After 137 Years, La Sagrada Familia’s Construction Is Finally Legal

Jun 11, 2019

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After 137 years of construction, Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia received a building permit on Friday. The basilica first applied for a building permit in 1885 and has been waiting for approval by the City Council of Sant Martí de Provençals, which in the meantime has become a Barcelona neighborhood. The permit approves architect Antoni Gaudí’s original blueprints. The license is valid through 2026, the expected completion date — the Catholic cathedral is famously unfinished.

According to a tweet by Barcelona’s deputy mayor Janet Sanz, the permit comes after “130 (years) of unlicensed work.”

The basilica’s construction committee will pay the city of Barcelona 4.6 million euros (about $5.2 million) for the license. La Sagrada Familia receives around 4.5 million visitors a year, so the money will help cover the basilica’s preservation as well as a new metro stop to take visitors directly to the site.

The permit allows a maximum height of 172 meters (564 feet), which would make it the tallest building in Barcelona, and a budget of 374 million euros, according to Agence France-Presse.

Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí is also known for creating Casa Milá, Park Güell, Casa Batlló and Church of Colonia Güell among others. Gaudí dedicated himself to working solely on the basilica in 1914 until his death in 1926. The Sagrada Familia was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.

Featured image by JTB Photo/UIG via Getty Images

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