Constructions first started on the magnificent Sagrada Família in Barcelona, Spain, 132 years ago in 1882, and architect Antoni Gaudí was hired a year later. Despite hopes of having the construction finally finished by 2026, to coincide with the centenary of the Gaudí’s death, Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions have once again delayed the basilica’s completion.
Barcelona’s unfinished masterpiece will not be completed in time due to the pandemic construction halt, and a new date of completion has yet to be set. Gaudí’s masterpiece has become Barcelona’s most iconic monument worldwide and the construction of his dream has long outlived him and will now surpass even the 100 year mark of his death.
The finishing date of the Sagrada Familia and the repeated delays have become a running-joke among locals, and about a quarter of the project remains to be done. This includes the building’s tallest spire, the Jesus tower, which will be 170m high because Montjuic’s hill is 172m high and Gaudí did not want his work to be higher than God’s, as well as its main façade.
The building is Barcelona’s most crowded tourist site and usually receives around 4.5 million visitors a year, but was closed temporarily in mid-March last year with the first pandemic lockdowns. It has progressively reopened them as Spain has eased its lockdown, with health professionals and other essential workers during the pandemic being the first to visit when it reopened in July. Additionally, until the end of the year, it will be open to Barcelona residents on weekend afternoons, with tickets available for free on the official website.
The completion date yet agin delayed is of course a disappointment for many, however in the meantime the Sagrada Família has published a video where you can admire the evolution of the construction from now to completion, and it is pretty impressive!