Vino Con Vista Italy Travel Guides and Events

Vino Con Vista | Traveler

Friday, October 15, 2010

Barcelona, Spain - Catedral

By Harry Preston
One of Spain's finest cathedrals, this Gothic masterpiece towers over the heart of the Barri G6tic and remains a magnet for visitors, with its bell tower, high altar and arches. Officially named Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulalia, it's affectionately known as "La Seu" after the otece in which it sits, or simply "Catedral".
As a site of worship, the cathedral was predated by a basilica built during the Roman Empire, followed by a mosque and then a 11 th-century Romanesque cathedral. Construction on the present building began in 1298, during the reign of Jaume 11, when most of the existing structure was demolished. The main building was completed in 1460, with the Gothic facade added in the 19th century and the central spire in 1913. Highlights include the tomb of Santa Eulalia, Barcelona's martyred patron saint, which can be found in the crypt. The daughter of a wealthy Barcelona family, Eulalia was crucified by the Roman governor Decius for refusing to denounce her Christian beliefs. Her story, from torture and crucifixion to resurrection, is told in high relief sculptures visible from the front entrance to the cathedral.

The shaded 14th-century cloister also draws visitors, with its central pond and fountain, palm-lined courtyard and its famous white geese. The 13 geese, now reduced to half a dozen, are variously described as each representing a year in the life of Eulalia,or one for each of the tortures she suffered. In legend, they are said to descend from the geese of Rome's Capitoline Hill, who protected the city from attack by the Gauls.

The fountain of St George is worth a visit on Corpus Christi day, for the "L'ou com balla" or "dancing egg", where an egg is placed in the fountain jet. Tradition has it that good fortune will follow in the coming months if the egg does not break.

There are two dozen chapels in all, including the Capilla de Lepanto, which has a 15th-century wooden sculpture of Christ, and the Santa Llucia Chapel - all that remains of the previous Roman structure from which the cathedral was built. Dating from 1268, it can be reached from the cloister and honours St Llucia who also suffered at the hands of Decius, plucking out her own eyes to repel the governor's advances. Such was her purity, new eyes miraculously appeared. She is represented over the altar, offering Decius her eyes on a salver.

An elevator takes visitors to the roof for great views of the Gothic quarter (€2.50 per person), and on Sundays at noon you can see Catalans dance the traditional folkloric Sardana in front of the cathedral. Evening organ concerts are also held inside throughout the year. Visitors are welcome to attend Mass, held in Spanish and Catalan, hourly on Sundays and throughout the day during the week. During renovations visitors were invited to "adopt a stone".

For more information about Barcelona, Spain visit

For more information about Reykjavik, Iceland visit

Article Source:
Search for vino con vista

Enhanced by Zemanta