Building a Basilica: Notes from our President

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Well crafted travel

How long does it take to build a basilica?

On a recent trip to Barcelona, I learned that the Sagrada Familia Basilica is scheduled for completion in 2026, 144 years after construction began and 100 years after the death of its visionary architect, Antonio Gaudi.

There is something about his joyous celebration of faith rooted in the natural world that inspires awe, even among the cynical.

The interior space is a tribute to the beauty and function of natural forms. Artisans from around the world have spent their entire careers creating this work of great beauty while also embracing its need to serve a function as a place of worship.

Well crafted travel

There is artistry and vision in how we design, build, and maintain our Untours too. Our work is shaped by our clients’ needs and desires, but also by our subtle understanding of the cultures and places themselves.

Our week-long Untours may seem anachronistic in a fast-paced world, but just as a basilica takes time and expertise to emerge, so too are travel experiences created from time, experience, and attention to detail.

Thank you for trusting us to craft your dreams.


  1. A number of the Renaissance cathedrals were being completed during the Industrial Revolution. Two to three centuries was not uncommon. Il Duomo di Milano took 500 years to complete.

  2. On my first visit to Barcelona (2003), the Sagrada Familia had a mud floor and no roof and the projected finish was hoped to be 2044. My second visit (2004), there were boards at the floor. In 2013 there was a real floor and a partial roof. 2018 complete roof and it had been consecrated by Pope Benedict. Pretty remarkable progress in 16 years! My next planned visit is for March 2020. What will have changed? And now the completion is projected for 2026. Maybe I can return for a sixth visit. I’ll be 84 but if my legs will allow it, I will return. May there be an Untour apartment within walking distance.

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