5.5-tonne star crowns Sagrada Família's second-tallest tower
Newest addition to Gaudí basilica will illuminate Barcelona skyline on December 8
Barcelona's Sagrada Família basilica, designed by Antoni Gaudí, may not yet have a set completion date 139 years after construction first began, but today it is one step closer to being finished.
On Monday morning, a crane lifted a 5.5-tonne star and placed it atop the Virgin Mary, which at 138 meters will be the cathedral's second-tallest tower once completed.
Made of textured glass and stainless steel, the weatherproof 12-point star is 7.5 meters long and now crowns the ninth tower that has been built of the 18 envisioned by Gaudí.
Although the art nouveau masterpiece was initially supposed to be completed in 2026, a hundred years after Gaudí's death, construction came to a halt at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, delaying these plans.
Gradual lighting of the tower
People all over the world have been invited to symbolically participate in the tower's illumination by sending in their digital flashes of light through the Sagrada Familia and Archdiocese websites.
The base of the tower will be lit up on December 4, from 8 pm to 11 pm CET, while lights will turn on in the shaft at the same time two days later before the star is turned on on December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, following a mass officiated by Cardinal Joan Josep Omella i Omella and the blessing of the tower.
There are no longer any tickets available to attend in person, but the event will be streamed online.
Other celebratory activities with local organizations and neighborhood groups, such as traditional Sardana dances, human towers, and Christmas caroling, will take place until January 5, the day before Three Kings' Day.
There will also be a photo exhibition inside the basilica, while the architect behind the works on the Virgin Mary, Jordi Faulí, will give a talk on the latest developments.