Fiesta Tower – San Antonio, Texas - Atlas Obscura
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San Antonio, Texas

Fiesta Tower

Colorful curls of hand-blown glass form a captivating tower in San Antonio's Central Library.  

Near the study tables on the second floor of San Antonio’s Central Library stands a 20-foot, eight-inch tall monstrosity of vivid, twisted glass orbs and pieces. Each piece of glass was hand-blown and crafted into place as if unfurling toward the heavens.

In 2001, internationally known glass artist Dale Chihuly was commissioned to create a glass sculpture to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the San Antonio Public Library system. Fiesta Tower, which he unveiled to the public in 2003, far exceeded expectation. It’s a vibrant ode to the people who call the city home, as the multicolored glass is meant to symbolize the many diverse cultures that make up San Antonio.

During the day, sunlight beams down to highlight the tower. After the sun goes down, the sculpture takes on a whole new life as 22 lights shine up onto different areas of the glass. It’s a dazzling sight to see.

Counting the number of glass pieces in the sculpture is nearly impossible, as losing count while trying is easy. But this doesn’t keep people from attempting, as they are drawn to this captivating centerpiece and its many glimmering swirls and curls.

The Fiesta Tower is not the only attraction in the downtown Central Library. In addition to having thousands of books and media on three floors, the library also has an art exhibit gallery, tetra fish, and a waterfall fountain outside. Visitors can spend an entire day at this library admiring the abundance of artwork or just reading a book—many often do.

Know Before You Go

Ask any one of the friendly library staff where the Fiesta Tower is located and they will gladly point you in the right direction.