improvements to transportation services there.

Work began on the massive church in 1882, and the Times explains that a building permit was acquired in the town it was then located in: Sant Marti de Provencals. But that town was eventually absorbed into Barcelona, and city authorities there apparently never issued a new permit. To complicate things, Antoni Gaudi, the Catalan architect behind the building's design, died in 1926 after being hit by a tram, with only about 25% of the structure complete. Officials hope that with all the red tape about to be moved out of the way, the structure, which is about two-thirds done, could be finished by 2026, the century anniversary of Gaudi's death. (Not quite a landmark, but this unfinished US nuclear power plant went up for sale for $36.4 million in 2016.)

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