Sainte Croix Cathedral - Barcelona

This cathedral is a major sightseeing site to visit absolutely. The first Christian edifices in Barcelona date back to the IVth century. Later, in the Vth century was built a series of religious buildings comprising a basilica, a baptistry, an episcopal chamber and a residence for the bishop. In 985, the temple was destroyed by the haje of the caliph Hixem II, Almanzor or Al-Mansur, who was known as the "Christian kingdoms' bane". In the XIth century, the count Ramon Berenguer the Old and the bishop Guislabertus initiated the construction of a new temple. The construction began in 1046 and the place was consecrated in 1058. Of the romanesque cathedral only a few sculptural elements remain. They are kept inside the building and in other adjacent edifices. The construction of the present gothic cathedral started in 1298. The construction extended in an irregular manner to the XVIth century after Carlos I wanted to set up there the Golden Fleece order. The frontispiece remained unfinished and there was only one wall until the 1880's. The 1888 Fair was a milestone in the cathedral's finalization. The façade was financed by the banker Manuel Girona and finished in 1887. The ciborium was completed in 1909. The Barcelona's Cathedral has two vocation. It was first dedicated to the Holy Cross but the moving of Saint-Eulaly's remains to the cathedral's crypt in 878 brought a second dedication to the saint martyr for the cathedral. The cathedral is a magnificient example of the catalan gothic style, very different from the rest of Spain's gothic cathedrals which are closer to the French style ones. This singularity lies especially in the naves' structure, three in Barcelona, of almost equal heigth which delimitates an unified space of a great architectural purity. Inside, we can observe a chancel, important feature of Spanish cathedrals, located at the centre of the nave and dated from 1380. There, the high sillera is the most remarkable element because it was carved out of wood with a profane style. The Trascoro done by Bartolomé Ordonez contains marble engravings which reprensent scenes of Saint-Eulaly's judgement and martyrdom. The style of the sillera and the tascoro is different from the gothic style of the rest of the edifice and show the choice of a calm and majestic style in accordance with Carlos I's court classical preferences. The crypt which contains Saint-Eulaly's remains is under the presbytery. The saint's sepulchre was undoubtedly realized by Italian masters. The cloister, the access of which still contains romanesque elements, was built between 1350 and 1448. In its galleries, we can find the chapel which houses the Christ of Lepanto which is said to have been present at the battle of the same name. One of the most remarkabke features of the cloister is the presence of 13 live geese symbolizing the age of Saint-Eulaly at her martyrdom.

To see: the cloister and the geese living there; the sculptures and gothic paintings; To do: visit the cathedral and the Capitular museum; Close to: la Casa de la Pia Almoina, la Casa del Dega



Address : Pla de la Seu Barcelona Spain

Map :

Related places :