The central towers of the Sagrada Familia will be six: four dedicated to the evangelists (Saint Matthew, Saint Luke, Saint Mark and Saint John), one dedicated to the Virgin Mary and another to Jesus. The construction of the last towers began in 2016 and their height will exceed that of the towers of the Passion façade and the Nativity façade. The construction is well advanced, but in one case it is nearing completion: in December, the Tower of the Virgin Mary will reach its maximum height of 138 meters in height thanks to the star that will complete the work and the base that will support it. To celebrate the birth of a new tower and a new star in Barcelona, the Sagrada Familia has organized various events, liturgical and popular, inside and outside the Basilica. The official opening will be on December 8, but we are going in parts, because everything will start on December 1, online.
The lighting of the virtual star: from December 1 to 7
The week prior to the lighting of the tower of the Virgin Mary you can participate in its illumination. From the website of the Sagrada Familia, whoever wishes may contribute with a symbolic and digital point of light, which will subsequently be translated into the real illumination of the tower progressively the days before the star is lit . First the base of the tower will be illuminated on December 4 (from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.); on December 6 the shaft or upper part (from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.); and finally, on December 8, the tower of the Virgin Mary will be fully illuminated and the star will shine for the first time in the sky of Barcelona.
The inauguration and the real lighting: December 8
On December 8, at 10:30 a.m., the inauguration celebrations will begin with the popular culture groups, and thanks to the collaboration of the Barcelona City Council Institute of Culture (ICUB). To access the event, there will be a raffle for tickets in which you can register from November 23 on the Sagrada Familia website and its social networks. At 6:00 p.m. a Eucharist will be celebrated presided over by Cardinal Joan Josep Omella i Omella, Archbishop of Barcelona.
Tickets for this celebration can be collected at the Sagrada Familia parish from November 29.
The illumination of the star is scheduled at 7:40 p.m. and can also be followed live through estel.sagradafamilia.org.
Other activities: from December 11 to 21
After the inauguration of the Tower of the Virgin Mary, several days will follow in which new liturgical acts will be celebrated, such as the Taizé prayer; various samples of popular culture such as a castellera exhibition or a parade; and other activities such as a conference, children's activities, an awards ceremony, and a Christmas concert with the Escolanía de Montserrat.
Some facts about the new star of Barcelona
According to the models that can be seen in the photographs of Gaudí's workshop, the star has the shape of a stellated dodecahedron, that is to say: from a central nucleus of twelve pentagonal faces, a pyramid emerges from each of them. Each of the points measures 2.90 meters and the total diameter of the star is 7.50 meters. The piece weighs a total of 5.5 tons. The star is made of glass and is equipped with a high-resistance stainless steel structure on the edges of the core and the pyramidal tips. During the day, the windows will be illuminated by the passage of the sun and, at night, at each base of the pyramidal points there will be a spotlight with dimmable LED technology that will distribute the light to the five faces of the pyramid. The star will rest on three slender supports of the piece of the concrete shaft, decorated with trencadís.