Five-ton star hoisted atop Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia | AP 

(29 Nov 2021) LEAD IN:
A giant five-ton star has been hoisted atop the Sagrada Familia’s new tower of the Virgin Mary, another stage in the long completion of what has been dubbed the “world’s oldest building site”.

The giant, 12-pointed star was lifted atop the new tower of the iconic Sagrada Familia basilica early on Monday (29 November) morning.
At a height of 138 metres (452 feet), the new tower of the Virgin Mary – the first to be completed since 1976 – is now the tallest of the complex, designed by visionary Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi.
The glass and steel structure – known as Bethlehem’s Star – has 12 points and will change the city’s skyline both day and night.
The official inauguration is set for December 8, when it will be illuminated for the first time alongside the new tower’s 800 windows.
Once lit in shades of white and blue, the tower will symbolize the cloak of the Virgin Mary.
“It’s very moving to see the new tower being finished, the highest tower until now,” says publicist Carlos Buffa.
“As a Catalan, Barcelonian, art historian and also tourist guide, I am out of words,” says art historian Ana Pou.
“We’ve reached the top, like when we’ve reached Mount Everest, it is a similar sensation.”
Gaudi designed the basilica as a “Bible made of stone”, with lots of cryptical symbolism reflected in its structures, sculptures, and embellishments.
Construction of the world’s oldest building site was set to be finished by 2026, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced its consortium to change plans, a new completion date is yet to be set.
Nevertheless, the basilica has entered its final phase and will soon begin raising five immense towers that will make it Europe’s tallest religious building, surpassing Germany’s Ulm Minster. St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome will still have the tallest interior.
The “Tower of Jesus Christ” will be crowned by a cross and tightly surrounded by four other towers dedicated to the four evangelists.
A mere 15 years ago, there was no roof on the inner part of the church, as it stood between two facades with eight bell towers, one side looking like a sandcastle, the other a work of art inspired by cubist painting.
Gaudi won the patronage of some of Barcelona’s wealthiest industrialist and upper-crust families, who commissioned him to build homes and other daring buildings and parks that have helped make Barcelona a leading tourist destination.
A fervent Catholic, Gaudi largely dedicated his life to the project, incorporating both Christian symbolism and organic forms into a unique aesthetic.
Gaudi, who died in 1926 after being struck by a tram, never expected the cathedral to be completed in his lifetime, just one facade was finished when he died.

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7 Responses to Five-ton star hoisted atop Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia | AP 

  1. That’s really something I would like to see, Barcelona and all the Gaudi buildings.

    Liked by 1 person

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