When Will the Sagrada Familia Be Completed? | Expected Finish Date of Gaudi’s Last Masterpiece
Sagrada Familia is the largest unfinished Roman Catholic church in the world. This iconic building in Barcelona is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Spain. Its construction began in 1882 and has been incomplete for over 140 years. The chief architect Antoni Gaudi dedicated his whole life to this project and still, by the time of his death, less than a quarter of the basilica was complete.
Visiting the breathtaking Sagrada Familia today also means witnessing a giant red crane and the slow progress towards the completion of the project. Sagrada Familia is now expected to be completed in 2026, the centenary of Gaudi's death. Once the spires are completed, Sagrada Familia will go on to be the tallest cathedral in the world.
When Will Sagrada Familia be Completed?
2026: The Centenary of Antoni Gaudi's Death
Theoretically, the construction of the Sagrada Familia should be finished in 2026.
The death of Gaudi was one of the first instances to have halted the progress of the church's construction. Ten years later, when the Spanish Civil War broke out, the construction was halted. The vandals who destroyed the models and plans for the basilica did no favors to the progress.
Over the years, the construction of Sagrada Familia gained momentum but was temporarily halted again in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the basilica was reopened to key workers in July 2020 and now, the completion of Sagrada Familia is advancing at a promising speed.
Five generations have watched the progress of the basilica. It is only poetically fitting that the fruition of this one-of-a-kind spectacle is now expected to be finished in 2026, which marks the centenary of Gaudi's death.
Will There Be Incomplete Parts of Sagrada Familia in 2026?
Barcelona's top attraction, Sagrada Familia, has repeatedly missed the completion date and has become the longest architectural project in the world. Over 140 years of slow progress, the structure has finally gained pace but two aspects may still be unfinished by 2026. The Director General of Sagrada Familia himself sees a realistic picture where it might even be 2030, 2035 or 2040 before the project is entirely finished.
Sculptures and Symbols
Although the current estimated completion date is a few years away, it is still expected that artistic parts of the massive structure would still be under hammers and saws.
Yet another portion that might remain undone by 2026 as it requires demolishing several buildings and relocation of residents to provide access to the main façade, a feat that can only be planned and executed by Barcelona's City Council.How to Enter Sagrada Familia?
Video of the Completed Basilica
Timeline of Sagrada Familia's Construction
- 1882: Construction of Sagrada Familia begins under Francisco de Paula del Villar
- 1884: Antoni Gaudi officially signs on as the chief architect for Sagrada Familia
- 1892: Gaudi begins the construction of the Nativity façade.
- 1917: Antoni Gaudi designs the Passion façade and rejects other contracts to focus on Sagrada Familia
- 1926: Gaudi dies in an accident
- 1936-1939: The Spanish Civil war begins and revolutionary groups burn the crypt and construction models
- 1953: Passion façade gets voted on to be built with Gaudi's museum inculcated in it
- 1980: Use of computer designs in construction begins
- 2005: Sagrada Familia gets listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of "Works of Gaudi"
- 2010: Pope Benedict XVI consecrates the church and proclaims it a minor basilica
- 2020: Construction temporarily halts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Work resumes in June
- 2021: The completion date is officially announced as 2026; the centenary of Antoni Gaudi
Gaudi's Opinion on the Completion of Sagrada Familia
As the chief architect, Gaudi transformed the original plans of Sagrada Familia into an ambitious endeavor with his vision and skills. It is said that Gaudi was not a practicing Catholic but when he took on the project he became intensely dedicated and came to see it as a channel for Christian evangelism.
In Gaudi's opinion, his "client" (read: God) was never in a "hurry". Aware that the structure might not see completion in his lifetime, he extensively drew up models of Sagrada Familia, which when complete, would take up an entire block in the city.
Gaudi was also reluctant about funding the project through private investors. Sagrada Familia has been self-funded right from the start and continues to rely on donations and tourists pouring in from all over the world.Creations of Antoni Gaudi in Barcelona
Why is Sagrada Familia Taking So Long to be Completed?
- Gaudi's Complicated Designs: Gaudi was not mediocre in either his skills or his dreams for Sagrada Familia. He created an architectural design based on curved lines and geometrical shapes found in nature.
- Death of Gaudi: Gaudi's accidental death in 1926 derailed the project. At the time, only a quarter of the cathedral was complete.
- Spanish Civil War: In 1936, during the civil unrest, anarchists broke into the cathedral and stole the plans, and destroyed the church's crypt. Work only resumed after the unrest ended in 1939. The informational remains were pieced together to make Sagrada Familia what it is today.
- Managerial Instability: The plans changed hands many times, with four different architects taking control between 1939-1985.
- Rebuilding Constructed Parts: By 2019, parts completed in the early 20th century had become so old they needed to be refurbished.
- Covid-19: In 2020, when the pandemic hit, the construction was halted and the doors to the basilica were closed. Construction resumed in June with only a limited number of workers.
Why is the Construction Accelerating Now?
Construction on Sagrada Família is not supported by any government or official church sources. Money from tickets purchased by tourists and private donations have been used to fund the construction. Being the most visited monument in Spain, Sagrada Familia sees visitors in millions every year. Although it faced a minor setback during the pandemic and the sharp dip in tourists, the wave is back up again with visitors coming from everywhere.Book Sagrada Familia Tickets
With more than 100 pieces recomposed, five different computer programs and 3D printing have been put to use to speed up the process.
3D printing and Virtual Reality sets have helped visualize the designs and create dimensional simulations. An innovative tensioned stone technique has also greatly accelerated the construction time.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Sagrada Familia Finish Date
A. The construction of Sagrada Familia is expected to be completed in 2026, the centenary of the death of chief architect Antoni Gaudi, who dedicated his life to this project. A good influx of funding, new innovations and technological advancements have sped up the construction process in recent years.
A. The construction of Sagrada Familia began in 1882 under Francisco de Paula del Villar.
A. Sagrada Familia's construction was hampered by the death of Antoni Gaudi. It was then delayed in 1936 during the Spanish Civil War. After that, recently, construction was temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A. The Sagrada Familia is far from being completed. While the plan had been to finish the work on the basilica in 2026, due to unexpected delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, it is expected that the work would take longer. According to Sagrada Familia's director general Xavier Martinez "It could be in 2030, 2035, 2040" before the basilica is completed. .
A. The steeples and most of the church's structure are to be completed by 2026. However, it might take longer to complete some other parts of the basilica; the decorative elements should be complete by 2030 or 2032, or even later.
A. The sculptures and symbols, as well as the main entrance of the Sagrada Familia will remain incomplete and could take a few years before its done.