Heritage Forum

Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia not without problems

Nov 3, 2016 | News

For one it is a ‘giant Easter cake’, for others it is visionary architecture: Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia, his unfinished cathedral in Barcelona, Spain.




Archdaily reports the project, started 134 years ago, was apparently described as an ‘Easter cake’ and ‘a project without plans in Gaudi’s name’ by the Councilman of Barcelona Architecture, Urban Landscape and Heritage Daniel Mòdol, because it doesn’t have a contemporary construction permit. However, the Sagrada’s construction monitoring committee said that it did receive a permit in 1885, from the City of Sant Martí de Provençals – 12 years before its administrative annexation to Barcelona.


Another issue that has suddenly raised its head is the payment of taxes, as required by the current government. In the past this has never been enforced but the Sagrada Familia Foundation said in a statement it “is willing to pay the taxes for which it is responsible under the law”. However, it is unclear whether the taxes referred to by either party is that related to construction permits or property taxes, or both.




The third contentious question that is under discussion, is whether Gaudi’s plan to build a large plaza to the southeast of the Sagrada will be followed or not. It entails a sixty metre wide walkway to be created (between Mallorca and Arago streets), connecting the cathedral with Calle Diagonal. If this goes ahead, up to 3 000 people, living in the area surrounding cathedral’s ‘Glory Façade’ will lose their homes. The municipality has asked the Foundation to make their plans public within six months.

Related to this, the construction committee has asked to meet with the municipality to discuss the construction of the project’s six final towers – ranging in height from 135m-172,5m. The towers will be produced outside of the city and assembled on site.

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