Five-ton star hoisted atop Barcelona's Sagrada Familia

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The giant, 12-pointed star was lifted atop the new tower of the iconic Sagrada Familia basilica early on Monday (29 November) morning. At a height of 138 metres (452 feet), the new tower of the Virgin Mary – the first to be completed since 1976 – is now the tallest of the complex, designed by visionary Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi. The glass and steel structure - known as Bethlehem's Star - has 12 points and will change the city's skyline both day and night. The official inauguration is set for December 8, when it will be illuminated for the first time alongside the new tower's 800 windows. Once lit in shades of white and blue, the tower will symbolize the cloak of the Virgin Mary. Gaudi designed the basilica as a "Bible made of stone", with lots of cryptical symbolism reflected in its structures, sculptures, and embellishments. Construction of the world's oldest building site was set to be finished by 2026, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced its consortium to change plans, a new completion date is yet to be set. Nevertheless, the basilica has entered its final phase and will soon begin raising five immense towers that will make it Europe's tallest religious building, surpassing Germany's Ulm Minster. St. Peter's Basilica in Rome will still have the tallest interior.

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