Barcelona Gothic Quarter – 7 Must See CathedralsFriday, August 26, 2016 Sightseeing and Landmarks by Shelley Treadaway
If you’ve ever had a love affair with Barcelona, know that you aren’t alone. So many across the globe have found themselves within the maze-like streets of Barcelona and fallen in love with the city with a modern personality, but deep roots in the Gothic era. Barcelona is time and time again a perfect marriage between old and new with food that transcends imagination and architecture that continuously takes your breath away around each corner. Even the streets are lined with picturesque apartments that will make you feel like you’ve entered a time machine and have been spit out centuries before your time.
One of the most celebrated aspects of Barcelona for locals and tourists lies within the labyrinth of the Gothic Quarter where each turn on the street produces a new and unexplored cathedral, church or basilica with a rich history that is unique in its own right.
As you travel through the Gothic streets you will undoubtedly come into contact with a Plaça or square adorned with tapas bars and local shops selling everything from FC Barcelona gear to faux leather sandals. You don’t need to search far to find a bell tower or entrance to a cathedral that is as dark and mysterious as it is enormous; you might even hear the tolling of the bells before you see the structure itself.
Why tour Barcelona Gothic Quarter?
Why not head over to the famous Sagrada Familia and just call it a day? There are more reasons than one, but perhaps the best reason to tour the Gothic Quarter and save the Sagrada for another day is the intimacy you receive upon arriving at some of these old, historic places of worship. Each is different and offers a unique experience for the person participating. During this tour you can skip the lines and get an up close and personal look into some of the best kept secrets of Barcelona.
Are you ready to take the tour through the Gothic District of Barcelona? Is it time to fall in love with the city that is as beautiful as it is rich in history? Here are 7 of the top cathedrals you MUST see in the Gothic Quarter.
Plaça I Esglesia del Pi
Shrouded in mystery and riddled by a tumultuous history, Plaça I Esglesia del Pi stands as one of the oldest cathedrals in Barcelona. It is thought that the del Pi existed in 413 and fire and reconstruction it stands as a noteworthy stop on your Gothic tour.
Sant Filipe Neri
This church located in one of the most romantic squares of Barcelona is also the location of Gaudi’s death and site of a bombing during the Spanish Civil War that killed 42 many of whom children hiding within the church walls. Despite its sad history, this is absolutely a church worth visiting as it is as beautiful as it is centrally located. Look closely at the brick detail and see where overlay occurred after the bombing.
The Cathedral de Barcelona
The Catedral de Barcelona stands as the centerpiece for the Gothic cathedral tour. Located in the center of the city and known to locals as “The Cathedral” is a paleo-Christian basilica constructed in the 4th century and rebuilt upon the skeleton as the structure we see today. As a more traditional structure and main tourist spot, it should be noted that women must have their shoulders and knees covered in order to enter the cathedral. You can take an elevator to the top and see breathtaking views of the city.
Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar
Located in the El Born district of the Gothic Quarter the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar stands with a simple exterior but has an intricate décor with stained glass windows, a massive alter and services that regularly run while tourists guide themselves through the dimly lit quarters. Odes to the Virgin Mary are embodied in cracks and crevices where you can light a candle in prayer or just enjoy the uniqueness that is the del Mar.
Plaça i Esglèsia de la Mercé
Dedicated to the Virgin of Mercy, the patron Saint of Barcelona, this basilica built in the 1700’s by the Catalan architect Josep Mas and Dordal who constructed the church on top the former basilica’s framework. It is immaculately designed and the interior is uniquely catered toward the theme of mercy.
Basílica de la Mercè
This is a special church dedicated to the city’s patron saint. The interior is lavish in décor has been redone and revived through a ragged history of destruction. It is notoriously hidden in the labyrinth maze of Barcelona streets, so you can either plan to visit this monumental basilica or run into it by happy accident.
Basílica dels Sants Màrtirs Just i Pastor
Saving one of the best (in my opinion) cathedrals for last is the Basílica dels Sants Màrtirs Just i Pastor which you will undoubtedly run into on your way to the Cathedral Barcelona.
Here in its ancient walls lies a stunning interior with a bell tower you can climb for just 2 Euros. You will get breathtaking views of the Barcelona skyline and it is by far the most affordable “tour” you will get.