Arson blamed for fire at iconic Barcelona church
April 19th, 2011
05:54 PM ET

Arson blamed for fire at iconic Barcelona church

(CNN) - About 1,500 tourists were evacuated Tuesday from the Sagrada Familia church, a popular destination for visitors to Barcelona, Spain, after a man set a fire inside, authorities said.

The fire occurred in the church's crypt, a section always open and used for religious purposes. It caused no injuries and unknown damage to the crypt, authorities said.

Investigators arrested the man, a municipal spokeswoman said.

The church is closed to the public and will open when it is deemed safe to visit, the spokeswoman said.

The Sagrada Familia, or "holy family" church, is still under construction after more than 100 years. It was designed by Antoni Gaudi, an architect well-known for many buildings he designed in Barcelona. Only one tower and most of one facade at the church had been completed by the time he died ni 1926.

Gaudi planned the church to have 18 towers - 12 for the apostles, four for the evangelists, one for the Virgin Mary and the tallest for Jesus.

Read the full story about the arson at the Sagrada Familia church.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • Europe • Spain

soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Adelina

    Europe needs true worshippers of Jesus, not empty church buildings.

    April 22, 2011 at 3:53 am |
    • EvolvedDNA

      adelina..As jesus and god do not exist.. Europe does have true worshipers of jesus.. hence the empty churches.

      April 23, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
  2. angela

    Here we go again. Everytime there is a CNN blog you off topic, and start correcting everyones grammar. Who the hell cares.

    April 21, 2011 at 11:00 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.