Every year five million people came to visit Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. It is the world's second most visited tourist attraction after the Great Wall of China, receiving 10 million visitors annually. This basilica will have 18 towers, but till date, only eight are complete. These towers vary in height, each of which represents their hierarchy.
Towers of Sagrada Familia
The highest tower lies in the center of the Sagrada Familia which is dedicated to Jesus Christ. Else are Four towers which stand around this central tower, representing four evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. These evangelists are said to be close to Jesus because of four official Gospels they wrote which are considered to be the Word of God.
For the one who are uninvited, 'Gospels' are books which contains the life and teachings of Jesus. At the basilica's end it's apse lies and at the top of the basilica, a huge tower stands which represents the Virgin Mary.
The Tower of the Virgin Mary was supposed to be the second tallest after Jesus, but because Gaudi was a Catholic, so he made it slightly smaller than the Evangelists. The star at the top identifies the tower as the Virgin Mary Tower.
In addition to these six towers, there are 12 more, representing the 12 apostles, the primary disciples of Jesus. These 12 Sagrada Familia towers forms the three facades of the basilica.
Facades of Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia Cathedral has three aspects - Nativity Facade, the Passion Facade, and Glory Facade. Eight of the 18 planned Sagrada Familia towers are fully built. Four of these eight towers are part of Passion facade and four are part of the Nativity facade. A façade is nothing but just a combination of some towers creating a stunning view.
What is Nativity Facade?
The four eastern towers in front of Sagrada Familia form the Nativity Facade. These towers represent the four apostles Matthew, Barnabas, Jude, and Simon. The Nativity Facial View depicts the birth and childhood of Christ. The scenes of stories beginning with the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary to Jesus' rise are decorated with masks of inferiority. This aspect faces the North-East, a symbolism where the rising sun signifies the birth of Jesus Christ. Nativity was completed in 1935 under the supervision of Gaudi himself.
What is Passion Facade?
The four towers of Sagrada Familia face the west forming the Passion Facial. These towers represent the four apostles James, Thomas, Philippe and Bartholomew and together form the Passion Face View. Work on Passion Faced began in 1954 and ended in 2018.
While the Nativity facade is beautiful with all the decorations, the Passion facade is simple, simple in color. Passion facade sculptures are carved with bare stones, which form angular and rigid shapes using solid straight lines. Gaudi chose this style of decoration for Passion Facade because he wanted it to be the exact opposite of Nativity Facade. He wanted the Passion Facade to portray suffering and death, while the Nativity facade displays life. Gaudi wanted the Passion Facade to show the cruelty of the death of Jesus Christ.
What is the glory facade?
The remaining four towers to the south form the Glory facade. Glory Facade towers is dedicated to Andrew, Peter, Paul and James. This facade is dedicated to the glory of Jesus and hence the name. It represents the road to God: death, final judgment, and glory. Construction for this facade began in 2002 and once completed, it will be the longest of all Sagrada Familia towers. Since this mask is not complete, you cannot go up.