Barcelona's Sagrada Familia nears completion as towers are crowned

More than 140 years since work began on Barcelona's famous Sagrada Familia (The Holy Family) the city is celebrating a milestone: the completion of four of its towers.

Designed by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi, who is buried in the church's crypt, the world-renowned piece of architecture is famously unfinished.

The towers each represent one of the four evangelists, Matthew, John, Mark and Luke - the reputed writers of the gospels that told the story of Jesus's life.

They will surround the central and tallest tower dedicated to Christ - which is the next and final tower to be worked on.

In the past week, sculptural pieces symbolising Matthew (a man) and John (an eagle) were set in place - joining Mark (a lion) and Luke (an ox).

A celebratory mass is due to be held next month to celebrate the milestone of completing the four towers.

The church's first stone was laid in 1882, which means it has been under construction for 141 years.

The vast monument and UNESCO World Heritage site draws millions of visitors each year.

Gaudi, who died in 1926, dedicated much of his professional life to Sagrada Familia.

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His unfinished work has become a symbol of Barcelona around the world.

Ongoing construction work is based on the architect's plaster models, and photos and publications of his original drawings, which were destroyed in a 1930s fire, according to the La Sagrada Familia Foundation.

It is expected to be completed in 2026 - the 100th anniversary of Gaudi's death.