Barcelona's Sagrada Familia finally receives building permit after 137 years
Planning permission was never secured for the iconic church.
Despite the fact that it's one of the most iconic tourist destinations in Europe, Barcelona's spectacular unfinished church, the Sagrada Familia, has only received a building permit.
In 2016, Spanish authorities realised that planning permission was never secured for the still under-construction basilica, meaning it had been operating illegally for over a century.
In a statement that was posted online, the website for the Sagrada Familia said that Barcelona City Council has finally given the legal go-ahead to finish construction.
Designed by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi, construction of the Sagrada Familia started 137 years ago and Gaudi did ask the town hall of Sant Marti, a village now absorbed into Barcelona, for a building permit in 1885.
He never got an answer.
However, the new building permit states that the basilica will finally be finished in 2026, with a maximum height of 172 metres and a budget of €374m.
The basilica is Barcelona's most popular monument and it's visited by more than four million people a year. In 2015, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Sight.
The project is due to be completed in 2026, which is the centenary of Gaudi's death.