Is The Sagrada Familia Completed

The masterpiece of Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and the tallest church in Barcelona, the unfinished Sagrada Família, has been an ongoing construction project since the mid 1800s. Looming over the city, the highly ornate and iconic Roman Catholic basilica has become a recognizable icon amongst travelers and tourists alike. Although Gaudi took over the project in 1883, the scale of the building was significantly expanded upon, extending the estimated completion date. Despite 128 years of construction, the Sagrada Familia is still unfinished.

One of the growing debates around this site is whether it is nearing completionand why it takes so long to finish. It is known that not all workers may be skilled, assigned tasks can be confusing, lack of supplies and/or resources, and regulations may hinder the pace of finishing the construction. Josep María, a project biologist at Sagrada Familia, notes that “it is very difficult to explain why such a large construction should take a long time; for example, the technology to build them is a hundred years old and the resources to put it at the level of cathedral that Gaudí envisioned are very limited.”

Despite the complex and slow nature of the building process, there have been significant advancements made since Gaudi first started the ambitious project. The church has been sponsored by numerous organizations and individuals, helping accelerate the final completion of the project, as well as recieving help from volunteers and donations. The Barcelona City Council is supporting the completion of the Sagrada Familia, making it possible for them to work in rotation on different parts of the building; this style of construction has helped to move the project forward more quickly than before. Though these advancements have been promising, they are still not enough to bring the project forward quickly enough that it may be considered complete anytime soon.

Although the Sagrada Familia has been ongoing for 128 years, there are still difficulties that arise as the project reaches it’s end stages. New criteria must be met before the opening date can be announced. In some cases, it may be too dangerous to continue construction, or renovations may be necessary before it is open to the public. Even the Vatican bielieves that the building will not be finished until at least 2026, and it does not appear to be a priority for officials. Despite the slow-paced construction, the Sagrada Familia’s unique and intricate design ensures that it has become a symbol of Catalan culture and a beloved landmark for visitors to the city of Barcelona.

Funding and Costs

One of the greatest factors behind why the Sagrada Familia has taken so long to build is its funding. Any money that is paid by visitors to take tours is put back into the building itself, but certain sections still require additional funds. This is mainly due to the high cost of its surfaces and artistic features, together with their maintenance and renewal. The basilica opened its doors to the public in 2012, allowing the entry of 7 million tourists and pilgrims annually. Businesses are also an important source of income for the landmark, providng shops and offices with leasing contracts.

Despite its current state, the Sagrada Familia has actually progressed dramatically in the last few decades. In addition to money generated by its business activities, the church is also privy to additional capital from private banks, foundations, and other organizations. In 2018, the Sagrada Familia received grants from the Barcelona City Council and the Spanish Ministry of Culture totaling more than €18 million. However, aside from governmental funding, there are still financial limitations that the Sagrada Familia must work around in order to complete the project.

Time Vs Quality

The trade-off between investing in time and money often needs to be taken into consideration. Allocating more resources to complete a project faster will certainly help in completing it quicker. Conversely, allotting time to do it properly and ensure long-term quality can take more time to complete. With the Sagrada Familia, the contractors are in a difficult situation because of this; the cost of a full restoration or an added section could easily exceed the current budget. At the same time, a full restoration is necessary in order to extend the lifetime of the structure and ensure the monuments’ durability.

In order to ensure the quality of the once complete monument, workers that are part of the Sagrada Familia team need to be educated and experienced in order to work with the specific type of materials being used; this applies to stone workers, plasterers, and mosaic workers alike. The materials used are generally not inexpensive, as they are rare and must be imported by certain companies. Therefore, as the basilic still needs resources in order to be fully completed, these materials can take large shares of the budget while also decreasing its overall procurement time.

Safety and Preservation

The safety of those working on the site and the preservation of the Sagrada Familia itself are two of the most important considerations for the contractors. Several of the basilica’s towers exceeded the maximum height for safety measures for the workers, leading to safety inspections and further regulations being implemented in order to keep the construction crew safe. The changing permits and regulations also lead to long delays in the entire project, as updated tests and modifications need to be carried out. These must be done in order to ensure the long-term stability of the structure and its workers.

The inspections and modifications help to preserve the integrity and the appearance of the Sagrada Familia for current and future generations of visitors. For example, the bell towers, which are symbolic and represent Jesus Christ, must be maintained accordingly with the same original plans that were laid out by Gaudi in 1883. Even though the project is more than a century old, the current and future generations must remember that it was designed with modern architectural and structural concepts and as such needs to be treated as such.

Barcelona’s Longstanding Legacy

With the latest estimates reaching 2026, The Sagrada Familia may be completed by 2026, the centenial anniversary of Gaudí’s passing. For now, the specific goals of the project remain unclear, but the incredible sight of the unfinished Sagrada Familia will certainly remain in the heart of Barcelona for many generations to come. Symbolizing the city’s history and its very culture, it will be remembered as an iconic landmark long after it’s completion.

The building stands today a representation of Barcelona’s steadfast and culturally-influenced history, the unique and esoteric architecture of Antoni Gaudí, and the masterful skill of the artisans and engineers who pour their time and effort to ensure the spectacular monument that is the Sagrada Familia remains an enduring representation of the city.

Gaudí’s Original Vision

Antoni Gaudí, being the original architect and driving force behind the Sagrada Familia was ahead of his time; he thought of the project as the culmination of the work of generations. Gaudí knew that the construction of a colossal monumental basilica of this scale would require more than his lifetime, and while his vision was not to fully complete the building, it’s was to leave it unfinished, as a lasting legacy

Gaudí’s thought behind this was that the Sagrada Familia should be left unfinished, like a sketch awaiting the hand of a painter. He intended for future generations to contribute to the monument’s completion, thus foreshadowing the current state of the monument. His idea of this shared vision allowed for future contributors to add their own flavor and styles, making the Sagrada Familia a lasting tribute to the influencers’ way of life.

In a way, Gaudí foresaw that the progress of civilization would eventually make the Sagrada Familia so complex and exquisite, that it would only be appreciated in its completeness in the future. After a century of construction, the Sagrada Familia still remains incomplete, yet undeniably beautiful, both structurally and symbolically.

Reopned Doors

In 2013, the Sagrada Familia finally reopened to the public after decades of renovation and construction work. This allows for new visitors and people to pass underneath the great glass doorways and experience the Barcelona’s icon in all its space and form. After coming from a long standing closure due to the pandemic, Barcelona has allowed Sagrada Familia to reopen its interior and exterior spaces, while still limiting the number of visitors to maintain the health and safety of all workers and patrons alike.

Growing in size over the course of its 128 year construction, the Dagrada Familia has withstood the test of time, while incorporating more of Gaudi’s legacy in its architecture and design. With its completion date being estimated at 2026, the monumental basilica is slowly coming closer to its completion day.

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.

Leave a Comment