How Much Has The Sagrada Familia Cost To Build


The Sagrada Família has long been a symbol of not only Barcelona, but of Spain as a whole. This iconic Catholic Church has been under construction since 1882 and is still not finished. During its 138-year lifespan, the Sagrada Família has seen many architectural, artistic and financial changes, as well as waves of public opinion and speculation regarding its cost to build. In this article, we will explore both how much the Sagrada Família has cost to build so far, and what is left to be built before its completion.

Funding the Project

The Sagrada Família has cost a tremendous amount of money to build, with estimated costs ranging anywhere from $230 million to over $2 billion USD. Construction began in 1882, and the project’s main financier has been private donations. From 2003 to 2018, much of the funding for the project came from the Sagrada Família Foundation, a public-private association established by the Barcelona City Council, the Catalan government and the Spanish government. In recent years, the Spanish government has also provided financial support.

Initial Construction Costs

To cover the costs of the initial construction phase of the project, the original architect, Antoni Gaudí, obtained private and public donor support. During this period, the total cost is estimated to have been in the range of 25,000 – 35,000 pesetas (the currency of Spain prior to the Euro).

Costs Since the 1980s

In the 1980s and early 1990s, the Sagrada Família Foundation provided funding for the project. During this time, the project was estimated to have cost around $124 million USD. In 2002, the Spanish government sought to launch a new funding campaign for the project and obtained another $50 million USD in private and public donations.

Costs Since the 2000s

Since 2002, the cost to build the Sagrada Família has skyrocketed. As of 2015, the total estimated cost of the project was $720 million USD. This includes the cost of building its iconic spires, as well as other necessary structural renovations and updates. In 2018, the cost was estimated to be around $1.2 billion USD, and steadily rising.

Effects of the Coronavirus

In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused the total cost of the Sagrada Família to surge. Since the virtual shutdown of travel and tourism, the project’s main source of income, private donations, has been drastically reduced. This has added an additional estimated €100 million to the final cost of the project.

Environmental Impact

The construction of the Sagrada Família has resulted in an enormous environmental impact. Although the project has employed renewable technologies such as solar thermal energy, some experts have estimated that the construction of the church has generated more than 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

Architectural Changes

The Sagrada Família has undergone numerous architectural changes since its inception. Originally, the plans for the church called for seven spires, but not all of them have since been built. The architect, Gaudí, introduced multiple changes to the design as the project progressed. These changes included the addition of a new spire, the incorporation of a central tower, and the construction of a public square. In addition, the project also underwent significant technological innovations, including the use of 3D modelling in order to plan and construct the building.

Artistic Elements

The Sagrada Família is renowned for its intricate and elaborate design. Over the many years of its construction, its interior and exterior have been embellished with detailed sculptures and artworks, as well as striking stained glass windows donated by individuals. These elements have come together to create a sprawling, awe-inspiring structure, full of symbolism, beauty and meaning.

Final Construction Costs

The final costs for the construction of the Sagrada Família are estimated to be between $1.6 – 2 billion USD. This includes the costs of the spires, renovations and updates, as well as the cost of the technological innovations and artistic elements. The exact cost of the project will not be known until its completion, which is estimated to be around 2026.

Projected Revenue

When completed, the Sagrada Família is expected to generate significant revenue. It is estimated that the church will receive around 4 million visitors per year and generate approximately $7 million USD in annual revenue. This revenue will be used to pay for the restoration and preservation of the building, as well as to fund maintenance, security and other costs associated with the upkeep of the church.


The construction of the Sagrada Família has met with its fair share of criticisms. Some have pointed out that the project’s immense financial costs have come at the expense of smaller church projects in Barcelona. Others have argued that these costs are unjustified, as many of the design changes over the years have been driven more by Gaudí’s artistic vision than by any greater religious or spiritual intent.


Regardless of the criticisms, the construction of the Sagrada Família is likely to leave behind a lasting legacy. Ever since construction began, the church has inspired generations of architects and artists to pursue their own creative visions. With completion on the horizon, the Sagrada Família stands as a testament to the strength and resilience of the human spirit and the power of the creative impulse.

Herman Shaw is a passionate traveler and avid photographer who has seen many of the world's most awe-inspiring monuments. He has developed expertise in various aspects of world architecture and culture which he enjoys sharing with his readers. With deep historical knowledge and insight, Herman's writing brings life to these remarkable artifacts and highlights their importance in the grand scheme of human history.

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