Pope to consecrate Gaudi's Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona


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Pope Benedict XVI is expected to consecrate the Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona this November, Cardinal Lluis Martinez Sistach, archbishop of Barcelona announced yesterday. The Holy Father will also visit the shrine of Santiago de Compostela on his trip.

The Holy Father will travel to Santiago de Compostela on 6 November, for the occasion of the Compostela Holy Year, then move on to Barcelona on 7 November. This will be Benedict XVI's second visit to Spain. His first visit was in July 2006 for the Fifth World Meeting of Families in Valencia. He is expected to return to the country in August 2011 for the celebration of World Youth Day.

The Sagrada Familia, Antoni Gaudí's unfinished masterpiece, is one of Barcelona's most popular tourist attractions. Construction on began in 1886 and is expected to continue at least until 2041, but it has already become Barcelona's most important landmark.

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