The Santa Creu Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, is a Catholic church located in the Gothic quarter of Barcelona. It was built in the 13th century on the ruins of an old Romanesque church. Barcelona Cathedral has impressive Gothic architecture, with pointed vaults, arcades, and chapels decorated with sculptures and paintings. It also houses many treasures, including paintings, sculptures, and ancient manuscripts.
Barcelona Cathedral is dedicated to Saint Eulalia
Saint Eulalia, a young Christian martyr executed in Barcelona in the 3rd century for refusing to renounce her faith. She became the patron saint of the city of Barcelona and her statue can be seen in the cathedral.
Do not confuse Barcelona Cathedral with the Sagrada Família Basilica.
When people want to talk about Sagrada Família they say "Barcelona Cathedral". But it is not. If these two monuments are indeed two religious, catholic buildings, the only cathedral in the city is the Santa Creu Cathedral. The Sagrada Família is in fact a basilica designed in 1883 by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí in a modernist style.
Why is Barcelona Cathedral famous?
Although less visited than the Sagrada Familia, the cathedral is famous for its Catalan Gothic architecture, considered one of the best examples of Gothic architecture in Spain.
For its history, which goes back more than 2000 years. It has also witnessed many important historical events, such as the coronation of Ferdinand II of Aragon in 1479.
For its chapel dedicated to Saint Eulalia, which contains a statue of the saint, as well as relics and precious ornaments.
For its cloisters, which date from the 13th century and are considered to be one of the best examples of Gothic art in Spain.
What to see inside Barcelona Cathedral?
The Santa Creu Cathedral is considered one of Barcelona's architectural gems. It is also an active place of worship for the city's Catholics, with daily masses and regular liturgical celebrations. This is something you should bear in mind when you visit.
The interior of Barcelona Cathedral is a real artistic and religious treasure.
Here are some of the things you can see:
> The choir is located at the eastern end of the cathedral and is adorned with magnificent sculptures and paintings. It also houses a baroque organ and a 17th-century lectern.
> The cloister of the cathedral dates from the 14th century and contains a peaceful garden surrounded by Gothic arcades. It is an oasis of freshness and a haven of peace disturbed by the cries of thirteen geese: their number symbolises the age of Eulalia at the time of her martyrdom (Saint Eulalia, co-patroness of Barcelona, was a young virgin martyred in Roman times).
> Barcelona Cathedral has several richly decorated chapels, including the Chapel of Saint Lucy, the Chapel of the Pietà, the Chapel of Saint Benedict, and the Chapel of the Virgin of Montserrat. In the first chapel, a statue surrounded by candles is the Christ of Lepanto, one of the many protectors of Barcelona.
> The cathedral's stained glass windows are of great beauty and historical importance, as some of them date from the 14th century.
> The cathedral's treasury contains many precious objects, including silver sculptures, reliquaries, ancient manuscripts, and liturgical vestments.
> Barcelona Cathedral has several crypts, including the archaeological crypt, which contains the remains of the ancient Roman city of Barcino.
Finally, the Santa Creu Cathedral also hosts temporary exhibitions and cultural events throughout the year.
What to see outside Barcelona Cathedral?
You can also simply visit the exterior of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.
Its particularities make it a major tourist attraction as well as a meeting place for Catalans who love to dance the Sardana. The antique market, for example, is particularly famous.
Among the main attractions to discover outside the Santa Creu you will appreciate
> The façade of the cathedral is a fine example of Catalan Gothic architecture, with sculptures and ornaments that reflect the history and culture of the region.
> The Portal de San Ivo is one of the main entrances to the cathedral and is adorned with sculptures representing the life of Saint Ivo.
> The Plaza de la Seu is a lively gathering place directly opposite the cathedral. It is lined with shops, restaurants and bars, and is a popular venue for local festivals and events.
> From the top of its gothic-style tower: a magnificent panoramic view of the city. The tower can be reached by a spiral staircase of over 200 steps.
> The cloister of the cathedral is accessible from the outside and offers a magnificent view of the interior gardens. It is a peaceful place to walk around and enjoy the beauty of the place.
The famous Sardanes on Cathedral square:
In the square in front of Barcelona Cathedral, there are demonstrations of traditional Catalan dances called "Sardanes". This dance is performed in a circle, holding hands, and is accompanied by 11 musicians playing 12 instruments. The demonstrations take place every week, at different times depending on the time of year. Saturdays at 6 pm from 9 February to 13 July and from 14 September to 17 November, and Sundays and public holidays at 11.15 am from 15 September to 28 July.
Dates of the construction of Barcelona Cathedral
The construction of the Santa Creu Cathedral in Barcelona began in the 13th century, on the ruins of an old Romanesque church dedicated to Saint Eulalia. The initial project was to build a large Gothic church to serve as the seat of the bishop of Barcelona.
Work began in 1298 under the direction of the architect Berenguer de Montagut, but was interrupted for several decades due to financial problems and political instability in the region.
Construction resumed in 1330 under the direction of the architect Jaume Fabre, who added several chapels and a choir to the building. Work was interrupted again in the 14th century due to the Black Death and conflicts with the Crown of Aragon.
In the 15th century, construction resumed under the direction of the architect Guillem Bofill, who added the main façade and the tower of the cathedral. Work continued in the 16th century with the addition of the cloister and the chapel of Santa Lucia.
Finally, in 1913, a major renovation was undertaken to restore the building to its current appearance.
Where is Barcelona Cathedral?
Schedule of visits to Barcelona Cathedral
Opening hours for cultural and tourist visits during the week:
9.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. (access closes at 5.45 p.m.).
Opening hours for cultural and tourist visits on Saturdays
9.30am to 5.15pm (access closes at 4.30pm).
Times for cultural and tourist visits on Sundays
2:00 pm to 5:00 pm (access closes at 4:30 pm).
Mass times in Barcelona Cathedral
Weekday Masses (in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel):
09:00 mass in Catalan - 11:00 mass in Catalan - 12:00 mass in Spanish - 19:15
Mass in Catalan.
Masses on Saturdays and the eve of holidays (in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel):
09:00 Mass in Catalan - 11:00 Mass in Catalan - 12:00 Mass in Spanish High Altar - 18:00 Mass in Spanish - 19:15 Mass in Catalan.
Mass on Sundays and public holidays (at the main altar):
09:00 mass in Catalan - 10:30Conventual in Catalan - 12:00 mass in Spanish - 13:00 mass in Catalan - 18:00 mass in Spanish - 19:15 mass in Catalan.
Barcelona CathedralPla de la Seu, 3, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Area: Barrio Gótico
Website: Cathedral Santa Creu - Barcelona
Opening hours: Weekdays: 9:30 am to 6:30 pm (access closes at 5:45 pm). Saturdays: from 9.30 am to 5.15 pm (access closes at 4.30 pm). Sundays: from 14:00 to 17:00 (access closes at 16:30).
Phone: +34 93 342 82 60
Metro/Bus: Metro: L4 Jaume I / Bus:17, 19, 40, 45, 100
Barcelona metro map
Hotels: Find your hotel in Barcelona in this area.