Gaudi & the Magic Numeric Square

By Agent 14 – Moon Doogas

Gaudi’s Magic Square – The passion facade’s cryptogram

Mathematical inscriptions into mystical pasts

The allure of the Number 33

Antoni Gaudi maybe undoubtedly one of our most organic of architects, creating such wounderously sinuous sculptures for living and worshipping within.

Amongst his creations, we are invited by enigmatic clues as to his deeper mathematical links to Masonic knowledge and the incredible understanding of mathematical calculation. We begin with this simple cryptogram:

Consider this seemingly simple square pasted onto the Passion Facade (the Front depicting the suffering of Christ) of the Sagrada Familia which has been created by Josep Maria Subirachs with reference to Gaudi’s original intentions
“Passion Facade Sagrada Familia, Barcelona”

4 rows x 4 columns

On the facade we find the magic square. The square shows –

Every line adds up to 33.

The central diagonals add up to 33.

All the corner numbers add up to 33.

And it doesn’t stop there: take 2 of the second edge numbers; 14+9 and the opposite side 8+2, they equal 33. Or the numbers next to 1- 11 and 14, and their exact opposite 3 and 5 that surround 15 and we also get 33.

Explore the square and you will find many more combinations.

The magic square cryptogram is one of the most popular symbols of the passion facade. It is an enigmatic square with sixteen numbers that allows one to count up to 310 different combinations, always adding up the to number 33 – the Christ’s age at his crucifixion (the most important event in the Passion).

The cryptogram was created by Subirachs. Gaudí never made it clear how exactly he wanted the sculptures of this facade to appear. When Subirachs accepted the task of completing the facade (1987), he did so given the condition that he would be allowed to complete the facade in his own style, so as not to have the sculptures confused with those of Gaudí, and so as to further Subirachs’ own artistic career.


Numbers and numerology have been believed to conceal secrets and messages. For some, numbers have very special significance, with the ability to conceal true meaning from all but the initiated.

To start with, we have 33 vertebrae in our spines.

No number holds more esoteric significance than “33.” The number three is significant in all major religions. There is a Trinity for Christians, and a Triple Goddess for the ancients. The number 33 was important to secret societies and is often concealed within significant literary works.

In catholicism, the number 3 refers to the Trinity, a reference to divine protection, help, and guidance. In most cases, if you are seeing a lot of 3’s, this is an Angel Number sign that you have a close connection to Jesus, the son in the Holy Trinity. 33 means that Jesus is with you and helping you.

Dante used the 33 reference within his structure of  “Divine Comedy”: 3 books, The Inferno (not deserving of the 33) and The Purgatorio and Paradiso, both contain 33 cantos – a coincidence?

According to Shakespeare, Julius Caesar was stabbed 33 times (yet historically the claim is 23). References from Francis Bacon, Spenser, Rosicrucians, Freemasons and Christians all placed a value above the norm for the number 33.

An American connection: the 33rd parallel brings us to Charleston, South Carolina (this city is the original site of Scottish Rite masonry in U.S.) Charleston’s Fort Sumter is the location of the first shot fired in the Civil War as that state succeeded from the Union. Albert Pike was a 33rd degree mason who rose to be the Sovereign Grand Commander of the Scottish Rite. He was both a hero and an embarrassment to Masonry as it is believed he founded the KKK, or the Ku Klux Klan. The letter K is the eleventh letter in the alphabet so 11 + 11 + 11 = 33.

The Number 48

Another interesting aspect of this cryptogram is that there are two repeated: 10 and 14. Adding these two numbers together, the resulting sum is 48 (10+10+14+14). 48 is also the resulting sum when the letters of the word INRI (in the latin alphabet) are mathematically calculated:


I N R I (9+13+17+9=48)

This fact means that, apart from finding 310 combinations which add up to 33, cryptografically we find written the word INRI in the Passion Facade as well, a subtle coincidence?

The further we look for associations, the more we find.

Agent 14

Agent 14


Agent 14 – Moon Doogas
Location: Melbourne, Australia

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