Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia church is granted a building licence, 136 years after building began 

The unconventional roof and church's pillars that look like trees

The unconventional roof and church's pillars that look like trees

The unconventional roof and church’s pillars that look like trees

Architect Antoni Gaudi’s unconventional church may be Barcelona’s most visited tourist attraction, but the still under construction building hasn’t had a building licence, until today, church authorities claimed on Twitter.

Construction on the UNESCO World Heritage basilica began way back in 1882 – and the building won’t be finished until 2026 – one hundred years after the revered architect was killed by a tram in the city.

To get its paperwork rubber stamped, the church authorities have agreed to finally pay the Catalonia capital’s government a €36 million (£31 million) fee for a building permit. 

The Catalan land mark is seen on the skyline of Barcelona and has been under construction since 1882

The Catalan land mark is seen on the skyline of Barcelona and has been under construction since 1882

The Catalan land mark is seen on the skyline of Barcelona and has been under construction since 1882

Beloved of tourists, the Sagrada de Familia attracts millions of visitors a year, the fees will help to not only complete the intricate building but upgrade the areas transport

Beloved of tourists, the Sagrada de Familia attracts millions of visitors a year, the fees will help to not only complete the intricate building but upgrade the areas transport

Beloved of tourists, the Sagrada de Familia attracts millions of visitors a year, the fees will help to not only complete the intricate building but upgrade the areas transport

Gaudi was told to get the paper work processed in 1882, but the visionary architect failed to do so – proceeding with construction regardless. 

The money from the church’s permit will reportedly be used to upgrade transport links and beautify the area. 

Gaudi and his works have become symbols of the tourist mecca city in Catalonia, northeast Spain. The Sagrada de Familia on its own attracts 4.5 million tourists a year, according to El Pais

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The unfinished monument is hailed as a master piece of Gothic architecture – by most – and it is perhaps the most unique and enigmatic building in the style ever constructed.

The construction of the church is due for completion in 2026, 100-years after revered architect, Antoni Gaudi was killed by a tram in the city 

The construction of the church is due for completion in 2026, 100-years after revered architect, Antoni Gaudi was killed by a tram in the city 

The construction of the church is due for completion in 2026, 100-years after revered architect, Antoni Gaudi was killed by a tram in the city 

The building was only consecrated as a Catholic church in 2010 – when Pope Benedict presided over a ceremony to allow official worship to occur in the striking building.

The popularity of the site with tourists has helped fund the push to complete the church – and pay for the tardy paper work.

The church’s troubles didn’t end with Gaudi’s untimely death, the construction process was severely hampered by the Spanish civil war which raged in the city and saw the building attacked by anarchists. 

Gaudi's unique architectural style has come to symbolise the Catalan capital

Gaudi's unique architectural style has come to symbolise the Catalan capital

Gaudi’s unique architectural style has come to symbolise the Catalan capital

Famous detractors of the building include one time resident of the city – and civil war combatant, British writer, George Orwell. Who once famously said it was one of the ‘most hideous buildings in the world.’

The writer, whose real name was Eric Blair, lamented that the anarchists hadn’t completely blown up the now wildly popular building.

At 560-feet, the enigmatic Catalan church will be the tallest in the world when it is complete. 

To be continued

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