Cathedral is one of the few things that come up to mind when you hear about Barcelona. How can you not visit Barcelona Cathedral when in Spain? For starters, please make sure that you are not mixing up the Barcelona Cathedral with its more famous counterpart, the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia, which is the most fascinating and unique church in Europe. Paying a visit to the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia offers you a better understanding of the history of Barcelona.
Let's walk you through some intriguing aspects and historical facts about one of the best places to visit in Spain.
Barcelona Cathdral or Sagrada Familia?
Let's answer what the Cathedral in Barcelona is called?
As we have tried clearing it up earlier, many people make a mistake here. So, don't worry. The architectural magic and saw-like structure seen on every postcard is Antoni Gaudi's Sagrada Familia. And, to be noted, the Sagrada Familia is not a cathedral (bishop's seat) at all.
With all its glories, it is a minor basilica.
So, let's move to the Barcelona Cathedral now.
Barcelona Cathedral- Facts and History
Barcelona Cathedral is a giant Gothic Revival Church. Its construction was started in 1298. In 1420, the building got completed. However, the central tower and façade were constructed in 1913, later on. Barcelona Cathedral is highly famous for mythical animals such as its gargoyles and some other geese. The Cathedral measures 53 meters by height (174 feet) and 90 meters by length (300 feet). This Cathedral is dedicated to the Eulalia of Barcelona (Barcelona's co-patron saint)
What to See at the Barcelona Cathedral
The façade of the Cathedral of Barcelona is among the most notables of the city. How can you miss the stunning façade when you walk through the Cathedral square?
You will be drawn to the central door and the significant Gothic arch upside. A stone sculpture of the holy Christ attracts all the attention on the entrance, whereas twelve apostles cover both the sides of the doors. You will see eight stained glass windows and seventy-five figures that run across the span from Renaissance to the Modernist in fine.
Also, you will see two side-towers (built from 1896 to 1898) edging the church's dome that is crowned with the statue of Saint Helen.
The Door of Saint Ivo (when in the main square, on the left side of the church) was the church's main entrance for above 500 years. It was built using the marble from Montjuic. The inscriptions here mark that the construction was started in 1298.
The interior of the grand Cathedral is as catchy as the mighty exterior. In the Barcelona Cathedral, you will see the chapels and monuments dedicated to more than one hundred and forty saints.
Alongside the prominently represented Virgin Mary, you will see that vast attention had been paid to Santa Eulalia, a native girl martyred there during the Roman times, who then became the city's co-patron saint. Facing the main alter, you will see the Crypt of Santa Eulalia.
The choir is the most impactful feature of the interior. One of the best instances of the Catalan Gothic sculpture can be seen in its stalls. The wooden pulpit that Pedro Canglada carved in 1403 is a sight.
The Chapter Hall Museum once was a soup kitchen devoted to the poor people. These days, it is home to some fantastic items, such as the baptismal font of the primary eleventh-century Gothic Cathedral.
Lepanto's Chapel is embellished with beautiful paintings that honor Santa Eulalia and pay regards to an essential naval war in which the Holy League Overcame the Ottoman Empire. At this place, the visitors and devotees can make prayers in silence.
This organized inner courtyard is thought to be the most prominent part of the Barcelona Cathedral. You enter the cloister from a white marble door that is thought to be leftover from the original Romanesque Cathedral constructed in the mid12th century.
This rectangular cloister consisting of four galleries exhibits pillars showing scenes from the Old Testament, whereas the vault keystones depict scenes from the New Testament.
Magnolias, an orange tree, and palm trees, as well as a central fountain, fill up the central garden. Also, there is a pond at this site where thirteen white geese live, as a representation of thirteen years of the life of the Santa Eulalia.
A must-go-to place in the Cathedral of Barcelona is the roof, with the help of an elevator. From the rooftop of the Cathedral of Barcelona, you can see a spectacular view of 360 degrees of the whole glorious city. You can also have a closer glance at the legendary gargoyles and the bell tower from the top of the Cathedral. In summer and spring, the fresh air that you get from here is also a great relief. So, you don't need to spend money on the city's most visited rooftop restaurants and bars.
You can access the roof from one of the chapels present on the left side of the church; go after the signs that are there to help you out.
In the above article, we hope that we have covered up all the structural and historical features that make the Barcelona Cathedral such a huge tourist attraction. There is one more thing about the visit that you need to pay special heed to. The dress code should not be compromised in the Barcelona Cathedral. Inside the Cathedral, you ought to wear some traditional clothes. Make sure that you enter the great Cathedral in the skirts/shorts/dresses up to the knee length and cover the shoulders. If you anyhow happen to be there in a prohibited dress code, don't worry. You can buy appropriate shawls that are sold there to resolve this issue that unaware tourists face. Also, keep one more thing in your mind that you have to remove any headwear or cap to get into the Barcelona Cathedral.