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Barcelona Cathedral La Seu: A Magnificent 14th Century Basilica
Barcelona’s 14th century Cathedral La Seu
is located on the site of the former Roman hill, Mont Tabor, a dominating presence in the Gothic Quarter
with its magnificent Catalan Gothic and Renaissance design. Although construction on the Cathedral began in 1298 under the reign of King Jaume II, “the Just” it wasn’t completed until 1460, with the exterior completed in 1889 and the final spire added in 1913. A perfect blending of Gothic and Renaissance styles, features lofty spires, pinnacles, colossal arches and a towering bell towers.
Ancient Roman History
- The ancient Roman Mont Tabor was a popular site for spiritual monuments through the ages, with a former Roman temple built there in 343 A.D and a mosque later built by the conquering Moors, now all destroyed. The Capella de Santa Llucia, a surviving Roman chapel built in 1257, was left intact and added to the Cathedral La Seu’s cloister. One gets a sense, when visiting this Cathedral, of the profound spiritual history associated with this site through the centuries. You can almost hear the hushed whispers of century old worshipers.
The Cathedral’s Interior
- The Cathedral La Seu’s interior was recently cleaned and spruced up, removing centuries of dust and grime. All the better to view the popular crypt holding the sarcophagus of Santa Eulalia, who is the Cathedral’s patron saint and revered for her martyrdom during the Roman Empire. A visitor can pay a few coins to light up the crypt for a better view.
Also notable is the stunning Cappella de Sant Benet with a 15th century altarpiece by famed artist Bernat Matorell depicting the crucifixion of Christ. The Cathedral’s interior also contains numerous choir stalls, additional chapels, naves and medieval art that are a feast for the eyes.
- Lush gardens and orange trees surround the lovely 14th century Cloister; one of the most famous spots in Barcelona
, with its centuries old stone floor, pond and fountain. A statue of St George decorates the old fountain. Thirteen white geese are always present, serenely swimming in the pond, said to be a symbol of Santa Eulalia’s virginity. Visitors to the Cathedral should not miss a chance to bask in this ancient oasis and take a few moments to contemplate and enjoy the beautiful setting.
Where is La Seu: Pla de la Seu
How to get to La Seu: By Subway – Line 4 – Jaume I station
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