A huge, 12-pointed star has been installed on top of one of the towers of Antoni Gaudí’s famous Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona.
The star, which measures 24.6 feet and weighs 5.5 tons, was maneuvered onto the Virgin Mary tower on Monday, according to a statement from the foundation that runs the cathedral.
The foundation described the textured glass and stainless steel piece as “a great luminous star that has changed Barcelona’s skyline and rises up to bring light and hope.”
The star will be inaugurated with a Mass and a blessing on December 8, when it will be lit up with spotlights at the base of each point for the first time.
The Sagrada Familia is one of the most complicated and time-consuming architectural projects ever undertaken, still unfinished 139 years after the idea for a church on the site was first discussed.
Incredibly, it emerged in 2016 that its construction had been illegal.
Catalan modernist Gaudí asked for a permit in 1885 from the city council of Sant Martí de Provençals – now one of Barcelona’s neighborhoods – but authorities discovered that he had never received an answer.
In June 2019, the church, which was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005, finally received its building permit.
Work on the Sagrada Familia may have dragged on for an unusually long time, but the edifice remains unfinished to this day.
Gaudí, whose idiosyncratic works are found across the Spanish coastal city, dedicated his life to building the cathedral until he was killed by a tram in 1926.
Since then, a string of architects have worked to finish it according to Gaudí’s original design.
Work was scheduled to end in 2026, marking 100 years since the architect’s death, but completion has been delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.