|Santa Maria del Mar|
Santa María del Mar is the best and only finished example of Catalan Gothic in Barcelona. It is located in the Ribera quarter, near the Passeo del Borne and it has been built between 1329 and 1383.
The main peculiar thing about this amazing church is that originally it was exclusively for parishioners living in the area around the harbour and in the Barceloneta quarter. In fact these are the ones who contributed to the construction of the temple, with their money and as well with their job. The whole population actively participated to it and the dockers brought the big stones for the building from the Montjuic hill or from the harbour to the church square, carrying them on their own shoulders.
In the same period the Cathedral of Barcelona was getting built and on differently than Santa Maria del Mar, it was for the aristocracy, the nobility and the high class clergy.
The 15th of August of 1384 the first Mass was celebrated. During the centuries the church passed by a earthquake and an arson causing may damages to the building itself and the paintings.
Santa Maria del Mar’s main characteristic is the austerity of its aspect, typical of Catalan Gothic style. This is also achieved by the abundance of horizontal and straight lines, the smooth walls and the simple octagonal columns. The interior has an amazing acoustics and this is why the temple is often used for different type music concerts: from jazz to classical music.
In the last few years, the church has also been set of two best sellers: Cathedral of the Sea (La Catedral del Mar), by Ildefonso Falcones and The Angel’s Game (El Juego del Angel), by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. The first of the two books was a great hit and has already been translated in more than 15 languages. Also thanks to this, many backpackers and tourists in general visit the church every day, admiring the peace and the impressiveness of the building.
From the Barcelona Urbany Hostel you can take the metro red line to Urquinaona, there change to the yellow line and get off at Jaume I. If you are lucky you will assist to one of the many weddings celebrated here!!