Sagrada Família Towers
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Sagrada Família was envisioned by Antoni Gaudí with a total of 18 towers or spires. Each of them is dedicated to a important religious figure. Twelve of the towers are made after the Twelve Apostles and are situated on the three façades of the Temple; Nativity, Passion and Glory. The other six towers are dedicated to the Four Evangelists, Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ, that once completed will be the tallest of them all. To date eight have been completed, and they correspond to the four Apostles of the Nativity Façade and the four Apostles of the Passion Façade. The Glory Façade and its Towers are currently under construction.
Nativity Façade Towers
The Nativity Façade is a unique part of temple because it was directly built by Gaudí. When Gaudí passed away in 1926, the only tower that was finished was the one for Saint Barnabas and the other three were pretty much advanced; they are dedicated to Saint Simon, Judas Saint Thaddeus, and Saint Matthew. These towers are referred to as Bell Towers.
The Bell Towers; the two on the inside have a height of 107 metres, and the two on the outside are 98 metres high. This is one of the main elements and most characteristic elements of the façade. They are totally accessible through spiral staircases, with an relevant empty space and catching up to the top. The length of all the Bell Towers is opened through a sort of blinds that permit the tubular bells sound diffused as planned by Gaudí. The silhouette of the top part resembles the staff of a Bishop. And there are also other symbols to admire; the knot of the ring of the Bishop, and in the culmination there is a golden cross with the capital letters of the Apostle to whom each Tower is dedicated.
Each one of the Towers is dedicated to an Apostle, represented in a great seated statue, placed in a point where the Towers pass from a square structure to another circular one, which allows in the triangular spaces resultant, balconies that serve as a base and that you can step out to for some great views.
The Nativity Façade faces North-East that symbolises where the rising sun represents the birth of Jesus Christ. You will get the best views of the Eastern side of the city of Barcelona when you climb the Towers, that includes the mountains and glimpse of the ocean. And also the stunning sights of the the sculptures on the Towers. All of the Towers are accessible to visitors, and there is a bridge that connects two of the four Towers, it allows you to experience a spectacular and photogenic view of Barcelona. The access is through a lift to go up, and you need to take the stairs to go down.
Passion Façade Towers
The Passion Façade faces to the West and it represents the suffering and pain of Christ during his crucifixion. It also stands opposite to the Nativity Façade in decoration; more stark, plain and simple. It is the only part of la Sagrada Família that has straight lines and geometric edged forms. This façade represents the passion and the death of Jesus Christ. The Passion Façade also has four Bell Towers.
These Bell Towers are dedicated to the the four Apostles; Saint James, Saint Thomas, Saint Philip, and Saint Bartholomew. The two central ones have a height of 112 metres, and the ones on the outside are 107 metres tall. Each one of the Towers is represented in an enormous statue, situated at a third of the height of the total length of the Towers. Between the two central Towers there is a bridge at a height of 60 meters. The Towers have a more rhomboid form, but at a certain height they become elliptic. They are completely accessible through spiral stairs with an important central empty space. The full length of the Bell Towers is opened through a kind of blinds that allow the sound diffusion planned by Gaudí of the tubular bells. The Passion Façade Towers are more recent, they started in 1954 and ended in 2018.
There are two type of views you can enjoy from the Passion Façade Towers. You can admire the skeletal sculptures on the four Towers of the Passion Façade, and there is also the breathtaking view of the cool blue Mediterranean Sea. All of the Towers are now accessible to visitors and you can go up through a lift to go up, but to go down you need to climb down the stairs. And to be able to go up the Towers it is necessary to book a ticket with this access.
Through the years there have have been several historical moments along the path of la Sagrada Família towards 2026, which is the estimated year the temple will be completed. In 2019, the Central Towers gained so much height that they now stand taller than the Bell Towers that have characterized la Sagrada Família for so many years. This means that the iconic image the temple has represented for over a century, of the Towers on the Nativity Façade silhouettes against the sky, is staying behind in the past as the construction on the building moves forward, since the six Central Towers are expected to stand up to 172.50 metres in 2022.
The Central Towers represent as follows; Jesus Christ at the center, the Virgin Mary and the four Evangelists around him. The four Evangelists were the authors of the Gospels, which are the texts that describe the exemplary life of Jesus Christ. The four Gospels in the Bible were written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the first and the last were direct disciples of Jesus. This is why the Evangelist are very important as they represent, to a certain point, the word of God. These Towers will reach 125 metres of height.
The Virgin Mary Tower is highly important and it is place in front of Jesus, although slightly smaller than the Evangelist Towers with a height of 123 metres. In the center of them all is the Tower of Jesus Christ, that will stand 172.50 metres tall, and this will make la Sagrada Família the tallest church in the world after it is completed. Also, the height of the Central Tower was intentionally designed by Gaudí to be one metre shorter that the Montjuïc hill in Barcelona, the tallest hill of the city, because he believed that his building should not be taller that the work of God.
Lift to The Towers
The Towers on the Nativity Façade and the Passion Façade are completed, and are open for visitors all year round with an extra cost when you book tickets to visit la Sagrada Família. They offer a spectacular view of the city of Barcelona and of the beautiful Mediterranean Sea as well. Once the Central Towers and the Glory Façade Towers are completed, they will be accessible to the public as well.
The way to go up the Towers is via a lift, and there is lift on each Façade to go up and enjoy the breathtaking sights. For security reasons, it is not recommend for people with mobility issues to go up, since to climb down you need to go through the stairs.