Friday, July 12, 2024

After over 140 yrs, Barcelona’s iconic Sagrada Familia cathedral nears completion

Since construction first began in 1882, five central towers of Barcelona’s iconic Sagrada Familia basilica are nearing completion, the media reported.

When the sixth and final central tower is finished, expected in 2026, the Sagrada Familia will become the world’s tallest church overtaking the Ulm Minster in Germany., CNN said in its report on Monday night.

Design of the church was spearheaded by celebrated Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi, who decided the monumental structure would have 18 huge, spindle-shaped towers, each symbolising a different biblical figure — the 12 apostles, the four evangelists, the Virgin Mary and Jesus.

On September 27 the final sculptural piece was placed on the tower of Matthew the Evangelist, according to a statement from the Basílica de la Sagrada Familia.

The following day, the tower of John the Evangelist was crowned with the figure of an eagle, the statement added.

“The four towers of the Evangelists are finished! Soon we’ll be celebrating this building milestone!” CNN quoted the church as saying in a Facebook post.

An inauguration mass will be held at the cathedral on November 12, when the four evangelist towers will be illuminated.

They will stay lit through Christmas, the church said, adding that the towers of Mark and Luke were previously crowned with a lion and a fox, respectively, in 2022.

The four evangelist towers stand at around 443 feet.

At the end of 2021, ahuge, 12-pointed starwas placed on top of the 453-foot tall tower of the Virgin Mary to mark its completion.

The remaining tower, representing Jesus Christ, will stand at 566 feet and will be finished with a 56-foot four-armed cross, according to the cathedral.

The structure is designed to accommodate around 13,000 people.

When Gaudi died in 1926, only an estimated 10-15 per cent of the project had been built, including one transept, a crypt, and some of the apse wall, CNN reported.

Construction was interrupted in the late 1930s by the Spanish Civil War, when most of the designs and models of Gaudi — whose tomb lies beneath the cathedral — were destroyed.

Current designs are based on surviving and reconstructed materials, as well as reimagined adaptations of the original.

The Sagrada Familia was inscribed as a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1994.

It was consecrated by Pope Benedict XVI for religious worship in 2010.

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