Of the many architectural styles we can boast about in our country, Gothic is one of the most beautiful, interesting and complete. The style’s golden age was between the XII and XV centuries and is famous for impossible forms, facades of extreme beauty and colourful spaces full of light and detail. The best places to find this style our country? The Levante area, namely the island of Mallorca and the cities of Valencia and Barcelona, the latter is our focus this week.
Gothic style in all its facets (painting, sculpture and especially architecture) is part of the identity of the Catalan capital, thanks to the neighbourhood that shares the same name. Unique temples such as Santa Maria del Mar, a basilica dating from the 14th century, which reigns gloriously over the district of La Ribera (about 20 minutes walking from our hotels Petit Palace Barcelona, Petit Palace Boqueria Garden and Petit Palace Museum)
A piece of work paid for and carried out by parishioners
Imposing and elegant, the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar is a reference for all of the religious buildings of our country and it is the only temple that was paid for by the parishioners of the neighbourhood. Some inhabitants who, with their savings and with their work, were in charge of buying the necessary materials and transporting them to the building site. Objective? That the temple came to life exactly as it appeared in the sketches of its two architects.
Perhaps for this reason, because of its location or because it is an endearing basilica located in the heart of the historic neighbourhood, the Santa Maria del Mar occupies a prominent place on the list of points of interest in the cultural complex of Barcelona. A special place that surprises everyone who visits.
It’s style – an inspiration for books and movies
Although it is well known in Barcelona for its exterior and interior beauty (with its moldings, its cornices and for having been the victim of a great earthquake), the basilica of Santa Maria del Mar gained worldwide fame thanks to the writer Ildefonso Falcones, who made it a dominant setting in his novel The Cathedral of the Sea, a book that sold more than one million copies and is now a literary reference for our country. The cathedral also has a presence in El Juego del Ángel, one of the best sellers of Carlos Ruiz Zafón.