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Barcelona's Sagrada Familia church expected to be completed in 2026

Barcelona's famous basilica, the Sagrada Familia, is set to be completed in 2026 after more than a century of construction, according to an annual report released last week. 

The report said that the church is in the "final stage of construction," which began last year with the completion of its towers of the Evangelists. It added that the work is underway for the Chapel of the Assumption and tower of Jesus Christ. 

"The Chapel of the Assumption is expected to be finished in 2025 and the tower of Jesus Christ, in 2026," the report said. 

The report noted that the Sagrada Familia had 4,707,367 visitors in 2023, and income of over $137 million. Fifty-two percent of the funds went toward construction. 

The basilica took shape from the vision of Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, who took over building plans in 1883 after construction began the year prior. He was a devout Catholic and believed the church's construction was his way to make amends with God for the sins of the modern world, "60 Minutes" reported

His work on the Sagrada Familia's Nativity façade and crypt have been recognized as UNESCO sites.

Tourism In Barcelona
A tourist takes a photo next to the Sagrada Familia, March 15, 2024, in Barcelona. David Zorrakino/Europa Press via Getty Images

Gijs van Hensbergen, who wrote a biography on Gaudí, told "60 Minutes" in 2013 that he wanted to "write the history of the whole of the Catholic faith in one building." In particular, he pointed to the church's ceiling as "a striking display of Gaudí's engineering genius."

"He wanted the interior of his church to have the feel of a forest because that's where he believed man could feel closest to God," van Hensbergen told "60 Minutes." "And when you look upwards, you can see Gaudí's columns branching out like trees."

Sagrada Familia Hosts A Mass For Peace
The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem and Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa and the Cardinal Archbishop of Barcelona, Juan Jose Omella, concelebrate a Mass for peace at the Sagrada Familia on February 18, 2024, in Barcelona.  Lorena Sopena/Europa Press via Getty Images

Gaudí died in 1926. Since then, multiple architects and site managers have worked to finish the basilica in time for the 100th anniversary of Gaudí's death. 

It is currently the largest unfinished Catholic church in the world. When it's completed, it's set to be the tallest church in the world, beating out the Ulm Minster in Germany. 

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