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Sagrada Familia holds Mathematical Mysteries


Number Puzzles in the Magic Square on the spectacular Sagrada Familia: H3 was recently in Barcelona and captivated by the soaring delights on this magnificent cathedral-in-progress (it is hoped to finish the building by 2026).

Outside, among the modern sculptures of biblical characters is a magic square. It has hidden meanings.
For example, the numbers of each row, each column and each diagonal add up to 33 – the age Jesus was when crucified. If you add up the numbers in each corner – 1+4+15+13- you also get 33. This is yet another mathematical detail on the Sagrada Familia. This square has a total of 310 combinations that add up to 33. You want another pattern? OK. There is also a hidden subliminal signature: adding up the numbers that repeat and looking at their correspondence in the Roman alphabet, we get the initials INRI – meaning “Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum” (Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews), which is, of course, the sign that Pontius Pilate wrote on Jesus’ cross. Can you find other number patterns on this clever piece of sculpture? Did you find that the sum of each four numbers in each corner (1+14+11+7; 14+4+9+6, etc.) also add up to 33?
Here are some Magic Square activities for classes.

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10 x 9 x 8 + (7 + 6) x 5 x 4 x (3 + 2) x 1 = 2020

NCEA Level 2 Algebra Problem. Using the information given, the shaded area = 9, that is:
y(y-8) = 9 –> y.y – 8y – 9 =0
–> (y-9)(y+1) = 0, therefore y = 9 (can’t have a distance of – 1 for the other solution for y)
Using the top and bottom of the rectangle,
x = (y-8)(y+2) = (9-8)(9+2) = 11
but, the left side = (x-4) = 11-4 = 7, but rhs = y+? = 9+?, which is greater than the value of the opp. side??
[I think that the left had side was a mistake and should have read (x+4)?]

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