The Barcelona Cathedral (also known as La Seu) is dedicated to the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia - a thirteen year old girl, which was tortured by the Romans in the 3rd century, because she did not want to denounce being a Christian. This cathedral is a celebrated example of Catalan Gothic architecture dating from the 14th century. Its graceful spires can be seen from throughout the Barri Gòtic (Gothic quarter) of Barcelona.
A blending of medieval and Renaissance styles, Barcelona's cathedral features large bell towers covered in Gothic pinnacles, high Gothic arches, a handsomely sculptured choir and many side chapels with rich altarpieces. The interior was recently cleaned. Especially notable is the Cappella de Sant Benet behind the altar, with a magnificent 15th-century interpretation of the crucifixion by Bernat Matorell.
The elevated site occupied by the cathedral has always been the spiritual center of Barcelona. First there was a paleochristian construction, which got destroyed during the Muslim invasion in the 10th century, after that a Romanesque building, started in the 11th century and replaced by the present cathedral, whose construction began in 1298 under King Jaume II and was completed in 1448. The gothic façade was just finished in the 19th century.
The highlights of the Cathedral include the magnificent chairs in the choir from the 14th and 15th century, the crypt of Santa Eulalia and the splendid cloister, which is the historical home for a flock of geese – 13 of them, one for each year of Santa Eulalia’s life.
Address: Pla de la Seu 3, 08002 Barcelona
Metro: L1 (red line) to “Catalunya”, L4 (yellow line) to “Jaume I”
open: every day from 8 am to 12:45 am and from 5 pm to 7:30 pm
Price: free (when not under construction)