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Giant Star Added to the Top of Barcelona’s Still-Unfinished Sagrada Família | Frommer's Basílica de la Sagrada Família

Giant Star Added to the Top of Barcelona’s Still-Unfinished Sagrada Família

Barcelona's La Sagrada Família received a (literally) dazzling new addition this week: a giant, illuminated star on the top of the still-unfinished basilica's second-tallest tower. 

Made of glass and steel, the 5.5-ton bauble has 12 points, is 7 meters (23 ft.) wide, and sits at a height of 138 meters (453 ft.), crowning the freshly completed tower of the Virgin Mary. 

Makes your Christmas tree topper look pretty pitiful, doesn't it?

Speaking of that holiday, the Sagrada Família's star is meant to represent the one that twinkled over Bethlehem after Christ was born, according to the Gospel of Matthew's account.  

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(Photo: Basílica de la Sagrada Família)

The church lit the new star for the first time following a special mass on December 8. You can watch a video of the service on the church's website; skip to the last 20 minutes to see the lighting ceremony. 

According to news reports, this marks the most significant change to the structure's exterior since the 1970s.  

Dreamed up by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, the one-of-a-kind, Gothic-meets-Art-Nouveau-meets-Dr.-Seuss basilica has been under construction since 1882—a very long time, even for general contractors. 

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(Photo: basiczto / Shutterstock)

A goal to finish the church in 2026 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Gaudí's death has been abandoned, current chief architect Jordi Fauli told the Agence France-Presse, due to delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

But hey, we're getting closer. The main work left to be done involves raising five more soaring towers that will, per Time Out, make the Sagrada Família the world's tallest church. 

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