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The Most Beautiful Cathedrals in Barcelona


Barcelona is a very rich city historically speaking, apart from the impressive Roman remains that can be found in Via Laietana, the city is home to churches with great architectural beauty.

Gaudi Sagrada Familia Church in Barcelona, Catalonia |Travel Spain GuideGaudi's Sagrada Familia Church in Barcelona (view of the Passion Facade), Spain. Image by © Wjh31 / CC BY 3.0

The best way to see these works of art is to stay in Barcelona at least for a few days, to enjoy the surroundings: parks, people and weather - make the city. Let's take a look at some of these wonderful buildings.

1.To start with, and although you may be tired of hearing about it by now if you know anything about Barcelona, is Gaudi's Sagrada Familia (Church of the Holly Familly). This is a church started by the famous architect on 19th March 1882, but it still hasn't been finished. They do estimate that it will be complete during the first third of this century, some guessing its completion will coincide with the 100th year since Gaudí's death, 2020.

The christian symbolism is present throughout the work, which was declared a minor basilica on 7th November, 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI. As there are almost always queues to get in - it's better to come here early.

Gaudi Sagrada Familia Church in  Barcelona, Catalonia |Travel Spain GuideGaudi's Sagrada Familia Church in Barcelona, Spain. Image by © Bernard Gagnon / CC BY-SA 3.0

2.Secondly we come to the church of Santa Maria del Mar, the extraordinary Gothic construction that will make your jaw drop. It was built between 1329 and 1383 by Berenguer de Montagut and Ramon Despuig, and it's an attraction that you cannot miss.

Today, it's one of the most visited destinations in the city thanks largely to the novel by Ildefonso Falcones; The Cathedral of the Sea, which has sold over 1 million copies and has been translated into many languages. You can find it in the Born district.

Santa Maria del Mar Church in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain |Travel Spain GuideSanta Maria del Mar Church in Barcelona, Spain. Image by © Bohringer / CC BY-SA 2.5

3.You mustn't miss the distinguished Cathedral of Barcelona either, in its gothic style. It is the seat of of the Archbishop of Barcelona, in Catalonia. The current cathedral was built over the old Romanesque cathedral during the thirtheenth to fiftheenth century.

It has been dedicated to the Holy Cross since the year 599 and was later to Santa Eulalia from 877, the patron saint of the city. If you happen to be in the city for Christmas, you will find a beautiful street market in front of this church.

Cathedral of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain |Travel Spain GuideCathedral of Barcelona (Interior, Presbytery), Spain. Image by © Josep Renalias / CC BY-SA 3.0

4.Finally, I'd like to emphasize the Templo Expiatorio del Sagrado Corazo (Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor - Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus) in Tibidabo. This construction is an important symbol for Barcelona and is one of the first things you will see on arrival to Barcelona, either by car or plane.

It was built by the architect Enric Sagnier i Villavecchia and completed by his son Josep Maria Sagnier i Vidal between 1902 and 1961. Right in front of this temple is the Tibidabo amusement park, one of the oldest in Europe.

Sagrat Cor (Templo Expiatorio del Sagrado Corazo)- Barcelona, Catalonia |Travel Spain GuideSagrat Cor Church (Templo Expiatorio del Sagrado Corazo) | Barcelona, Spain. Image by © Canaan / CC BY-SA 4.0

Traveler's NotesLocation
  • Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, Spain
  • Language: Catalan, Spanish
  • Monetary unit: Euro, € (EUR)
  • Time Zone: UTC +1(+2 in summer)
  • Phone code: +34 93
  • Climat: Mediterranean
  • Nicknames: Ciutat Comtal (City of Counts), Barna, BCN
  • Useful phones: 112 - general emergencies
author: © Harriet Freeman
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