Over 100 years later, the largest unfinished Catholic church in the world will finally be complete – The Points Guy

April 02, 2024

2 min read

Over 100 years later, the largest unfinished Catholic church in the world will finally be complete

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After more than 140 years of incomplete construction, Barcelona’s famous Sagrada Familia church is expected to be finished in 2026, per a report released by the church March 20.

The remaining parts of the church, the Chapel of the Assumption and the tower of Jesus Christ, will be finished in 2025 and 2026, respectively, per the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia’s 2023 annual report. The final stage of construction began with the completion of the towers of the evangelists in November 2023 at the largest unfinished Roman Catholic church in the world.

While the church has remained open to visitors during construction, various issues, including funding, permits, conservation efforts and the COVID-19 pandemic, further postponed the cathedral’s completion after its architect who took it over and namesake, Antoni Gaudí, died in 1926. In 2023, the church welcomed more than 4.7 million visitors, up 24.7% from 2022, falling just short of pre-pandemic volumes in 2019, according to the report. A majority of visitors to the basilica are from outside Spain, with the largest number coming from the United States.

The church is entirely privately funded, and more than half of the income of 126.9 million euros ($137 million) was used for construction in 2023, with an additional 26% going to management.

In addition to tourists, the church hosted nearly 52,000 worshippers across 66 international masses in 2023, with nearly 300,000 people visiting the Chapel of the Holy Sacrament at the basilica.

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