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Barcelona’s Top 10 : Charming Churches & Chapels - Top 10 Catalan Saints & Virgins

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  1. Barcelona Cathedral

    Barcelona’s magnificent Gothic cathedral boasts an eye-catching façade and a peaceful cloister. 

  2. Església de Santa Maria del Mar

    The elegant church of Santa Maria del Mar (1329–83) is one of the finest examples of Catalan Gothic, a style characterized by measured simplicity. A spectacular stained-glass rose window illuminates the lofty interior. 

  3. Capella de Sant Miquel & Església al Monestir de Pedralbes

    Inside the Monestir de Pedralbes is a Gothic cloister and the Capella de Sant Miquel, decorated with murals by Catalan artist Ferrer Bassa in 1346. The adjoining Gothic church contains the alabaster tomb of Queen Elisenda, the monastery’s founder.

    • C/Baixada del Monestir 14

    • Open Oct–Mar: 10am–2pm Tue–Sat, 10am–3pm Sun; Apr–Sep: 10am–5pm Tue–Sat, 10am–3pm Sun (church also open 7–8:30pm)

  4. Església de Sant Pau del Camp

    Founded as a Benedictine monastery in the 9th century by Guifre II, a count of Barcelona, this church was rebuilt the following century. Its sculpted façade and intimate cloister with rounded arches bear all the trademarks of the Romanesque style. 

  5. Església de Sant Pere de les Puelles

    Built in 801 as a chapel for troops stationed in Barcelona, this església later became a spiritual retreat for young noble women. The church was rebuilt in the 1100s and is notable today for its Romanesque central cupola and a series of capitals topped with carved leaves. Look out for two stone tablets depicting a Greek cross, which are from the original chapel.

    • Pl de Sant Pere

    • Open 8:45am–1pm, 5–7:30pm Mon–Fri; 8:45am–1pm, 4:30–6:30pm Sat; 10am–2pm Sun

  6. Església de Santa Maria del Pi

    This lovely Gothic church with its ornate stained-glass windows graces Plaça del Pi with its elegant presence.

    • Pl del Pi

    • Open 9am–1:30pm & 4:30–9pm daily

    • DA

  7. Capella de Santa Àgata

    Within the grand walls of the Palau Reial  is the medieval Capella de Santa Àgata, with its lovely stained glass windows and 15th-century altarpiece.

    • Pl del Rei

    • Open 10am–8pm Tue–Sat (Oct–May: 10am–2pm, 4–7pm Tue–Sat), 10am–3pm Sun

    • (Oct–May closed 2–4pm)

    • Adm

    Gothic nave, Capella de Santa Àgata
  8. Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor

    Mount Tibidabo is an appropriate perch for this huge, over-the-top Neo-Gothic church, topped with a gold Christ with outstretched arms. The name Tibidabo takes its meaning from the words, “I shall give you” (tibi dabo), uttered by the Devil in his temptation of Christ. Zealously serving the devoted, the priest here performs the Eucharist throughout the day.

    • Tibidabo

    • Open 10:30am–7:30pm daily

  9. Capella de Sant Jordi

    Inside the Palau de la Generalitat is this fine 15th-century chapel, dedicated to Catalonia’s patron saint.

    • Pl Sant Jaume

    • Guided tours 10:30am– 1:30pm 2nd & 4th Sun of month

  10. Església de Betlem

    La Rambla was once dotted with religious buildings, most built in the 17th and 18th centuries when the Catholic Church was flush with money. This església remains one of the most important functioning churches from this period.

    • C/Xuclà 2

    • Open 8am–1:30pm & 5:30–8pm daily

    • DA

Top 10 Catalan Saints & Virgins

  1. Sant Jordi

    Catalonia’s patron saint is Saint George, whose dragon-slaying prowess is depicted all over the city.

  2. Virgin Mercè

    She became the female patron saint of Barcelona in 1637. The most raucous festival in town is the Festes de La Mercè.

  3. Virgin of Montserrat

    Catalonia’s famous “Black Virgin” is the city’s patron virgin.

  4. Santa Eulàlia

    Santa Eulàlia, Barcelona’s first female patron saint, was martyred by the Romans when they took the city.

  5. Santa Elena

    Legend has it that Saint Helena converted to Christianity after discovering Christ’s cross in Jerusalem in 346 AD.

  6. Santa Llúcia

    The saint of eyes and vision is celebrated on 13 December, when the blind come to worship at the Santa Llúcia chapel in the cathedral .

  7. Sant Cristòfol

    Though officially stripped of his sainthood as there was little evidence he existed, Saint Christopher was once the patron saint of travellers.

  8. Sant Antoni de Padua

    On 13 June, those seeking a husband or wife pray to the patron saint of love.

  9. Santa Rita

    Deliverer of the impossible, Santa Rita is prayed to by those searching for miracles.

  10. Sant Joan

    The night of Saint John  is celebrated with giant bonfires and fireworks.

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