Things to do in Barcelona – Visit the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar

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If you find yourself in the La Ribera neighborhood  with a little time to spare, step inside the Basilica of Santa Maria del MarThe facade of this imposing Catalan Gothic structure features a giant rose window above the entrance, and is flanked by twin octagonal towers.

Altar Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar Barcelona

Built on the site of a Roman necropolis and constructed of stone from nearby Montjuïc, this 14th-century church dedicated to Saint Mary of the Sea, was funded by local merchants, who along with area shipbuilders came here to worship. Damaged on several occasions over the course of its history, most recently by fire in the 1930s, the church has been restored and remains a vital aspect of this ‘seaside’ neighborhood.

Nave Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar Barcelona

The rather airy interior, with a central nave and two narrow side aisles, retains little of the original medieval décor. Among the many architectural and artistic features you’ll see inside are:

Nave Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar Barcelona

Stone columns – these skinny pillars add to the lightness of the interior and support

Painted Keystone Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar Barcelona

the rib-vaulted ceilings, which are adorned with painted keystones;

Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament Altar Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar Barcelona

The 17th-century Neoclassical Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament;

Memorial Plaque Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar Barcelona

Memorial plaques, tomb markers,

Bronze Relief Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar Barcelona

and reliefs,

Relief of Porter Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar Barcelona

such as those, on the doors and in framed panels on the walls, depicting the bastaixos or medieval ship’s porters who unloaded supplies used in construction of the church;

Rose Window Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar Barcelona

The Rose Window, which dates to the mid-15th century, and other stained glass windows depicting biblical scenes and significant events in Barcelona’s history, such as the 20th century panels commemorating the 1992 Olympic Games;

Unusual metalwork, such as

Metal Chandelier Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar Barcelona

the light fixtures;

Reliquary in Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar Barcelona

A golden reliquary containing the relics of merchant and martyr Saint Cugat (Cucuphas), 

Saint Alexis Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar Barcelona

and of Saint Alexis, the patron of beggars, a sculpture of whom can be seen in the chapel nearby;

Baptismal Font Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar Barcelona

The Baptistry, which features a statue of Saint Rita of Cascia overlooking a rustic red marble baptismal font; 

And – in the various other side chapels – statues of numerous saints, including:

Saint Ignatius of Loyola Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar Barcelona

Ignatius of Loyola;

 Altar and Statue of Our lady of Hope Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar Barcelona

Our Lady of Hope, whose altar is decorated with beautiful reliefs;

Saints Maginus and Tecla Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar Barcelona

Saints Tecla and Maginus;

Crucified Christ and Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar Barcelona

Crucified Christ and Our Lady of Sorrows;

 Our Lady of the Abandoned Ones Basilica Santa Maria del Mar Barcelona

Our Lady of the Abandoned Ones;

Our Lady of the Olive Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar Barcelona

Our Lady of the Olive;

Saint Pancras Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar Barcelona

Saint Pancras;

Immaculate Conception Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar Barcelona

And the Immaculate Conception.

Getting there:

Santa Maria del Mar is located at Plaça de Santa Maria, 1.

Ticket Info:

General Admission = Free

Guided tours = 8.00€; includes access to the crypt and rooftop

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