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Santa Maria del Mar

GOTHIC FASCINATION NEVER ENDS

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Santa Maria del Mar Barcelona, named The Cathedral of the Sea, is peraphs the most impressive church in the whole city. It is an outstanding example of Catalan Ghotic and a place full of powerful energy.

It was built in only 55 years, between 1329 and 1384, and for the its construction the architects in charge were Berenguer de Montagut (designer of the building) and Ramon Despuig.

You reach the cathedral from a little street, in the heart of Born-La Ribera disctrict. It is a massive surprise impressing you, when you finally arrive in Plaça Santa María del Mar: suddenly the cathedral becomes visible, with its grandiosity.

The fascination of the church depends by many reasons. Exterior and interior give a differt sensation: whyle standing outside, you find in front of you tradicional Catalan gothic facades, with a predominance of horizontal lines and large bare surfaces. When entering the cathedral, dimensions and balances change. The interior gives an impression of light and spaciousness, extraordinarily beautiful. It is of the basilica type, with its three aisles forming a single space with no transepts and no architectural boundary between nave and presbytery. The spacing of the columns is the widest of any Gothic church in Europe.

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Quiet, calm and majestic, the Cathedral of the Sea keeps an indescribable atmosphere inside. You feell wrapped and elevated. Along the aisles are shining candles, which, fortunately, there are still those with a real fire. The many stained-glass windows of the church of Santa Maria del Mar play an important role in giving this impression of spaciousness.

It is definitely a place to visit when around in the Born - Ribera district. As the interior has an excepional acoustic, concerts are often organized here. In case you find one, don't miss it, because when lightened and with music, Santa Maria del Mar is definitely unforgivable.

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If interested, there is a book explaining the history of Santa Maria del Mar and of Barcelona in Middle Age: The Cathedral of the Sea by Idelfonso Falcones.

Address: Plaça Santa María del Mar, Born-Ribera, Barcelona Opening Times: Daily 9am - 1.30pm and 4.30pm - 8pm Admission: Free of charge How to Get There: Santa María del Mar church is a three minute walk from Jaume I Metro Station (Yellow Line)

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