New tower at Sagrada Familia to be started before year's end

The structure is called the Tower of Jesus Christ, with the entire church still set to be completed by 2026

The press conference for what will be the Sagrada Familia tower on September 20 2018 (by Pau Cortina)
The press conference for what will be the Sagrada Familia tower on September 20 2018 (by Pau Cortina) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

September 20, 2018 03:35 PM

Barcelona's most iconic church, the Sagrada Familia, is keeping the year 2026 on the horizon as for its completion. This year saw the end of the Façade of the Passion and ongoing works will focus on the six central towers of the church.

Four of the turrets will depict the arrivals of the evangelists, and the Tower of Virgin Mary is already climbing towards its final 138 meters of height. Meanwhile, the Tower of Jesus Christ will be the highest of the group, topping at 172.5 meters, with a base of 85.

A 50 million euro budget

By the end of the year, the church will have invested 50 million euros (the same budget it holds for next year) on various works. July 2018 saw the culmination of the works for the Façade of the Passion, and the year also saw the completion elements of the upper portico with the placement of the empty tomb scene and more.

The bulk of the work now lies in finishing the six central towers of the church. For months the four towers of the evangelists and that of the Virgin Mary have been climbing skyward, the latter visibly so, as it lacks outer scaffolding.  

Six towers completed by 2022

The four evangelist towers currently sit at a height of 90 meters, and already bear the bridges that will then connect them to the Tower of Jesus Christ. Meanwhile, works on the Tower of the Virgin have reached tier 13 out of 19, and sits at close to 100 meters.

The construction board of the church foresees that the six towers will be completed by 2022, in just town years. This includes the Tower of Jesus Christ, the highest and most imposing of all, which is expected to start rising before the end of the year.

Head architect Jordi Faulí and his team are currently working on the design for the highest tower of them all. Faulí advanced that the vase will depict "12 evangelist scenes, with, above it, an artistic rendering of the firmament or the universe," which however will "take into account current scientific knowledge on [its] formation."

The Façade of Glory

One of the main hurdles in the full completion of the Sagrada Familia is that of the Façade of Glory – just as Antoni Gaudí planned it. This includes a project of expansion and the construction of a staircase which would start at the façade itself and would arrive all the way to Avinguda Diagonal, one of Barcelona's main streets.

For two years, the Board of Construction and the Barcelona City Council have been meeting every fortnight to negotiate a Special Plan to find a compromise between the original project that respects both the blueprints of the iconic church and the urban and neighborhood implications of this kind of operation.