When Did Construction Begin On The Sagrada Familia

History and Context

The Sagrada Família is one of the most iconic and remarkable buildings in the world. The famous Barcelona landmark began construction in 1882, and is still not complete to this day. The original plan for the basilica was designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí who took over the project in 1883 and led it until his death in 1926. Gaudí, inspired by his spiritual and Catholic faith, decided to pursue a more elaborate design for the basilica. After more than 139 years of construction, the basilica remains incomplete. Work is still in progress and is expected to be completed by 2026 – the centenary of Gaudí’s death. Gaudi’s plans were lost after the Spanish Civil war, and a new team of architects and designers had to start from scratch to replicate his original designs as accurately as possible.

Construction Phases

Over the years, the Sagrada Família has undergone numerous construction and renovation phases. The original plan was to be completed in the early 20th century, but due to a number of unforeseen circumstances, the project was delayed. The first construction phase started in 1882 and was focused on the main building, with the aim of completing the basilica by 1894. This phase was abandoned in 1910, after the builder, Francisco de Paredes, died. Controversy and lack of funding during the Spanish Civil War also caused delays. In 1941, the project was resumed when the construction of the Nativity Facade began. The second phase lasted until 1978, when the Glory Facade was completed.

Recent Developments

Since then, the basilica has undergone two major renovations in 1988 and 2011, when the Passion Façade was finished. In 2018, the Sagrada Família topped the list of the most visited tourist attractions in Barcelona, with over four million visitors. Currently, the basilica is one of the best examples of Catalan architecture, and its popularity continues to grow among international visitors. The construction team is continuously working to complete the building, and the latest estimated completion date is 2026.


The complex construction of the Sagrada Família has posed numerous challenges over the years. For example, the original blueprints designed by Gaudí were lost during the Spanish Civil War, and the new construction team had to start from scratch to replicate his original designs. Additionally, the architects and designers had to use new techniques and materials to ensure the building’s stability over time. Lastly, the team faces the difficult challenge of achieving Gaudi’s original vision without compromising on safety and stability.

Social Impact

The Sagrada Família has become an iconic image of the Catalan capital, and its local importance exceeds its mere touristic value. For example, the basilica has become a symbol of hope, resilience, and faith for the people of Barcelona. It is a reminder of the city’s long history, but also of its capacity to look to the future with optimism. The basilica is also a major source of employment for locals, and its construction has spurred economic growth in the area.

The Role of Technology

The modern-day construction of the Sagrada Família has been deeply affected by advancements in technology. The use of CAD (Computer-Aided Design) and 3D rendering has allowed the construction team to visualize Gaudi’s original plans in more detail, and to make adjustments accordingly as the building progresses. Additionally, robotics and automation are also used in the construction process, which has helped speed up the process.

Funding and Supporters

The construction of the Sagrada Família is primarily funded thanks to the donations of private citizens, companies and institutions. Since its inception, the project has received considerable international and local support, including from the World Heritage City of Barcelona (WECB) and UNESCO. The latter has launched several fundraising campaigns over the past few years, to help pay for the basilica’s completion.

The Future of the Sagrada Familia

The final phase of construction is expected to be completed in 2026 – the centenary of Gaudí’s death. Upon completion, the Sagrada Família is expected to become the world’s largest place of worship. The basilica is expected to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and will remain an iconic symbol of Barcelona for generations to come.

Sustainability Efforts

In recent years, the team behind the Sagrada Família has also made efforts to ensure the building’s sustainability. For example, the original design incorporates nature-inspired elements, such as the use of natural light, and the use of trees to reduce the carbon footprint of the building. Additionally, the use of modern materials such as steel and aluminum helps reduce the use of wood and other resources.


Though the Sagrada Família remains incomplete to this day, it has come a long way since its beginning in 1882. Throughout the years, the basilica has become an iconic landmark in Barcelona, and a symbol of Catalan culture and faith. Despite numerous delays and challenges, the construction team continue to work towards its completion. When completed, the basilica is expected to become one of the world’s most remarkable places of worship. Furthermore, through its sustainability efforts, the basilica will serve as a reminder of the importance of preserving our environment for future generations.

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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