New star atop Spain’s Sagrada Familia to illuminate Barcelona skyline

New star atop Spain's Sagrada Familia to illuminate Barcelona skyline
Operators use a tower crane to install a giant star atop the Mare de Deu tower (the Virgin Tower) of the Sagrada Familia Basilica, on November 29, 2021 in Barcelona. Photo: Pau Barrena/AFP
The brand new Virgin Mary tower will be inaugurated on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8. A 12-point star on top of it will illuminate the Barcelona skyline.

At 138 metres, the Virgin Mary tower (Mare de Déu tower in Catalan) will be the second-tallest in Gaudí’s still unfinished masterpiece, and will be inaugurated to mark the Immaculate Conception holiday on December 8, following a mass and the blessing of the tower.

People around the world will be able to witness the historic lighting of the star at 7:40pm, which will be streamed online.

The Virgin Mary tower, the latest addition to the basilica and the ninth tower of the 18 envisioned by Gaudí, was inaugurated on Monday. According to the Sagrada Família’s chief architect Jordi Faulí, the star atop it “will change the city’s skyline”.

The basilica, which has been under construction since 1882, was due to be completed on the centenary of the architect Antoni Gaudí’s death in 2026, but this is now unlikely to happen due to delays caused by the pandemic.

Weighing 5.5 tonnes and made out of textured glass, the star was lifted to the top of the tower on November 29.

Photographs of the star were posted on The Sagrada Família’s Twitter account. “The Sagrada Família lifted the star of the Virgin Mary into place. This was a historic moment, as it is the final piece of the tower and changes the Barcelona skyline,” the post read.

People around the world have been invited to participate in the illumination of Barcelona’s most famous landmark by sending their digital flashes of light on the Sagrada Familia and Archdiocese websites.

The base of the tower was lit up on December 4th, from 8pm to 11pm, followed by the shaft of the tower on December 6 before the star is turned on on the evening of December 8.

Celebrations by local organisations and groups will take place until January 4th.

READ ALSO: Pandemic to delay completion date for Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia

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