There is a claim that this cathedral dates to the fourth century, but I think that’s kind of playing with numbers. The current structure was likely built on the ruins of something earlier, or greatly expanded it. The real action started in the fourteenth century. Practically yesterday.

Rick Steve’s isn’t too impressed with this cathedral, claiming that it’s unlikely to qualify for the top twenty. No matter, there are some interesting things to see inside.

There are no exterior buttresses to hold up the walls. Rather, the interior is lined with arched chapels that do the job.

A local nobleman and his wife were rewarded in 1545 for supporting church development by having their wooden caskets hung on the wall. Hmm…

The grave of Eulalia, a local thirteen year old girl who displeased the Romans by adopting Christianity. They tortured her comprehensively; thirteen ways according to legend. She got the full treatment, including being rolled around in a barrel with spikes nailed into it. Lord knows what else they came up with. When none of these did the job, they crucified her.

She’s now Saint Eulàlia, Patron of Barcelona.

The chapel that consistently has the most candles is Saint Rita, Patron of Lost Causes.

locals with some money could buy themselves a burial place in the church. Sometimes, they recorded their profession in their stone. This guy might have been a tailor.


  1. Have you made it to Los Caracoles restaurant yet?
    It is over fifty years since I was last there and it was a fantastic experience then!
    Have a great time? David

  2. Thanks for these pictures. We did not make it inside the Cathedral when we were touring Barcelona. (To be blunt, Barry and I have toured so many European cathedrals and so many Asian wats that we require something extraordinary to have us do more than peek our heads in!!)

    1. My grandfather, upon his return to Kentucky after spending two years in France, was asked by his friends, “What was it like?” His reply, “If you’ve seen one cathedral, you’ve seen them all.”

      Not true, of course. But my grandfather was a better judge of horseflesh than architecture.

      The thing about churches is that it’s hard to tell when you’ll find something unique. If I pass one that lets me take a look for free, I usually do. If they charge, I may think a little harder.

      I hope you didn’t pass the Sagrada Familia by!

      1. Heavens, no! We spent an entire morning there with a guide who was fascinated by and knowledgeable about Gaudi, then headed to Park Güell and then to Casa Vicens (his first house).

        Sagrada Familia is crazy-crazy magnificent outside, but the light inside is transcendent!

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