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Gaudí’s Sagrada Família finally gets building permit to finish construction

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It only took 137 years...

Cranes over Sagrada Familia, as seen in April 2016.
Cranes over Sagrada Familia, as seen in April 2016.
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It’s about time—137 years after construction started on Antoni Gaudí’s Sagrada Família, Barcelona’s city government has finally approved a building permit for the legendary church that will allow the building to be completed.

La Sagrada Família’s $5.2 million permit will allow construction through 2026, which has now become the default deadline for the long overdue project.

The basilica, a UNESCO world heritage site, is a poster child for architectural roadblocks. First started in 1882, the church has encountered issue after issue, beginning with a design overhaul from Gaudí himself when he altered the plans made by the original architect. Gaudí worked on the building until 1926, when he was killed by a tram.

At the time of Gaudí’s death, the basilica was only a quarter of the way finished. Today it’s near 70 percent complete. Builders have approximate seven years to get the rest of the way there, and bring a fantastical work of art fully to life.