“My client is not in a hurry.”
Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí’s words couldn’t ring more true as his marvelous masterwork Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family, commonly known as La Sagrada Família, finally enters its final phase of construction.
The soaring Roman Catholic basilica has been under construction in Barcelona since 1883, when Gaudí became the chief architect. He worked on the church for 43 years, transforming the then-modest Gothic church into a breathtaking structure, until his life was tragically taken in a fatal tram accident, in 1926. At the time, just a quarter of his project had been completed.
The most-visited monument in Spain rises hundreds of feet above downtown Barcelona and attracts some 3 million visitors a year. After Gaudí’s death, it was widely believed the Sagrada Família would never be completed, with some even believing it should remain unfinished.
But after 133 years, the current chief architect, Jordi Faulí, has finally announced a completion date sometime in 2026, on the centennial of Gaudí’s death. With more than 70% of the structure completed, the tallest religious building in Europe will tower at 564 feet tall and have 18 towers by the time it is, at long last, complete.