Architecture

136 years late, La Sagrada Familia finally lands a building permit

136 years late, La Sagrada Fam...
La Sagrada Familia is expected to be completed in 2026
La Sagrada Familia is expected to be completed in 2026
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La Sagrada Familia is expected to be completed in 2026
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La Sagrada Familia is expected to be completed in 2026
Architectural icon Antoni Gaudi spent more than 40 years designing La Sagrada Familia
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Architectural icon Antoni Gaudi spent more than 40 years designing La Sagrada Familia
It is Barcelona’s most visited landmark, but 136 years of unlicensed construction have finally caught up with La Sagrada Familia
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It is Barcelona’s most visited landmark, but 136 years of unlicensed construction have finally caught up with La Sagrada Familia
The cornerstone of La Sagrada Familia was laid in 1882
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The cornerstone of La Sagrada Familia was laid in 1882

It is Barcelona's most visited landmark, but after 136 years of unlicensed construction the law has finally caught up with La Sagrada Familia. The church's trustees have now reached an agreement with the city of Barcelona that involves €36 million (US$41 million) in payments, with the church's first official building permit coming back the other way.

Architectural icon Antoni Gaudi spent more than 40 years designing La Sagrada Familia, and the cornerstone of the temple was laid in 1882. Now, 136 years later, there is still around 30 percent of the basilica's construction to be completed.

But that hasn't stopped some 20 million visitors swinging by Gaudi's masterpiece every year, 4.5 million of whom actually enter the temple. This, along with other tourist attractions around Barcelona, has placed a massive strain on the city's infrastructure, so the council is planning some upgrades.

Architectural icon Antoni Gaudi spent more than 40 years designing La Sagrada Familia
Architectural icon Antoni Gaudi spent more than 40 years designing La Sagrada Familia

The agreement will see a range of investments designed to accommodate the growing hordes of tourists, which have actually been met with some prickly resistance from locals.

Twenty-two-million euros (US$25m) will go towards new public transport services, while €7m (US$8m) will go towards improving access between the church and the metro, including the possibility of a direct terminal. Meanwhile, €4m (US$4.5 m) will be invested in redeveloping the streets of the Sardenya, Provença, La Marina and Mallorca, while €3m (US$3.4m) will go towards maintaining and cleaning the city, along with employment of security and civic agents.

In return, the board finally gains the official permit needed to construct the church, which it hopes to be complete in 2026, the centenary of Gaudi's death. The agreement also states that the current visitor limit cannot be increased until then.

Source: City of Barcelona

4 comments
Wolf0579
Speaking as a life-long atheist, I'd have "thrown the book at them"! ;-)
EH
Shouldn't the money be going the other way? Sagrada Familia brings in millions of tourists spending at least hundreds of millions of dollars per year in Barcelona that they otherwise wouldn't, paying tens of millions per year in taxes, even without looking at the follow-on economic activity and taxes from having that extra money circulating in the area, nor Gaudi's other big tourist attractions there such as Guell Park. What city in the world hasn't financed big building projects to drive tourism over the past century, and could any ever be said to have been as profitable for a city over the long term as Sagrada Familia? The whole thing is just ugly extortion by a notoriously socialist local government that hates such accomplishments of the individual and the civilization as Sagrada Familia, envies them, thinks themselves entitled to a cut just for existing and having the power to impede. Sagrada Familia has been under construction with a fixed and publicly disclosed plan since well before Barcelona's building permit regulations, I believe, and the power of the city to deny permits at this stage is based not on law but solely illegitimate exercise of power.
Graeme S
Sad ... the document that gives credence to the building states why the building exists. Isaiah 56:6 And as for those from a strange country, who are joined to the Lord, to give worship to him and honour to his name, to be his servants, even everyone who keeps the Sabbath holy, and keeps his agreement with me: 7 I will make them come to my holy mountain, and will give them joy in my house of prayer; I will take pleasure in the burned offerings which they make on my altar: for my house will be named a house of prayer for all peoples. And today we have the same problem as Jesus confronted in His day. Math 23:11 And the people said, This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee. 12 And Jesus went into the Temple and sent out all who were trading there, overturning the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those trading in doves. 13 And he said to them, It is in the Writings, My house is to be named a house of prayer, but you are making it a hole of thieves. And again in Mark 11:15 And they came to Jerusalem; and he went into the Temple, and sent out those who were trading there, overturning the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who were offering doves for money; 16 And he would not let any man take a vessel through the Temple. 17 And he gave them teaching, and said to them, Is it not in the Writings, My house is to be named a house of prayer for all the nations? but you have made it a hole of thieves. And again in Luke:19:45 And he went into the Temple and put out those who were trading there, 46 Saying to them, It has been said, My house is to be a house of prayer, but you have made it a hole of thieves. A church is all about mankind interacting with God and His Son Jesus Christ, when that it lost is just a tourist attraction
ljaques
This is a strange turn of events. Did Barcelona put any money into that building? Did they tax it? Did they benefit from the massive influx of tourism as a result of CGC (crazy Gaudy's contraptions)? Anyway, it's about time churches started paying their way. Generations ago, churches put a whole lot back into the community in the way of charity. Few do today, and many of those take in gov't funding for doing so. I'm for property taxes on church property, but I'm also for much smaller government. And I am absolutely against cities spending billions of taxpayer money on sports arenas and other CRAP. The NFL and other idiotic groups should be putting out bonds for their fundraising (I mean, their billionaire owners can't afford these things, can they?), not hitting up cities for the dough. Self-fund or don't build. Government has gotten way out of hand, and it's time to pare it back down to the proper size. Our tax burdens are way too high for way too much crap.