Destinations / The most beautiful cathedrals of Spain / Barcelona Cathedral
In the center of Barri Gotic, in the very heart of Barcelona there is located the beautiful Gothic cathedral called La Seu. The cathedral was constructed throughout the 13th to 15th centuries, with the principal work done in the 14th century, but the cathedral was only completed in the early 20th century.
The church is dedicated to Eulalia, co-patron saint of Barcelona. The official name of this cathedral is the Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia, which in Catalan means The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia. However, the name most often used when referring to the cathedral is "La Seu", due to the fact it is the seat of the Archbishop of Barcelona.
In the year of 343 AD, during the Roman Empire, a basilica was built on the site where the cathedral is located now. In 985, the basilica was destroyed by the Moors. It was replaced by a Roman cathedral that was built between 1046 and 1058. A chapel, Capella de Santa Lucia, was also built between 1257 and 1268. Later it was incorporated in the monastery chapel near the cathedral. Thirty years later, in 1298, the construction of the Gothic cathedral was begun under the reign of King Jaime II, known also as "The Right One". During its construction, the old church building was demolished, except the chapel of Santa Lucia.
Due to civil wars and the plague that hit the city for several times, the Gothic cathedral construction progressed very slowly. It was only 1460 when the main body of the cathedral was finished. The gothic facade was completed much later, in 1889 while the last part, the central tower, was finished in 1913. Both the design of the facade and the tower is based on the original draft from 1408 made by the French architect Charles Galters.
The church is 93 meters long and 40 meters wide. The clock towers have a height that exceeds 50 feet. They were built between 1386 and 1393. The central tower is 70 meters. The interior has a nave and 28 side chapels. In the crypt there is the sarcophagus of Santa Eulalia. The cathedral has a spectacular and beautifully carved choir. There has been also installed an elevator that leads up to the roof of the cathedral.
In the very proximity of the cathedral one can find a monastery dating from the 14th century. There are always 13 geese here in the yard. Each goose represents one year in the life of the holy martyr Eulalia, a young girl who was tortured to death for her faith by the Romans in the 4th century. The monastery has a small museum that exhibits liturgical artifacts.
By Maria Morari
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