Barcelona Cathedral - History and Facts | History Hit

Barcelona Cathedral

Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Barcelona Cathedral is a gothic cathedral dating back over five hundred years.

Antara Bate

14 Jul 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Barcelona Cathedral

Barcelona Cathedral (Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia) is the seat of the Archbishop of Barcelona. The original building on the site on which Barcelona Cathedral sits was destroyed by the Moors in 985 and replaced by a Romanesque church in 1085.

Barcelona Cathedral history

It was over the crypt of this church that construction of the current Barcelona Cathedral began in 1298 and continued through the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, accounting for its gothic architecture. Whilst most of the cathedral was finished by 1450, parts of Barcelona Cathedral, most notably its gothic façade, were only completed in 1890.

At the end of the 19th century, the Barcelona industrialist, Manuel Girona i Agrafel, offered to pay for the work on the façade and its two side towers, which was carried out according to the plans of the architect Josep O. Mestres, inspired by the initial project that had already been drawn in the 15th century. Mr. Girona’s children completed their father’s business with the construction of the dome, completed in 1913.

The cathedral is dedicated to Eulalia of Barcelona, the city’s co-patron saint who Catholics believe was a virgin horrifically martyred during the Roman era. The fact that she was martyred at the age of thirteen is marked by the thirteen geese that are kept in Santa Eulalia’s cloisters.

Barcelona Cathedral today

Barcelona Cathedral is an absolutely stunning building, with dramatic vaulted ceilings, golden pillars and a tower which visitors can climb for great views. It also contains numerous religious and historical artefacts, such as a cross once born by a ship that fought in the sixteenth century Battle of Lepanto.

The San Ivo entrance is a perfect example of the Catalan Gothic style. The interior naves are practically all of the same height, which gives the visitor the impression of being in a single space. The side chapels have an upper gallery, which affords the whole building a greater sense of brightness and space. The interior of the lantern is faced with wood coffering.

Getting to Barcelona Cathedral

The Cathedral is easily accessibly by public transport, the nearest metro stops are Catalunya on the yellow line and Liceu on the green line.