Sagrada Família to finish two remaining Evangelist towers in November

Matthew and John's towers will feature in Barcelona's skyline before basilica reaches highest point in 2026

The Man and the Eagle, the two remaining sculptures of the Evangelists' towers in the unfinished Sagrada Família basilica on September 19, 2023
The Man and the Eagle, the two remaining sculptures of the Evangelists' towers in the unfinished Sagrada Família basilica on September 19, 2023 / Gerard Escaich Folch
Gerard Escaich Folch

Gerard Escaich Folch | @gescaichfolch | Barcelona

September 19, 2023 12:30 PM

September 19, 2023 01:30 PM

Barcelona's unfinished Sagrada Família basilica will see the remaining towers of the Evangelists, Matthew and John, completed in November this year, as announced on Tuesday.

The two towers are almost completed, with just the installation of the two statues that will sit atop the towers pending. One of which statues represents a man and the second one an eagle, representing Matthew and John.

These constructions were publicly displayed almost a year after the Sagrada Família unveiled the figures of Mark and Luke.

The towers of Matthew and John will bring the basilica closer to its ultimate completion, as it's expected that in 2026 the temple will reach its highest point, 172.5 meters above sea level.

Once Matthew and John's towers are finished, there will be only 5 towers in the Sagrada Família pending completion.


Right now, the one that will become the tallest one is built up to 131 meters. And in the "upcoming weeks, there will be a visible change from the exterior" of Jesus' tower, Sagrada Família's head architect, Jordi Faulí, said during a press conference held 55 meters above ground in what is the lowest part of the tower's structure. 

Faulí referred to the need to set the scaffolding outside to build from the 10th to the 12th levels, the last ones ahead of the cross-view point that will crown the tower.

This cross will be completed by 2026, and it will be 17 meters in height and 13.5 meters in width. However, ahead of that final construction, a "prototype of the complex element will be built to natural size and to see if any corrections are needed," Faulí added.

The goal is for September next year "for the prototype to be built."

Light up mass on November 12

As happened last year with Mark and Luke towers, this year Sagrada Família will organize a mass ahead of the first time Matthew and John's towers are light up. 

The event will happen on November 12, and it will be an "illumination that makes these towers visible at night. It will be an illumination made to be seen," Jordi Faulí said during the press conference.

So far, the temple has a permit to light up such towers during the Christmas festivities, "however, there could be a change on the licence," and for the city council to let these lights be on for more hours.

Four towers, three different parts

The four Evangelist towers are clearly marked, as Gaudí had planned in the XIXth century, with statues of Matthew, Luke, Mark, and John.

These towers have been divided into three different parts: the shaft, the icosahedron, where workers place lightbulbs to light up Jesus Christ tower, and the tetramorph, where the statues of animals, the books with the initials of each Evangelist, and wings are placed.

These are elements that have been used by art and Christianity to represent the four preachers, all of which will be at a height of 135 meters.

"On top of the four Evangelist towers, architect Antoni Gaudí wanted the tetramorph, the historic and traditional Christian representation of the four Evangelists," Jordi Faulí, Sagrada Família head architect, said to Catalan News last year.

Gaudí wanted the Sagrada Família basilica to be a clear connection between God and nature, which is why there are hundreds of small details relating to both worlds.

Sagrada Família aid fund

The Sagrada Família construction company took the opportunity to announce "something that will benefit Barcelona residents," Xavier Martínez, CEO of the construction board of directors, said during the same press conference.

"The patronage decided to create an aid fund for social cohesion, to serve people and make a better and a more equal society," Martínez added.

On December 18, the first fund will be assigned to the winners of the first tender, which will have a budget of €2.3 million.