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Roman soldier

The roman soldier of the Sagrada Familia with 6 toes in each foot

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On the Birth facade of the Sagrada Família there is a sculpture which represents a Roman soldier in the “Massacre of the Innocents”.

Gaudí and Matamala sculptors’ team were choosing casual passers-by to use them as a models for the different sculptures. They took a picture with a set of mirrors of the chosen person. In that way, they got in the same picture every part of that person and so they made the corresponding sculpture.

The chosen person to represent the Roman soldier was one of the Sagrada Família workers. Everyone was astonishes when they took the picture and realised he had six toes in each foot. Matamala proposed to sculpt only five, but Gaudí said “No” and asked to represent him just as he was, in order to show how different was someone capable to kill innocent under two years old children, even if the soldiers followed king Herod’s orders. So here we have the Roman six toes soldier.

If you want to know the Sagrada Familia, I suggest you the the Gaudí Tour.

 

Saint George – the Catalan Patron Saint

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Sant Jordi 2013Saint George was born and grew up in Cappadocia, a part of Turkey nowadays. He lived between the third and the fourth century. He was a roman captain and he became personal guard of emperor Diocletian.

He converted into Christian religion, just in a period of time that, following Diocletian’s orders, the prosecution against Christians by the Roman Empire took place. As a consequence, in 303 he died as a martyr because he didn`t give up his beliefs.

In the Middle Ages, in the Crusades, when Christian knights went to conquer Jerusalem, they heard about that captain. In that moment he was already very popular and they spread the legend. The legend grew and according to it he fought against Arabs in all around Europe, for instance he went to Montblanc to defeat the Arab troops.

Impressed by his bravery and his heroic deeds he and his flag were adopted by a lot of countries as their Patron Saint. Nowadays he is the Patron Saint of Catalonia, England, Portugal, Genova… and we can see in their flag or in a part of it the coat of arms of Saint George: a red cross over a white field.