The Cathedral of Barcelona, also known as the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, is one of the most famous landmarks in Barcelona. It is located in the Gothic Quarter of the city and is a must-visit destination for tourists.
One of the most unique features of the cathedral is the presence of a group of geese in the cloister. Legend has it that during the siege of Barcelona in the 14th century, the geese saved the city by alerting the guards to the presence of enemy troops. As a result, the geese have been kept at the cathedral ever since, and their presence has become a popular attraction for visitors.
The construction of the cathedral began in the 13th century and was completed in the 15th century. It was built on the site of an earlier Romanesque church, and the Gothic architecture is stunning. The cathedral has undergone several renovations and additions over the years, including the addition of a cloister in the 14th century and the completion of the neo-Gothic façade in the 19th century.
Upon the façade of the building, the macabre countenance of the gargoyles demands your attention. Amongst the visages of fantastic creatures, such as unicorns, sorcerers, fiends, and elephants, they also function as water fountains, transporting rainwater from the rooftops. At Plaza Sant Lu, situated on Calle dels Comtes, a most peculiar and enigmatic door can be observed. Despite its location on the third floor, the entrance leads to a void. The answer to this curious oddity lies in the remains of the façade, where once stood a bridge that linked disparate portions of the cathedral. The King would cross the bridge directly to the temple, avoiding mingling with the populace below.
Upon entering the cathedral, one is immediately immersed in an emblem of Catalan Gothic architecture, discovering an oasis of tranquility and religious devotion that houses a myriad of secrets and esoteric treasures. The site safeguards an abundance of precious artefacts, including the wooden choir stalls, the Santa Eulalia crypt, and the cloisters, the latter of which harbours a central courtyard replete with a garden of magnolias and palm trees. Yet, of all the attractions, it is not the magnificence of the trees that captivates, but rather the pond with its thirteen white geese. A plethora of legends surrounds their presence, with the first harkening back to the temple’s construction. A guardian, entrusted with the protection of the site, kept the geese, whose squawking alerted him of any trespassers, reducing the possibility of theft. The geese’s diligence earned them sanctuary for life. Other tales relate the thirteen geese to the thirteen martyrs who implored Santa Eulalia’s clemency after renouncing their faith during Roman times. Another site worthy of inspection is the fountain of Sant Jordi slaying a dragon, located in the central courtyard. It is customary to toss a coin into the fountain and make a wish.
Admittance to the cathedral depends on the establishment’s hours of operation, as well as the season and time of day you wish to explore the locale. At HCC Hotels, we can assist you in discovering all the concealed treasures and navigating this ancient site, a jewel of Gothic Catalan architecture.
What to see
There are many interesting things to see inside the cathedral, if you buy Cathedral of Barcelona ticket online which includes
- The main altar, which is dedicated to Saint Eulalia, the patron saint of Barcelona
- The choir stalls, which are intricately carved and date back to the 15th century
- The Chapel of the Holy Sacrament, which contains a beautiful 15th-century altarpiece
- The crypt, which houses the remains of Saint Eulalia and other saints
- The rooftop terrace, which offers stunning views of the city
- The cathedral is open to visitors every day, but the opening times vary depending on the season, so check the website before you go.
- Admission is free, but there is a charge for visiting the rooftop terrace.
- Dress appropriately – no shorts, bare shoulders or beachwear is allowed inside the cathedral.
- Be prepared for crowds, especially during peak tourist season.
- Guided tours are available if you want to learn more about the history of the cathedral and its architecture.
The Cathedral of Barcelona is located in the Gothic Quarter, which is easily accessible by public transport. The nearest metro station is Jaume I (L4), and there are also several bus routes that stop nearby. If you prefer to walk, the cathedral is just a short distance from other major tourist attractions, such as the Picasso Museum and the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar.
In summary, the Cathedral of Barcelona is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Gothic architecture and religious history. With its stunning interior and beautiful rooftop terrace, it is sure to leave a lasting impression on visitors.
Additionally, the cathedral often hosts music concerts and other cultural events, so it’s worth checking the schedule if you’re interested in attending one of these. The cathedral also plays an important role in the city’s religious life, and visitors may have the opportunity to witness a Mass or other religious service during their visit.
Finally, it’s worth noting that the Cathedral of Barcelona is just one of many stunning Gothic buildings in the city. Visitors who are interested in this style of architecture should also make time to explore other attractions in the Gothic Quarter, such as the Plaça del Rei and the Palau de la Generalitat.