Barcelona Cathedral - A Main Attraction in the Gothic Quarter


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Do not confuse the Barcelona Cathedral with the Basilica of La Sagrada Familia which sometimes adopt the wrong name of “Gaudi Cathedral”! There is only one Cathedral in Barcelona generally known as the Gothic Cathedral or La Seu Cathedral. Though the official name in Catalan is Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia (in Spanish “Catedral de la Santa Cruz y Santa Eulalia”; in English “Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia”). However, it is widely known by its shorter name. Another confusion may arise when you are looking for the “Cathedral of the Sea in Barcelona,” which is not the Gothic Cathedral but the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar.

While many people travel to Barcelona Spain to see Antoni Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia (the “Gaudi church in Barcelona”), the Gothic Cathedral is another highlight of the city that everyone should see. The cathedral was mostly built from the 13th-15th century, but the façade was completed in the 20th century. It can be conveniently found in the Gothic Quarter Barcelona, in Plaça de la Seu. Even if you aren't a religious person, you will more than likely find this to be one of the Barcelona attractions that are well worth a visit due to its sheer visual appeal. No matter whether you love history or architecture, you will find this structure to be quite memorable. Moreover, if you book your hotel in the Gothic Quarter, it will be the best location to stay in Barcelona.

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Booking Hotels Near the Cathedral in Barcelona

When you plan your Barcelona Spain vacation you'll likely want to look for the best areas to stay in Barcelona, with excellent transport links to other parts of the town, and also near some places to visit in Barcelona that could be reached by just a few minutes walk.

There are a few neighborhoods in the city that we recommend as the best areas to stay in Barcelona, such as the Gothic Quarter, Las Ramblas, Plaza Catalunya, Eixample district, and the area of Port Olimpic if you want to stay near the best Barcelona beach.

There are a lot of activities in Barcelona Spain, and many of them take place in those areas. So, booking a Barcelona accommodation in those areas is the way to go. You'll not only find hotels but many types of accommodations like hostels, Bed & Breakfast, guest houses, and fantastic apartments.

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External view of the Barcelona Cathedral

External view of the Cathedral

Attributes of the Barcelona Cathedral

You can see the cathedral's spires from the Gothic District and they make for a very inspiring site. So what should you expect when you visit this attraction? First, you will find it has a neo-Gothic facade, and this makes this famous church in Barcelona quite different from many other Catalan churches.

It also has an attractive roof full of a variety of animals representations along with gargoyles. This building showcases Catalan Gothic architecture blended with medieval and Renaissance influences. The cathedral showcases gorgeous stained glass window and artifacts.

The interior of the cathedral is full of interesting details and artwork. For example, you can find the coats-of-arms from knights in the choir stalls. You can find other interesting dedications as well. For example, the Gothic Cathedral side chapel has a dedication to “Christ of Lepanto.”

According to legend, the ship experienced a miracle as it shifted and avoided a cannonball. The chapel pays homage to this sign from God that assisted Spain in wartime.

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13 geese at the Barcelona Cathedral

13 geese at the Cathedral

A Dedication to Santa Eulalia

The Barcelona Gothic Cathedral has been dedicated to Eulalia, who is one of the patron saints of the city. Eulalia was a virgin who was born to a well-off family and who lived during Roman times. She ended up suffering like a martyr and dying at the age of 13. Currently, her body is held in the crypt.

According to the story, her clothes were forcefully removed in a public square, yet miraculously it began to snow so that her nudity was covered. There is a pond in the cloister that always has 13 white geese.

Many visitors find the appearance of these birds to be quite mysterious. However, the religious devotees of the cathedral believe these 13 geese symbolize the 13 years that Santa Eulalia lived.

Throughout this religious institution, there are more than 140 advocations including The Virgin Mary, Santa Eulalia, Saint Michael and Saint Gabriel.

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Events at the Barcelona Cathedral

Events at the Cathedral

Fascinating Activities Throughout the Year

Various exciting events are continuously held at the Gothic Cathedral for visitors to appreciate, and that is another reason that this is one of the places to visit in Barcelona that shouldn't be missed. One notable one is the dancing egg ceremony to celebrate Corpus Christi.

During this recurring event, an egg dances on the water in the fountain, and it is decorated with flowers. This ceremony dates back to the early 1600's! Entering the Cathedral with a donation is free. Daily masses and confessions take place, and visitors can partake in these proceedings.

You can also visit the choir and rooftops for an added charge. One can experience a lovely view from the top of the cathedral and see all of the Gothic Quarter Barcelona.

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One of the Most Conveniently Located Places to Visit in Barcelona

Enjoy the fascinating area of the Gothic Quarter around the Cathedral. It is not only exquisitely beautiful, but it is also quite lively.

In fact, you can sometimes see dancers out in front of the cathedral doing the Sardana dance, a typical Catalan performance. So grab a coffee or a beer and enjoy these unique surroundings.

When you are seeking Barcelona attractions, the Gothic Cathedral should be at the top of your list. It is conveniently located in the Gothic Quarter Barcelona right near Las Ramblas.

Even if you are just in Barcelona city for a weekend, it should be easy to fit a trip to the Barcelona Gothic Cathedral into your schedule.