Sagrada Família to extend opening hours and welcome visitors on Fridays from June 18
Staff layoffs expected after seven-month partial closure
Barcelona’s Sagrada Família basilica will begin to open its doors to the public on Fridays from 9:00 to 6:00 pm from June 18.
Up until now, visits were only allowed on weekends from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Tickets are available on the 140-year-old temple's official website.
If the pandemic continues to evolve favorably, opening times could be extended further over the coming weeks.
Antoni Gaudí’s unfinished masterpiece has been open to the general public since May 29 after a seven-month hiatus – last autumn, it reopened to essential workers, including health professionals, as well as Barcelona residents.
The Junta Constructora del Temple foundation behind the continued works on the basilica believes tourism will recover progressively from the second half of 2021, still far from the total number of visitors seen in 2019, which is why the board does not expect to achieve the same income and visitors until 2023.
The Sagrada Família was set to be finished by 2026, marking the centenary of its original architect’s death; however, its completion date was delayed by the pandemic. After the first wave of coronavirus infections, construction works were brought to a halt, as they are mainly financed by ticket sales.
Last April, Barcelona’s iconic monument added a 10.8-meter piece to the tower of the Virgin Mary, which now is 127 meters tall. By the end of the year, the basilica will be 138 meters high.
The Sagrada Família closed for several months after the pandemic hit and staff layoffs were announced early in June due to the lack of visitors.
The foundation's board attributed the need for internal restructuring to its critical economic situation, although the number of workers that will be affected by this remains unknown.