Inside La Sagrada Família, The Breathtaking Basilica Of Barcelona
By Erin Kelly | Edited By John Kuroski
Published November 5, 2022
Updated November 7, 2022
Construction on the Barcelona basilica of La Sagrada Familia, the magnum opus of controversial Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, began in 1882 and is slated for completion in 2026.
When the cornerstone for Barcelona’s La Sagrada Familia, or The Church of the Holy Family, was laid in 1882, the church was supposed to be a typical, neo-gothic church. Instead, the masterpiece of eccentric architect Antoni Gaudí is still under construction — 140 years later.
Unlike any other building on Earth, this stunning church is considered a groundbreaking example of Catalan Modernism, a phantasmagorical collage of natural forms and architectural inventiveness.
Through the century that it’s taken to build it, Sagrada Familia has slowly morphed from a grandiose vision to an iconic piece of architecture that’s known around the world. It has gone through countless stone masons and artisans — and many architects since Gaudí’s death in 1926 — to become the awe-inspiring basilica that it is today.
Completion is scheduled for 2026, the 100th anniversary of Gaudí’s death. See photos of Sagrada Familia below and learn the full story of its complicated past.
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The basilica at sunset, reflected in a garden pond in Plaza Gaudí. Eloi_Omella/Getty images
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The breathtaking Virgin Mary tower. This tower is 565 feet tall, with the large, final star being put into place just recently on Nov. 29, 2021. PFE/Getty Images
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La Sagrada Familia is the second most visited church in Europe — second only to the Vatican. Getty Images
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Architect Antoni Gaudí’s primary goal for the church was to build facades that highlighted the three phases in Jesus’ life: the Nativity, the Passion, and the Glory. Pictured here is the Nativity scene.Getty Images
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La Sagrada Familia has four main parts: the basilica, the school building, which Gaudí designed for the children of the builders, the museum, and towers. vgm8383/Flickr
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The roof is supported by angled pillars, which are tree-like column structures that create the effect of dappled light over a living forest. vpogarcia/Flickr
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Details of the interior of the Basilica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia.Getty Images
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Gaudi’s vision aimed to incorporate organic symbolism within the architecture. The stained glass and other elements tell Jesus’ story and some stories from the Bible without the need for literacy.garyullah/Flickr
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La Sagrada Familia combines Gothic and curvilinear Art Nouveau forms. It was Gaudí’s life’s work, and its design was unlike anything anyone had ever seen at the time. Jose Ramirez/Flickr
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The basilica has five naves, built in the shape of the Latin cross.Jose Ramirez/Flickr
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The main worship area with visitors inside. andrew_annemarie/Flickr
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The organ pipes reflect dazzling, multicolored light from the stained glass windows. Lisa Voigt Garms/Getty Images
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Gaudí worked on La Sagrada Familia until he died in 1926. Domènec Sugrañes i Gras took over as architect afterward. franganillo/Flickr
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The interior crucifixion statue.Enfo/Wikimedia Commons
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Construction is — and always has been — financed by private donations. davide_roe/Flickr
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Anarchists set fire to the crypt in 1936 during the Spanish Civil War. Philippe Lissac/Getty Images
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They also broke into Gaudí’s workshop and destroyed much of his original plans and models.solapenna/Flickr
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Exterior view of one of Sagrada Familia’s large stained glass windows. mayra/Flickr
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The chapel, bathed in colored sunlight.Artur Rydzewski/Flickr
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As work continues, even modern-day architects and engineers struggle to bring to life the complex shapes and structures that make up what will be tallest Catholic church in the world. James Strachan/Getty Images
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After Barcelona’s 1992 Olympic Games, the city gained an international reputation and the number of visitors to La Sagrada Familia increased — and construction accelerated.Nikada/Getty Images
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Gaudí built the school building for the workers’ children in 1909. nh53/Flickr
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Until the middle of the 20th century, wooden scaffolding was still used to climb the church’s frightening heights. Peter Unger/Getty Images
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The Nativity Façade was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2005. Vanni Archive/Getty Images
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Exquisite exterior details adorn the entire basilica.sackerman519/Flickr
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The Passion façade. In 2020, the tower of the Virgin Mary surpassed the height of these spires.Jordi Boixareu/Getty Images
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Street view of La Sagrada Familia’s place in the Barcelona skyline. Alexander Spatari/Getty Images
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Four towers reach into the sky above Barcelona. Juan Silva/Getty Images
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Statues overlook the streets below. verifex/Flickr
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La Sagrada Familia still shines after the sun has gone down. Sergi Escribano/Getty Images
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33 Photos Of La Sagrada Familia, The Magnificent Catalan Church That’s Taken Over 140 Years To Build
La Sagrada Familia, The Magnum Opus Of Antoni Gaudí
Before it became the masterpiece of young visionary Antoni Gaudí, Sagrada Familia was under the supervision of Spanish architect Francisco de Paula del Villar, whose original 1877 design was rather simple and traditional.
Funnily enough, Gaudí actually worked under del Villar on another project, years earlier. After disagreements with another architect on the job, del Villar abandoned Sagrada Familia and recommended Gaudí — then an ascendent designer — to take his place.
Gaudí immediately drew up new blueprints so grandiose that he eventually had to devote all of his focus to the construction of the church itself, which he did in 1914. He would spend his final decade preoccupied only with the basilica.
But by 1891, Gaudí realized that the temple would not be completed in his lifetime. Often asked about how long the church would take, Gaudí is said to have always replied, “My client is not in a hurry.”
Because of this, he decided to start construction of the exterior of the church first; nervous that donations might dry up once patrons could worship inside. In fact, donations did dry up for a while — for approximately 18 years during and after Spain’s Civil War. Anarchists set the incomplete church on fire, torching much of the workshop. But in 1954, construction restarted. By then, Gaudí was already long dead.
Indeed, when he died in 1926, the church was only about 20 percent complete.
A Bold Architectural Vision Inspired By Nature
Tanatat pongphibool, thailand/Getty ImagesLa Sagrada Familia was designed in the art-nouveau style. Once complete, it will be the tallest church of any kind.
As these photos of Sagrada Familia show, part of what makes this temple so breathtaking is its vast symbolism and parallels to nature, as was Gaudí’s signature style.
It is composed of five naves in the shape of a Latin cross. Four towers representing the 12 apostles extend from each of the three exterior facades; the Nativity, the Passion, and the Glory. The three entrances of the church even symbolize the three virtues: Faith, Hope, and Love.
With organic patterns and columns that resemble trees, Gaudí’s belief that nature is the work of God is a prevalent motif. Interestingly, he was not a devout Catholic when he began the project.
According to tour guide Onno Schoemaker, Gaudí had ultra-specific and detailed biblical scenes carved into the church’s facade because he knew much of Barcelona’s working class was illiterate at the time. “So Gaudí wanted to tell the story of Jesus through imagery, through sculptures and visual elements, rather than through text. ” He explained.
Indeed, the front of the church is almost like a “storybook.” Within each of the three facades, “you get specific elements of Jesus’ life story.”
However, text is not completely absent from the design. Included in the themes are words from the liturgy; towers are inscribed with the words “Hosanna,” “Excelsis,” and “Sanctus.” When the Glory façade is finished, it will feature words from the Apostles’ Creed.
Modern-Day Controversy Haunts Sagrada Familia
JordiRamisa/Getty ImagesThe stained glass windows at the entrance to the basilica.
Today, the church is nearly complete. But now, controversy surrounds it. Residents that live nearby feel crowded out, as the continued construction encroaches on their property lines.
Janet Sanz, deputy mayor for urban planning, the environment, and transportation, serves as a spokesperson for the residents. “How do we guarantee that the neighborhood isn’t converted into one giant souvenir stand? How do we keep traffic flowing? And when we already have a shortage, is destroying more housing the best solution?” She asked.
Not only this, but there’d been rumors that Sagrada Familia never acquired the proper building permits in the first place. “When I took office,” Sanz noted, “I asked my team to look into it, and we saw that for more than 130 years, they had been building without a license.”
La Sagrada Familia’s board members wanted to rectify this oversight. In addition to securing the permits and paying past construction taxes, they made a deal to cover costs with an additional $36 million over the next decade. This could provide increased security and a private metro entrance so the surrounding streets would be less clogged with tourists.
All those improvements would undoubtedly prove helpful because, in 2005, the Nativity façade and crypt were declared a UNESCO world heritage site. This increases interest and brings in even more tourism. Furthermore, Pope Benedict XVI consecrated La Sagrada Familia as a minor basilica in 2010 — increasing visitors even more.
Many on the construction team are deeply religious. Recreating Gaudí’s plans is a daunting task, but one they take profound meaning from. As current head architect Jordi Faulí remarked, “Somehow, Sagrada Familia lifts everyone so that they bring their best to it. It’s transcendent.”
After perusing these photos of Sagrada Familia, read about two of Spain’s most remarkable architectural marvels, Bellver Castle and Paronella Castle.
▷ BASILICA LA MERCÈ (Our Lady of Mercy) Barcelona
- Barcelona’s churches
- Basílica de La Mercè in Barcelona (Basilica of Our Lady of Mercy)
Updated May 03 2022
Unfortunately, the Basílica de la Mare de Déu de la Mercè, known in English as Basilica of Our Lady of Mercy, is all too often a church that’s neglected by visitors, or at least seen as second-rate to some other churches in the city, even in spite of being located very close to La Rambla and being dedicated to the city’s patron since 1687, the Verge de La Mercè (in english, the Virgin of Mercy).
The Virgin of Mercy
According to the legend, in 1637 the Virgin of Mercy freed the people of Barcelona from a terrible plague of locusts, and in return years later she was named as the patron of the city. The Virgin of Mercy is so important to the city of Barcelona that since 1871 the celebration of the patron coincides with Barcelona’s biggest Fiesta, that of La Mercè.
In baroque style, the current Church of La Mercè dates back to 1775. It was constructed by the architect Josep Mas i Dordal and it was built on the foundations of the previous church which originated in the 8th century. On of the most striking elements of the outside of the church is its dome and the image of Our Lady of La Mercè, at the top. These were both added to the original church in 1888.
Guided tour to the Basilica of La Mercè
Visits to the Basilica of La Mercè
Currently not available
Guided tour to the basilica (in Spanish / Catalan)
The image of the Virgin on the dome was destroyed during the Spanish Civil War, but it was replaced many years later with the image that you can see nowadays, a larger replica that was designed by the brothers Llucià and Miquel Oslé. In 1918 the church was consecrated by Pope Benedict XV as a minor basilica, being the second church to gain this title, after Barcelona Cathedral.
Inside the Basilica of La Mercè
You can access the basilica via the entrance on the Plaça de la Mercè. It has a central nave and two laterals, and the most striking feature is the golden baroque altarpiece.
One of the benefits of visiting the Basilica de la Mercè is the chance to go up to the first floor, on which there’s a small room containing a few religious objects, and from which you can access the chapel of the Virgin of La Mercè, a sculpture in gothic style from the 16th century, which was the work of the sculptor Pere Moragues.
Plaça de La Mercè (square)
In the Plaça de la Mercè, where the basilica is located, you’ll also see a large building. It’s the former La Mercè convent that became a school, to be turned into the site of the Capitanía General years later, which it has remained until the present day. Another highlight of the square itself is the monumental fountain that’s dedicated to the god Neptune.
It’s free of charge to go up, and to do so you just need to go up the left side of the nave to the end, where you’ll see a small door leading to the steps which go up to the first floor.
The side façade of the Basilica of La Mercè
Walking from carrer Ample (street), if you keep going when you reach the church you’ll see a beautiful side façade, of flamboyant gothic style from the 16th century. It’s actually from the former Church of Sant Miquel (St Michael in English), which used to be in the Plaça de Sant Miquel (square), near Plaça Sant Jaume (square).
A recommendation to enjoy a nice view
We recommend that you walk a few metres up carrer Carabassa (street), and when you turn towards the carrer Ample (street) you’ll see the imposing image of the figure of the Virgin of Mercy on the church’s dome, of which we have included a photo in our gallery.
It was carefully taken down and moved to the Basilica de la Mercè in 1870, just before the Church of Sant Miquel was demolished in order to make more room for the city hall’s premises.
Map: Where is the Basilica of La Mercè?
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Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar, Barcelona, Spain – HiSoUR – HiSoUR – Hi So You Are the height of maritime and commercial dominance of the Principality of Catalonia. It is an outstanding example of Catalan Gothic, with a purity and unity of style that is very unusual in large medieval buildings.
Shortly after the arrival of Christianity in the Roman colony of Barcino, present-day Barcelona, a small Christian community was founded near the sea and not far from its walls. There was a Christian necropolis here, where Saint Eulalia, a martyr, was probably buried in 303 AD. Perhaps it was here that the chapel, then known as Santa Maria de Les Arenes, St. Mary of the Sea Sands, was first built. By the end of the seventh century, the existing structure was already known as “Santa Maria del Mar”.
The first church to occupy the site of today’s Santa Maria del Mar was the so-called Santa Maria de las Arenes, registered since 998 and already built on a previous paleo-Christian church. This previous temple was to be erected where, according to tradition, Bishop Frodoi discovered the relics of Santa Eulalia de Barcelona in 887. Recent research by Jordina Sales has supported the hypothesis that Roman Barcelona has an arena or amphitheater at this location.
In 1005 the name of Santa Maria Sea appears, four years later it looks like the parish of Vilanova Sea, an expanding area of the outer wall, inhabited by shipowners, merchants and port unloaders (bastaixos).
The construction of the current church began on May 25, 1329, as it is said that the tombstones were left by Moreres and laid the first stone king of Aragon, Alphonse IV, on March 2 Ramon Despouig and Berenguer de Montegut signed the contract works. One notable fact that still persists is that it was established that the work should belong exclusively to the parishioners, who were solely responsible for the temple. It seems that the entire population of La Ribera was actively involved in the construction, since it was they who paid for it either with their money or with their work. This is in clear contrast to the Cathedral of Barcelonath at the same time when it was also built and associated with the monarchy, the nobility and the high clergy.
Of particular note are the unloaders at the La Ribera pier, called Bastaxos, who carried the huge stones used to build the church from the royal quarry of Montjuïc and from the beaches where the boats that brought them to Barcelona were located. The stones were loaded one by one, right up to Born Square. The church pays homage to the sticks that helped build it, featuring them in capitals and bronze trim on doors.
The walls, side chapels and façade were completed around 1360. In 1368, King Pere el Cerimonioso authorized the extraction of stone from Montjuic and then acted as guarantor of loans. In 1379In the same year, near the end of the fourth section of the vaults, the scaffolding caught fire and the stones were severely damaged. Finally, the last key was placed on November 3, 1383, and the first mass was celebrated on August 15 of the following year.
An earthquake in Catalonia in 1428 caused the rose window to collapse and thirty deaths from falling rocks. Soon, however, a contract was signed with the owners of the houses of Pere Juan, Andreu Escuder, Bernat Nadal and Bartomeu Mas for the construction of a new, flamenco, which was completed in 1459year, and a year later they were installed. set glasses, work of Antoine de Lonhy.
On August 1, 1708, the marriage of Archduke Charles and Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel took place in Santa Maria del Mar.
One of the western towers surrounding the façade was built in 1496 when she completed Pere Oliva. The East Tower was not crowned until 1902, but has been the clock tower since 1674.
Design of a baroque altarpiece and presbytery from 1771 by Deodat Kazanov with sculpture by Salvador Gurri. Between 1832 and 1834 the chapel of Santisimo Francesco Vila was built.
This church was the third in Barcelona to be called a minor basilica, preceded only by the Barcelona Cathedral and the Merce Basilica. The name of the basilica was given in 1923 by Pope Pius XI.
Declared a historical and artistic monument in 1931, five years later, after the assault and arson on July 19 and 20, all the interior decoration, which had already suffered damage during the siege of 1714, was destroyed, as were the vaults.
Restoration began in 1967 and a new presbytery was built. Between the 80s and 9The 0s of the twentieth century, the Generalitat of Catalonia restored the roofs, stained glass windows and vaulted keys, which had been damaged since 1714.
Catalan Gothic architecture from the 14th century has a strong personality. Particularly outstanding is the sober horizontal structure of its buildings. A strong case can be made that the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar is a prime example of this type of building in Barcelona throughout the fourteenth century.
The side aisles make up half the span of the central nave, which in turn shows that the geometric composition of the project was based on a system known in the Middle Ages as “ad quadratum”. This feature is one of the most significant examples of the entire Gothic period. It’s a feeling of lightness. Why? First, because of the 1.60 meter thick octagonal columns. The capitals start from intertwining arches that cross the 13.2 meter central nave.
Including the aspen, the basilica is 80 meters (or 100 feet) long and 33 meters wide – if you combine the central nave, side aisles and the nave of the chapel. Considering that the central nave is also 33 meters high, the architectural design, when viewed from the front, fits into a perfect circle.
The keystones in the vault were built first, starting with the presbytery and moving one by one towards the main entrance. They were restored and painted between 1971 and 1985.
When viewed from the outside, the building looks solid and solid, which does not match what we find inside. The predominance of horizontal lines and wall locks without large openings or decorations is absolute. Horizontality is constantly emphasized, marking it with mouldings, cornices and flat surfaces to avoid excessive takeoff (despite the fact that this is a really tall building). In general, the building is a compact block without locks at different depths (only for ships), typical of European Gothic. This makes the lighting always very even, away from the play of light and shadow that can occur in other churches.
The main façade is punctuated by two octagonal towers (a shape that will be repeated in the columns of the interior) and two strong pillars that frame the rosette and translate the width of the internal storage. Horizontally, we see two sections, clearly defined by moldings and roofs, while in the towers, horizontality is again emphasized, rather than pinnacles or needles. The lower part is centered by a portico and the upper part by a rose window with two large windows that accompany it between buttresses and towers.
The overall austerity is even more pronounced on the sides, consisting of a flat undecorated wall that closes the space between the abutments and allows for the presence of internal chapels. The concept is thus very different from the elegance of French Gothic piers, which were never a prominent element in Catalan Gothic and have completely disappeared here. Horizontally, the three floors are clearly marked. Below, in line with the side chapels, relatively small windows open, which rhythmize the wall and correspond to each inside the chapel and every three to the space between the buttresses. On the sides there are also two doors: the door of the gloomy and the door of Moreres. Later, another door to the apse was opened – the Bourne door.
On either side of the Passion Pass or Moreres Santa Maria del Mar, there is a commemorative inscription of the start of work. Latin version on the left and Catalan version on the right. The text reads: “In the name of the Holy Trinity in honor of St. Mary, the work of this church was started on the day of St. Mary in March of the year. MCCCXXIX Nanfos rules by the grace of God, king of Aragon, whom you know the kingdom of Sardinia.”
Inside building with three naves, with ambulatory and without cruising. The naves are in four sections, while the presbytery is composed of a semi-section and a seven-sided polygon, all covered with ribbed vaulting and crowned with magnificent vaults. So formally we have a building of three ships, but it seems that the architect wants to create the same sense of space that is achieved with a single nave. That is why the pillars (15 meters) are very divided, and the heights of the three naves are very equal (1/8 less than the side ones than the central one). The result is an open space that eschews the divisions of European Gothic and leans towards the idea of a unique space.
The central nave is illuminated by open occlusions between the roofs of the central nave and the side ones. These eyepieces become large windows between the columns of the presbytery, which take up almost all of the available space and help to enhance the effect of the columns with a semi-circle of light. The side ships are illuminated by large windows (one per section, and not very large), which also help illuminate the central nave.
It is worth emphasizing the asceticism achieved, again, by smooth wall locks; for pure octagonal columns, when the nerves stop at the capitals and not at the ground; due to the fact that the arches of the side and central naves start at the same height (tax line, in capitals), which gives the impression of equality between ships, etc. However, the rigidity that we now feel is much higher than the original, before burning in 19In 36 the church was deprived of altars and decorations.
Small crypt under the presbytery. It houses the casket containing the remains of Sant Cugat, from the missing church of Sant Cugat del Rec. Peter the Constable of Portugal, proclaimed Count of Barcelona (Peter IV), King of Aragon (Peter V) and Valencia (Peter III) during the war against John II of Aragon, was buried in this crypt. In one of the chapels on the side of the Epistle, a white marble tombstone with a relief figure has been preserved.
B 19In 65, what was left of the previous baroque altar was removed and a new altar was installed along with a Gothic sculpture of the Virgin Mary with a ship at her feet. This sculpture was originally above the side door on via Santa Maria. Archaeological excavations during the reconstruction and restoration of the temple discovered a Roman necropolis. It was on this site that a modern and functional crypt was built. Since 2000, the relics of St. Cugat del Reca have been kept here.
Stained glass window
During restoration work 1922 years, executed by the architect Bonaventure Bassegoda on the side chapels of the church, fragments of a stained glass window with scenes of the Ascension and the Toilet appeared, which, apparently, were between 1341 and 1385. kept in the church museum with later fragments from the 15th century.
Front rosette. It is in the Franco-Flemish Gothic style with a very realistic naturalism typical of the Tolosan author Anthony Llonnier, made in 1459 after restoring a stone design to replace a damaged work by the 1428 earthquake. represents in the central space the coronation of the Virgin, in the second circle – the symbols of the four evangelists, in the third – the apostles, and in the rest – stripes, saints, bishops and figures of angels-musicians. The blue stands out above the rest, as does the white glass; The grizzle is black, with a very dynamic contour.
Large windows. They feature Gothic stained-glass windows, one of which depicts the Virgin and Child with Saint Michael; In the middle window of the chapel of Sant Pere, from the middle of the fifteenth century, the upper part, corresponding to the pattern, and four of the fourteen panels that made up the full window have been preserved. The other stained glass window is the last Judgment rendered by Severi Desmas de Avigno in 1494 and consists of four lancets of six panels each, with a pattern of four trilobates at the base with red cherubs and a refitted rose window that represents the church coat of arms. The final judgment is presented continuously on four panels by a composition of several characters in fairly intense color tones, achieving great contrast between pure
Holy Communion Chapel
Originally, Holy Communion was reserved on the altar in the sacristy where Holy Communion was celebrated when Mass was not being celebrated. In 1609 a small sacrament chapel was built. By 1790 this was no longer enough and the church decided to expand it. This chapel is currently open for worship. It is neoclassical in style and is the work of architect Francesc Vila. Tienen un estilo neoclásico y es obra del arquitecto Francesc Vila.
Upper level stained glass
Rose Window, 1459, is the work of Pere Joan and Andreu Escuder. The glass itself was made by Anthony Louni from Toulouse (France). Other stained glass and bull’s-eye windows were completed over a period of time when the economic situation was reasonably good.
The Last Judgment Stained Glass (1474) was made by Sendrius Desmas of Avignon in Provence.
Stained glass window of the Fountain of Living Water by an anonymous artist, dated 1648.
The windows depicting Pentecost and the Last Supper date back to 1711 and the artist is Francesc Saladrigas.
In 1718, Eloy Scheer designed these stained glass windows with the apostles.
Palm tree, cypress and Eucharistic allegory, just above and behind the main altar, were made by Hippolyte Campmaio in 1790.
The Four Prophets by Ewald Ramon Amigo, in 1878.
The Annunciation and the Betrothal of the Virgin Mary were painted by Luis Masriera in 1924. Those in the side chapels were made some time after 1939 years old
The most recent window, next to the sacristy, was completed in 1995. It was designed by José Fernandez Castrillo in honor of the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.
The Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar is one of the most outstanding examples of organ construction in Catalonia. The diversity of influences that was assimilated into the Catalan tradition of organ building—Central European elements were especially prominent from the 14th century onwards—have greatly enriched his legacy. In fact, by the 16th century, Catalan organ building had a fully developed and unique “style of its own”. Castilian organ building, on the other hand, had to wait until the 18th century before it reached its peak. This was primarily the result of stylistically differentiated paths.
On the basis of research, especially the work done by Franz Baldello in his study “Folk Collection of the Church of Santa Maria del Mar, Barcelona” (1962), we were able to confirm that many important organ builders worked for large organs. Prominent names include: Bernat Pons, priest from Narbonne, France (1393): the first documentary evidence of an organ at Santa Maria, even ten years after the first Mass was celebrated in a newly built Gothic church, Brother Leonard (1464 ), Franciscan from Mainz, Germany, Johan Spinn von Neuern (1484-1487), Per Bordons (1547), Perris Arrabasa and Salvador Estrada (1500-1564), prestigious Aragonese builder José de Sesma of Zaragoza (1677), Andrés Barguero ( 1691) from Flanders, Josep Bosch (1719-1721), Anthony Bosca, who from 1734 repaired organs in Santa Maria; in 1741 he built a completely new instrument, a magnificent synthesis of the Catalan and Castilian traditions: separate manuals, en chamade reeds and a complete compass manual instead of a short octave – Jean-Pierre Cavaillé and Dominique Cavaillé-Coll (1794-1797) – and Joan Puig ( 1854).
Spirituality and Piety
Santa Maria de Servello, Blessed Luis Bertrand, Venerable Juliana Morella and Venerable Claudy López Bru Marquis de Comillas were baptized in this parish. Venerable Dorothea Chopitea was also married here
The following saints also went to church here: Peter Nolasco, Vicente Ferrer, Ignatius Loyola, Salvador Horta, Francisco Borja, Miquel Dels Sants and Josep Oriol, who was the altar boy here and made the first communion here. St. Maria Michaela of the Blessed Sacrament, Maria del Carmen Selle Berengueras and Blessed Maria Anna Mogas Fontuberta
how he became Bishop of Santiago de Cuba, and of Saint Francis Colla, who founded the Dominican Sisters in 1853. Annunciation.
Santa Maria del Mar is home to many guilds that are somehow connected with the basilica, for example, whose names appear on street signs. But it also concerns the spiritual well-being of the area and often plays a leading role in current social achievements. Today, the city’s guilds are still involved in parish life and celebrate the feast of their patron saints here.
True to its history, today the parish of Santa Maria del Mar is working hard to become “an open house for all and to serve all who need us.” That is why our liturgical celebrations are an integral part of the lives of all Catholics in the area, whether they were born here and have lived here all their lives, or whether they are newcomers. In addition, we want to share what we have in the most effective way possible with anyone who needs help, no matter where they come from, and especially those who have nowhere to turn. For these people we offer Caritas services. In this context, our parish supports neighbors and surrounding areas, whatever their problems, and supports their aspirations by providing our pastoral services based on the gospel of Jesus Christ, and always with deep respect for all beliefs and beliefs.
In 1966, in connection with the restoration of the altar and the baroque altar in the Church of Santa Maria del Mar, archaeological excavations began. The work included the construction of a new altar and a basement crypt in the same presbytery. Initially, the ruins that remained of the baroque altar were demolished. Later, a ditch was worked out in the center of the presbytery to study the area, but the need to build a crypt made it possible to reduce the entire area methodically occupied by archaeological levels. In this way, it was possible to document several chronological stages in the use of space.
The oldest corresponds to the use of the cemetery, with the latest chronology between the 4th and 6th centuries. A total of 102 burials were documented, which were presented in slab structures (in boxes or double-sided decks), in amphoras and in some wooden boxes, which have already disappeared, but the remains of wood have survived. charred and nails. It should be noted that there are groups of forms and deformities that can be interpreted as family mausoleums. The level of opus signinum covering some of the tombs has also been documented. The graves were distributed in different directions, but with a predominance of northwestern and southwestern orientations.
Above these graves, dug in the sand, a layer of clayey soil was documented, which seemed to cover the necropolis in mounds. At the same level as the necropolis, several structures consisting of irregular stone walls and lime and clay mortar have been documented dating from the 14th century, as some of the foundations of the Gothic temple have been finished off. These structures were used in later construction, but still in medieval times, and their functions were not realized. It was a wall oriented across the presbytery, 12.75 m long and 0.55 m wide. It was built from horizontal rows of uneven sizes, and the widest part of the wall was raised with masonry, and among them could be seen sculpted stones taken from other works. In the center of the wall, a 1.27 m wide portal with stone columns and a step was opened, and in another place there was a part of a semicircular arch, which was covered by the rear of the reform. Since the modern era, two large columns of lime and mortar have been recorded, which, after its demolition, were able to restore several used architectural remains. These pillars date back to the 17th and 18th centuries. One of them served as the base of the main altar. On the other hand, its functionality cannot be specified as it is not linked to any framework.
At the southwest end of the excavation, there were several tombs built from stone walls and masonry dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. They were cleared of human remains and stripped of praise during the construction of a new presbytery on a higher level.
In 2007 a new intervention was carried out. It was aimed at elucidating the physical characteristics of the foundations of the various structures that make up the church, as well as their structural stability. Although the project called for the completion of 8 bays, only 3 will be opened. Thus, the location of the three bays, made in three key areas of the building, such as the apse, the side nave and the inner surface of the facade, showed several evidences: firstly, the presence of non-temple structural elements shows that several houses were demolished for the construction of the church of Santa Maria del Mar and the existing buildings in the sector, suggesting pre-church city planning. Some of these structures, in particular the foundations of pre-existing buildings, were used as gates to form a tribune that linked the entire foundation of Santa Maria del Mar. These buildings were built in late antiquity. and High Middle Ages and were partially dismantled and reused at certain points for the construction of a church in the 14th century.
Secondly, the excavation revealed a foundation structure consisting of a system of walls with medium-sized ashtrays arranged in even rows and reaching almost three meters in depth. Its function is to distribute loads over a very large surface of the earth in order to reduce the specific load on it.
The foundation system of Santa Maria del Mar denotes a careful program of action that began with the expropriation and demolition of pre-existing buildings, and then leveling the ground, which was supposed to cause a lot of ground movement, and then rethink. foundation, marking the outlines of the foundations on the ground and digging their continuous ditch.
The foundations essentially consisted of a layer of lime mortar that regulated the ground, and on this platform walls were built with middle rows of ashlars arranged in even rows and bound with lime mortar. Then a perimeter enclosure wall and a system of columns between the chapels and the supporting base were erected.
Historically, Barcelona was known to foreigners as the city of three cathedrals, in addition to the Cathedral of Barcelona, the church of Santa Maria and the old ruined temple of Santa Caterina were considered buildings of great beauty and wealth. For this reason, the basilica has been popularly known as the “Cathedral without a Cloister”, the “Fisherman’s Office”, the “Seu del Born” or the “Seu del Mar”.
The building of the church is the subject of Ildefonso Socola’s famous novel The Church of the Sea, which has sold over a million copies and has been translated into several languages. There are also references to the temple by Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s “Angel’s Play” and the youthful novel “Africa’s Thesaurus Ragel”.
Carcassonne – Basilica of Saints Nazarius and Celsius
France – travel guide
February 17, 2022
Carcassonne – Basilica of Saints Nazarius and Celsius, is one of the main attractions. And compared to the size of the fortress city, the temple looks huge. It is located 100 meters from
count’s castle and really surprises with its size. According to legend, the church was built during the reign of Emperor Charlemagne. But the first mention of the Cathedral of Carcassonne, historians refer to 925 year.
And by that time, the emperor had already been in another world for a century. And simply – in that light.
We will assume that there was a temple on the site of which the Basilica of Saints Nazarius and Celsius stands, but nothing remains of it. But it is known for certain that on June 12, 1096, Pope Urban II himself
arrived in Carcassonne to bless the beginning of the construction of the church and lay the first stone.
But the time has come to find out who the Saints Nazarius and Celsius are. Nazarius’ parents are a Jewish father and a Christian mother, baptized by the apostle St. Peter. Thus, Nazariy grew up in a family of two
beliefs. But the commitment to Christianity won, despite the protests of the father. In order to protect his son from the persecution of the Romans, it was decided that he would leave his native places. So Nazarius is in
Milan. But even there he is overtaken by the persecution of the pagans. Expelled from Milan, Nazarius goes to Geneva. Here he is entrusted with the Infanta Celsius, whom he adopts and baptizes.
He actively preaches. Therefore, imprisonment in various prisons became common for Nazarius. In the end, Nazarius and Celsus were arrested by Nero in Rome. And then came the harsh sentence:
throw them both over the side of the ship into the sea. But, as the legend says, when the sentence was to be carried out, a terrible storm began. And only thanks to the prayer of Nazarius, the storm subsided, and
the rescued sailors released the captives in peace.
Nazarius and Celsus continued on their way. But after some time they were captured again. They were brought to Rome, where both were beheaded. It is believed that when St. Ambrose found their burial place,
the bodies were intact and exuded a “wonderful smell without the admixture of smoldering.”
Basilica of Saints Nazarius and Celsius
The oldest parts of the temple that we can see today date back to the 12th century. All that has survived from this era is the first two eastern columns of the nave and the dilapidated crypt. No matter how
was, but the Cathedral of Carcassonne was consecrated in 1150. Although there were still 180 years left before the end of construction.
But, thanks to such a long construction, the temple is a combination of Romanesque and Gothic styles. Which in itself is already interesting.
The building was heavily damaged during the siege of Carcassonne by the crusaders in 1209. Because stones were needed to repair and strengthen the walls. And where to get them, if the city is in
siege? The refectory and stables of the chapter house had to be dismantled. However, later restored parts of the church complex were swept away by the revolution at the end of the 18th century. And in the place of the chapter house you are now
you can see the theater in the open air. Although, throughout the 19th century there was a vineyard here!
The church served as a stable during the French Revolution… This is what saved it because 3 other churches of Carcassonne were destroyed!
This temple lost the status of the Cathedral in 1803, when another temple was built in the Lower City – Bastide.
And after almost a hundred years, the Church of Saints Nazarius and Celsius received the status of a papal basilica. But something has changed inside the temple. You will understand when you go inside. It’s always cold and damp here. Even
in the hottest weather. Perhaps this is what a murdered paradise looks like? Paradise that existed on these lands before the arrival of the crusaders.
But despite the dankness that settled inside the temple, I want to immediately go forward to the altar. Because there is a glass wall of stained glass sparkling with all colors.
Carcassonne – Basilica of Saints Nazarius and Celsius
Particular attention is drawn to the stained-glass windows of the choir and two large roses. The walls have almost completely disappeared, giving way to these large windows, pouring multi-colored lights. Most of these exceptional
stained glass windows date from the 13th and 14th centuries and have come down to us almost in their original form.
The central stained-glass windows illustrate the life of Christ, the apostles Peter and Paul, as well as the patrons of the temple – Saints Nazarius and Celsius.
The rose windows here are also exceptional. The oldest of the two roses is the northern one. It is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. If you look at it for a long time, it begins to seem that it is spinning. Such an effect was
achieved by the fact that the north rose window is a perfect circle. And not a single coil violates this ideal. True, in color it is inferior to the southern rose, which is dedicated to Christ.
It is still disputed that the great organ of the basilica is the oldest in France. Because he stood here already in 1522. And every year, on any Sunday, from June to September, the most
famous organists come here to enliven the interior of the temple with their playing. And their concerts are free!
But, of course, the past centuries almost destroyed the instrument. Although the work of two Jeans (Rigueil and Mähler), cabinetmakers from Carcassonne, has been preserved in the central part. By the end of the 17th century, another
Jean (de Joyeuse) rebuilt the organ. And it must have happened that by the end of the 18th century, another Jean (Jean-Pierre Cavaillé) appeared and increased the number of registers to 32, and keyboards to three.
But at the beginning of the 20th century, the mythical formation of Zhanov was broken by Michel Roger. He modified the instrument a little. And then the “Friends of the Organ” appeared, which started a large-scale repair. Thanks to the association
“Friends of the Organ” we can enjoy musical summer Sundays in Carcassonne.
The organ of the basilica is considered a magnificent instrument. Today it has 4 keyboards, 40 registers and a “French” pedalboard (keyboard pedals).
1. Tree of Life. It is located in the chapel of the Holy Cross (south transept). This is a stained glass window from the early 14th century and refers us to the meditations of Saint Bonaventure, a Franciscan who lived in
13th century. In the middle part there is a tree that carries 12 virtues. If you try, you can see that closer to the top is depicted Christ on the cross. Thus it becomes
tree of eternal life.
2. Tree of Jesse (late 13th or early 14th century). You will find it on a stained glass window in the north transept, in the Chapel of the Virgin. Here is presented (from bottom to top) all genealogical
tree of Christ.
3. Carved stone is a fragment of a bas-relief depicting the siege of Toulouse (western wall). You can make out the ballista: a stone-throwing machine driven by women. Because
that it was the woman who killed Simon de Montfort. His soul is sent to heaven by an angel while his body is carried away on a stretcher.
4. Chapel of St. Pierre and tomb of Pierre de Rochefort (14th century) . It was under Bishop Pierre Rochefort that Saint-Nazaire received the south rose and the south transept was completed. His
the grave is between the nave and the north transept. This is a vertical burial attached to the wall, which is extremely rare. The tomb is 5 meters high; 3 niches 1.20 m wide.
each and divided into 3 floors.
5. Tomb of Bishop Radulf (13th century) . It is part of the gothic arcade. Radulf (1255-1266) ensured that the inhabitants of the walled city (expelled during
Crusade) could settle in the New City – La Bastide. Dressed in his ornaments, the bishop holds a staff and blesses with his right hand. The lower part of the sarcophagus is a depiction of the ceremony
forgiveness of sins. There are twelve canons surrounding the bed of the deceased, whose body is sprinkled by the bishop while the woman is praying.
As a humorous signature, the master builder sculpts a hidden angel who laughs loudly (on the left side of the monument).
6. Painting depicting the “Holy Shroud of Carcassonne”. It is right opposite the entrance to the temple, in the dark depths. The fact is that the treasury of the cathedral
Saint-Michel in La Bastide, keeps a part of the sacred shroud brought from the Crusades. And in 1538 a miracle happened, which was called the “Miracle of Fire.”
This year, the Bishop of Carcassonne noticed the disrespectful attitude of the townspeople towards the Shroud.