Sagrada Família's 12-point star atop tower of Virgin Mary lights up Barcelona skyline
5.5-tonne ornament sits at the peak of what will be the second-tallest of the basilica's 18 towers
Barcelona's skyline has a brand new addition as of Wednesday night after the 12-point star at the top of the tower of the Virgin Mary of Sagrada Família was lit up for the very first time.
The 5.5-tonne ornament lights up what will be the second-tallest tower of the whole basilica when it is finished, although the tallest, which will be dedicated to Jesus Christ, is not yet built.
Thousands of people have gathered in the vicinity of the iconic church, packing out the streets and adjacent parks to get a glimpse of the historic event, contributing to creating an atmosphere of excitement, joy, and plenty of emotion.
Before the star was lit up, a mass was held inside the basilica where the tower was blessed. Tickets for the ceremony were snapped up very quickly after becoming available, as people desperately wanted to witness this historic event live in person.
The new weatherproof star that now illuminates the sky of the Catalan capital spans 7.5 metres and is made out of textured glass and stainless steel, and sits on top of the 138-metre tall Virgin Mary Tower that is decorated with some 800 windows.
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.