How Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia Will Look Like When It’s Finished [Video]

Antoni Gaudi’s masterpiece to be completed in 2026, nearly 150 years after construction began.

One of the most majestic religious edifices in the world is finally set to lose its scaffolding and lock up its cranes. After about 150 years of restoration, Barcelona’s emblematic Sagrada Familia church finally has a completion date — 2026 or 2028.

The construction of Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família started in 1882, with Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí taking the reins in 1883.

The building is taking many years to complete, and when queried on the extremely long construction period, Gaudí is said to have remarked: “My client is not in a hurry.”

The building was at one stage popularly known as “the cathedral of the poor” and Gaudi himself was known to go begging for contributions – which currently amount to around €500,000 (£440,000) a year, says the Guardian.

After Gaudí’s death in 1926, the basilica was between 15 and 25 percent complete. Later the work continued under the direction of Domènec Sugrañes i Gras until interrupted by the Spanish Civil War in 1936.

From 1940, architects Francesc Quintana, Isidre Puig Boada, Lluís Bonet i Gari and Francesc Cardoner have carried on the work, all with Gaudí’s incredible design vision in mind.

Since then 65 per cent of the work has been completed and now, with new masonry techniques speeding up the work, builders say the Almighty will only have to wait another 13 years to see its final spires and main façade.

Describing Sagrada Família, art critic Rainer Zerbst said “it is probably impossible to find a church building anything like it in the entire history of art” and Paul Goldberger called it “the most extraordinary personal interpretation of Gothic architecture since the Middle Ages.”

The basilica, which was consecrated by Pope Benedict XVI in November 2010, attracts some three million tourists a year. Their entrance fees pay for most of the €25 million a year cost of the continuing construction, with additional gifts from private donors.

Joan Rigol, president of the committee charged with finishing the building by Antoni Gaudí, said it should be finished in time for the centenary for the architect’s death – or, if not, two years later.

“If we continue at the pace we are now we will make it,” said Jordi Fauli, the architect currently in charge of the project, as the foundation funding the building released a video imagining how the finished building will look.

“The damage is worse than we had thought,” said the building’s chief architect, Jordi Bonet. Authorities are now considering installing metal detectors at the entrance.

“Our new objective is to complete the six central towers, of which five have already been started,” said Rigol.

The video takes just 90 seconds to take you through the final stages of the construction ending with a beautiful and fully-completed cathedral. The gorgeous time-lapse reveals, how Barcelona’s skyscape will change once the Sagrada Familia’s final steeples and towers are put in place. The Sagrada Familia’s central tower, when completed, will stand 566 feet above the ground, making it the tallest church in the world.

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