Santa Maria del Mar church - gothic church Featured Popular

Plaça de Santa María del Mar, 08003, Barcelona
Nearest Metro
Jaime I L4
City District
Ciutat Vella: El Born
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Santa Maria del Mar church - gothic church
Basilica Santa Maria del Mar church in Barcelona. The Santa Maria del Mar is a beautiful Catalan gothic church finished in 1383 and located in the Born area of Barcelona's old city. See mass times and services. The name 'Santa Maria del Mar' means 'Saint Mary of the Sea'. Today the church is no longer very close to the sea, but at the time of construction, the neighbourhood of El Born was on the sea front. What makes this church very unique, is that it is a gothic church built entirely in the Catalan gothic style. 

The earliest mention of a church of Santa Maria by the sea in Barcelona dates back to the year 998. Construction of Santa Maria del Mar church was led by architect 'Berenguer de Montagut' and started on 25 March 1329 when the foundation stone was laid by King Alfons IV of Aragon, also known as 'Alfonso the Kind' (Rei Alfons el Benigne.)

The foundation stone was laid in commemoration of the Aragonese conquest of Sardinia which took place between 1323 and 1326. This was at the time when the the Crown of Aragon dominated the eastern Mediterranean and had conquered of Mallorca 10 years earlier and later included Sicily, Malta and parts of Greece.

A stone tablet in Latin and Catalan commerates the foundation ceremony and can be seen on the facade of the church on the street Carrer del Fossar de les Moreres. The Santa Maria de Mar church was completed on 3 November 1383.

The church today has a very impressive interior and this is partly due to the very bare interior if one compares it to other basilica and cathedrals in Spain. This appearance was not by design but is from the fire that ravaged the church for a week at the beginning of the Spanish civil war in 1936 to 1939. The church was looted and set alight in anti-clerical assaults which led to the sacking and burning of many monasteries and churches and the killing of many members of Spain's catholic clergy. In the Santa Maria de Mar lost its side chapels and alters, the main baroque altar, the 18th-century organ and the central wooden choir stall as well as many tapestries, artworks and sculptures.

The Santa Maria del Mar is now both a place of worship and a major tourist attraction in Barcelona and use for concerts and recitals. It is also possible to take a tour of the Santa Maria del Mar church roof, which has lovely views of Barcelona's old city.

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