Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia begins work on immense towers

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona’s breathtaking La Sagrada Familia Basilica, designed by visionary architect Antoni Gaudi, has begun its final phase of raising six immense towers that officials say will make it Europe’s tallest religious building.

Presenting the project Thursday, chief architect Jordi Fauli said the central “Tower of Jesus Christ,” the tallest of the six, will rise 172.5 meters (566 feet) high, making it “the tallest religious building in Europe.”

The towers and most of the church’s structure should be completed in 2026 for the 100th anniversary of Gaudi’s death.

The Sagrada Familia, an emblematic fixture of the Barcelona skyline and a major tourist site, had its first stone laid in 1882. It is 70 percent complete.

It received over 3.2 million visits in 2014.

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