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Sagrada Família finally gets building permit 134 years since applying

Licence will cost Antoni Gaudí's landmark church €4.6m, making it the most expensive in Barcelona's modern history

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07 June 2019 07:12 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

It's taken over 130 years since work first began on it, but Barcelona's iconic church designed by Antoni Gaudí, the Sagrada Família, has finally been given a building permit.

However, the licence will cost the church's Construction Board, which supervises the ongoing work on the major landmark, quite a pretty penny.

The permit costs 4.6 million euros, but the board will have to fork out another 36 million euros over the next 10 years on improvements to the Sagrada Família's surroundings.

Yet, it could have been worse, as the licence actually costs 12 million euros, but the church enjoys a 65% discount because it is a public, not-for-profit building.

Barcelona's head of urbanism, Janet Sanz, welcomed the end to the "historic anomaly," but insisted that the church will still have to cough up "like everyone, without any privileges."

Original application made in 1885

Red tape is infamous for taking a long time, but in the case of Gaudí's weird and wonderful construction the initial application for a permit was made back in 1885.

Yet, it means the church has broken a record, as it is the most expensive permit in the city's modern history, beating the 1.9 million for the refurbishment of the Sant Pau hospital.

The licence is thanks to a deal the Construction Board made with the City Council in October, when it agreed to pay 36 million euros to fund the costs generated by its activities.

The major attraction is funded entirely through donations, with the current total estimated building costs standing at €374 million, with the work due to be completed in 2026.

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  • Interior view of the construction works of the towers of the Sagrada Familia. (Photo: Jofre Figueras)

  • Interior view of the construction works of the towers of the Sagrada Familia. (Photo: Jofre Figueras)

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