The doorways and the magic square

You mustn’t leave this facade without first admiring the beautiful bronze doors that guard the church. Like the rest of the façade, they were made by Subirachs. Go up to them to see how the artist has played with lettering, artistically carved onto them in negative.

The scenes on the double central door show fragments from the New Testament, telling the last days of Jesus according to the Gospel of St. Matthew on the left, and that of St. John on the right. The two are separated by a mullion bearing the Greek letters Alpha and Omega, the symbols of the beginning and the end. There are two other doors on either side, flanking the middle one. The one on the left is called the Gethsemane Door, as its theme is Jesus’s prayer in the garden. The door on the right is known as the Coronation Door, as it shows Jesus humiliated by the crown of thorns, a robe and a reed, in mockery of his status as King of the Jews. Behind these doors lies a floor made of hard, resistant porphyry, decorated with scenes from the gospels, such as Christ entering Jerusalem.

I expect you are wondering about the square with numbers on it next to the door. It looks rather like one of those Sudokus that people like nowadays… That, my friends, is a magic square. If you do the maths, you will see that the sum of any row or column is 33. Do you know why? Of course! That was the age of Jesus when he died!

(c) (R) 2013, MUSMon com S.L.
Text (a) Diego Laforga Marcos (2013)

Source: Own work
Author: Carlos Marcos (2013)

Picture: "Semana Trágica" in Barcelona (1909)
Source: Wikipedia
Author: Unknon
Licence: This image (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired. This applies to Australia, the European Union and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 70 years.