Sagrada Familiar in Barcelona will be threatened if high-speed train line goes ahead say campaigners

Construction of a high-speed train tunnel could threaten the foundations of Spanish church the Sagrada Familia.

Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia

Spain’s government is set to build an underground train line that will pass within metres of Antoni Gaudi’s unfinished basilica in Barcelona, sparking fears of damage by flooding or vibration.

Architects are still working to complete the basilica, which Gaudi began 125 years ago.

The area is a Unesco World Heritage Site and the railway work “could prove fatal”, according to media reports.

Tunnelling machines will bore a 39ft-wide tunnel through waterlogged earth near the cathedral’s foundations, causing fears vibrations could crack the building or cause tiles to fall.

The 179m Euro (£133m) contract has been awarded to construction firm Sacyr, who will complete a three-year project to provide the final stage of a high-speed rail link between Madrid and Barcelona and eventually to France.

Work could began in March if a challenge lodged with Spain’s high court is unsuccessful.

The Sagrada Familiar is scheduled for completion within 30 years.