Cathedral Basilica of Barcelona

The tall cathedral was visible over other buildings as we toured along the Gothic quarter in the old parts of the town. With the spire of the cathedral as guide we could easily find the way to it through the criss cross of old lanes. The façade may not be stunningly beautiful but it is definitely impressive. Its history is equally impressive. The construction took 150 years from 1298 to 1417. There is another entry way into the church called the door of Saint Ivo. It happens to be the oldest door of the church and was once the main entrance to this cathedral.

And like the story of Draupadi in Mahabharata whose honor was saved by Lord Krishna, this cathedral too has a story of a 13 year old girl. The cathedral is dedicated to Eulalia of Barcelona, co-patron saint of Barcelona, a young virgin who, according to Catholic tradition, suffered martyrdom during Roman times in the city. One story says that she was exposed naked in the public square and a miraculous snowfall in mid-spring covered her nudity. The enraged Romans put her into a barrel with knives stuck into it and rolled it down a street (according to tradition, the one now called Baixada de Santa Eulàlia). The body of Saint Eulalia is entombed in the cathedral’s crypt.

The cathedral was crowded both outside and inside. Some major activity seemed to be on, so couldn’t get in to the interior part. I took pictures from a side. Surprisingly in spite of people all around there was ‘sweet soothing silence’ inside the cathedral. It is this experience which makes me long to visit cathedrals.

The windows had beautiful stain glass paintings. The small chapels inside had such ornate beautiful contents. The place is holy and dress code is observed here very strictly. Shoulders and knees have to be covered. There are some hours in the day when entry is free. In fact several sites in Barcelona have such ‘happy hours’. If you plan properly you can visit the sites free and save euros.

Cathedral timings:
Mon to Fri: 8 to 19.30hrs
Sat – Sun: 8 to 20hrs.
Happy Hours: Free to enter:
Mon to Sat before 12.45hrs, Sun before 13.45hrs
and every day after 17.15hrs.
We were there in the evening.
There are some parts of the cathedral you have to pay for entry.

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The old gate.

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Barcelona to Granada, a Pleasant Drive
The Ramblas Ramble Walk, Barcelona

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