Arts & Entertainment

Recently completed towers of Spain’s Sagrada Familia illuminated for 1st time

Barcelona, Dec 16 (EFE).- The pinnacles of the Sagrada Familia basilica’s Luke and Mark towers were lit up for the first time here Friday night to mark their recent completion, a commemoration event that occurred after that long-unfinished Spanish church’s traditional Christmas concert.

Most notably, the illuminated winged sculptures of an ox and a lion (the figures of the tetramorph that represent Luke and Mark, respectively) with corresponding Gospel book featuring the Evangelists’ abbreviations were clearly visible to spectators looking up from the ground.

Those same two towers will now be lit up every evening from Dec. 17 to Jan. 8 between 6 pm and 10 pm, as will the sculpture groups of the Nativity, the Adoration of the Shepherds and the Adoration of the Magi on the Sagrada Familia’s Nativity Facade, which is dedicated to the early life of Jesus.

With the church’s Luke and Mark towers having been finished late last month and the tower of the Virgin Mary inaugurated in December 2021, three of the Sagrada Familia’s six central towers have now been completed.

“The Sagrada Familia is currently focusing its efforts on finalizing the core of the central towers,” said Esteve Camps, the executive chairman of the Junta Constructora del Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família Foundation.

“We expect to have finished the Matthew and John towers by the end of 2023, which would enable us to inaugurate the entire group of the Evangelists,” he added.

Those four towers, which will all stand at a height of 135 meters (442 feet) once finished and have winged sculptures with corresponding Gospel book, will surround the tower of Jesus Christ and its cross and be the church’s third-tallest structures.

All four of those Evangelist sculptures, which in the case of Matthew and John will be of an angel and an eagle, respectively, are made of Thassos marble, a white stone used since ancient times.

The church’s head architect, Jordi Fauli, said the wings are made with one of the shapes from Catalan architect and Sagrada Familia designer Antoni Gaudi’s last ruled geometry: a great hyperboloid with an elliptical cross-section.

Fauli had previously said that the Junta Constructora de la Sagrada Familia has set a goal of finishing the tower of Jesus Christ by 2026, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of Gaudi’s death and the year Barcelona has been selected as UNESCO UIA World Capital of Architecture.

That tower will stand 172.5 meters tall and be the central structure of the church, whose construction began in 1882.

It will be slightly shorter than Montjuic, which rises to 177 meters above sea level and is the highest hill in Barcelona, because Gaudi – a deeply religious Catholic – believed that God’s work (nature) must not be surpassed by the work of human beings. EFE


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