It has been a construction site for a good 140 years, and now two important sections of Barcelona’s landmark have been ceremoniously inaugurated. Two new towers at the Sagrada Familia were illuminated for the first time on Sunday evening. Archbishop Juan José Omella had previously consecrated the two 135-meter-high towers, whose construction was completed in September. The tops of all four evangelist towers then glowed impressively in the dark for the first time.
The Sagrada Familia Basilica in Barcelona, which has still not been completed after almost a century and a half, attracted almost 3.8 million visitors in 2022. That is around three times more than in 2021. This means that revenue of a good 100 million euros was achieved, it was said. That was about the same as before the corona pandemic, although the number of visitors in 2022 was still around 20 percent lower than in 2019. The money will be used to advance construction work.
No completion until 2026
What is certain, however, is that due to the pandemic, the construction of the Roman Catholic basilica designed by Antoni Gaudí cannot be completed as originally planned on the 100th anniversary of the architect’s death in 2026. The church, whose construction began in 1882 and which was closed for a long time during the pandemic, will live up to its reputation as “eternally unfinished” for a few more years.
- Also read: Where God lives and the machines calculate – A report from Catalonia
Financing with entrance fees
The money to complete the construction comes exclusively from donations and entrance fees. Because of Corona, for example, we only had a budget of 17 million euros in 2021. According to estimates by the construction company, the life’s work of the legendary Gaudí (1852-1926) will require a total of around 400 million euros to complete.
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