The world-famous Sagrada Familia finally has a building permit - 136 years after construction on the site began. The church agreed to repay $41 million in fees dating back to 1882, which is when building began. City authorities gave the church 10 years to pay the fees. Barcelona's mayor hailed the historic agreement. She said the funds would go to projects that would improve the metro, roads, public services and local neighbourhoods. A resident tweeted: "To improve the environment of this majestic building is to improve the quality of life for citizens and visitors [and] the image of Barcelona."
La Sagrada Familia was designed by the famous architect Antoni Gaudi. He was a modernist artist who also designed many unique and eccentric buildings and parks in Barcelona. The basilica will be finished in 2026 - 100 years after Gaudi's death. It has never had any inspections from local authorities. It was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985. In 2010, the church became a minor basilica. This is different from a cathedral as it is not the seat of a bishop. It is now one of Barcelona's top tourist attractions, attracting an estimated 20 million visitors a year.