The Cathedral of Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia is the Gothic cathedral of Barcelona, the seat of the Archdiocese of Barcelona. The cathedral was built during the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries on the same site where there had been a Romanesque cathedral, and even earlier a Paleo – Christian cathedral. The facade, of style Gothic, modern (Century XIX). The building is an Asset of Cultural Interest and, since November 2, 1929, a National Historic Artistic Monument.
The cathedral is dedicated to the Holy Cross, its main devotion, and to Saint Eulalia, patron saint of Barcelona, a young virgin who, according to Christian tradition, suffered martyrdom during Roman times. The dedication of the temple to the Holy Cross, very unusual, is one of the oldest in the Christian world and probably dates back to the mid- seventh century. The dedication to Saint Eulalia has been known since 877, when Bishop Frodo located the remains of the saint and solemnly moved them to the cathedral.
Its form is pseudo-basilica, vaulted over five aisles, the outer two divided into chapels. The transept is truncated. The east end is a chevet of nine radiating chapels connected by an ambulatory. The high altar is raised, allowing a clear view into the crypt. The cathedral has a Gothic cloister in which thirteen white geese live (it is said that Eulalia was thirteen when she was executed and that she herded geese on her property in Sarrià, near the city).
The choir stalls retain the coats-of-arms of the knights of the Order of the Golden Fleece. In his first trip into Spain, Charles, the future Holy Roman Emperor, selected Barcelona as the site of a chapter of his Order. The king had arrived for his investiture as Count of Barcelona, and the city, as a Mediterranean port, offered the closest communication with other far-flung Habsburg dominions, while the large proportions of the cathedral would accommodate required grand ceremonies. In 1518 the Order’s herald, Thomas Isaac, and its treasurer, Jean Micault, were commissioned to prepare the sanctuary for the first sitting of the chapter in 1519. Juan de Borgonya executed the painted decoration of the sanctuary.
The city of Barcelona must soon have received the light of the Christian faith. The martyrdoms of Saint Eulalia and Saint Cugat, during the persecution of Diocletian-Maximian, testify that there were Christians in Barcelona at least at the end of the third century and the first years of the fourth.
All solidly based conjectures suggest that in those days Barcelona already had an episcopal temple, or cathedral, which soon after would use for the pastoral ministry other significant bishops of our diocese: St. Pacian (390), Lampi (400), Nundinari (461), Nebridi (540), Ugne (599), Sever (633), Quirze (656), Idali (688), Laülf (693), Frodoí (890), etc. In 599 this Cathedral appears in a documentary dedicated to the Holy Cross (second council of Barcelona).
The Suara excavations carried out in the basement of Carrer dels Comtes in Barcelona (which currently borders the east wall of the Cathedral) have uncovered a three-nave building, separated by two series of white marble columns, which must undoubtedly be identified. with this early Christian basilica in Barcelona built in the 4th century and ennobled, despite the difficulties caused by the Aryan struggle, by other bishops for seven centuries.
In 877, this basilica solemnly housed, in one of its chapels, the relics of Saint Eulalia, which, hidden so that the invading Arabs of our peninsula (711) would not desecrate them, were miraculously found on that date in the temple of Santa Maria de les Arenes, or of the Sea.
This primitive Cathedral, deeply damaged by Almançor, when this Arab leader set fire to and destroyed the city, remained standing until 1046, when the count of Barcelona, Ramon Berenguer, the Elder, and his wife Almodis, with the bishop Guislabert, undertook the construction of another Cathedral, the so-called Romanesque Cathedral. This second Cathedral was consecrated on November 18, 1058 by Archbishop Guifred, Metropolitan of Narbonne.
On the foundations of the primitive early Christian basilica, and of the later Romanesque Cathedral, the current Gothic style Cathedral was built. The works began on May 1, 1298, during the pontificate of Bishop Bernat Pelegrí and the reign of James II of Aragon, the Just; and were practically completed in the middle of the 15th century, in the time of Bishop Francesc Climent Sapera and Alfonso V being King of Aragon.
In 1882, on the occasion of the Universal Exposition convened for 1888, after almost four hundred years without any major work having been done in the cathedral, thanks to the promoter Manuel Girona i Agrafel and his brothers, he left. to convene the competition for the construction of the façade, which established as a criterion that the Gothic style be followed. The reform was awarded to Josep Oriol Mestres, the cathedral’s titular architect since 1855, who was inspired by the traces made in 1408 by Carles Galtés de Rouen.
At the end of the 19th century, the Barcelona industrialist, Manuel Girona i Agrafel, offered to pay for the work on the façade and its two side towers, which was carried out according to the plans of the architect Josep O. Mestres, inspired by the initial project that had already been drawn in the 15th century. Mr. Girona’s children completed their father’s business with the construction of the dome, completed in 1913.
The building consists of the temple and the cloister perfectly joined by its own Gothic style. The sizes of the cathedral are on the outside 93 meters long by 40 wide and 28 high in the central nave; the cloister garden is 25 meters on each side plus six wide of each of the four galleries surrounding it. The bell towers are 53 meters high; the dome, 80 on the outside and 41 on the inside, from the floor to the keystone. Inside, the naves are 79 meters long and 25 meters wide, to which must be added six meters on each side due to the depth of the side chapels. These are nine meters high and six wide at the entrance. The central nave is 26 meters high and thirteen meters wide; the lateral ones, 21 high and 6 wide (as much as the chapels). The pillars, from the floor to the shutters, are 15.5 meters high. In 1997, on the occasion of the royal wedding that took place, the first complete plans of the Cathedral of Barcelona were drawn, including the cloisters and buildings that were added over time.
The Cathedral of Barcelona has three naves, but with a single apse and ambulatory, or ambulatory. The ships have five sections; the immediate section of the façade is longer than the other three, to accommodate its dimensions to those of the dome that rises next to the main door. The typical architectural structure of the Catalan Gothic, ordered to take advantage of the interior spaces of the buttresses, allows to open towards the interior of the Cathedral a series followed by secondary chapels that surround all the basilica: in the ships, these chapels are two for each stretch.
On the ends of the section near the presbytery, free of side chapels, rise the two large bell towers, one above the portal of St. Louis and one above the inner door of access to the cloister; on the terraces of the basilica, these towers are octagonal, with a prismatic body, intended for stairs, which is attached to it (1386-1393 and 16th century). Large windows, open over the mouth of the radial chapels of the ambulatory, illuminate the presbytery. The upper part of the chapels, in the side naves, runs a high gallery with the windows open on the outer wall of the basilica. A small triforium surrounds the central nave, and the presbytery, around the vault.
The cathedral is formed by three naves of the same height, that from the false cruise the circular ships are united in girola, happening behind the presbytery and forming a semicircular arc, where nine chapels lodge; above these chapels are large stained glass windows and a false triforium from where the vault keys can be seen at a distance of about three meters.
A singular feature is that the dome is not, as usual, in the transept, but at the foot of the central nave, crowning the first section, adjacent to the main façade. It is, therefore, the first architectural element that sees who enters through the main door. The façade was closed in 1417, and work on the dome began in 1422, but six years later it was interrupted: the horns and the octagonal Gothic gallery, the railing and the start of the arches, as well as the medallions and nails, had been made. decorative, work of the brothers Antoni and Joan Claperós. When Bishop Climent Saperadied in 1430, the construction was stopped: a wooden roof was placed that will last until the works were restarted in 1906, when August Font i Carreras crowned the dome.
The central nave is twice as wide as the sides and in addition to the chapels of the head there are seventeen more distributed in its perimeter, to which must be added the twenty chapels of the cloister and the chapel of Santa Lucia with entrance from the outside.
The distribution in three naves is common in the great Gothic churches, but while in the French cathedrals and those that follow its style, the central one is higher than the lateral ones and has large windows in the walls, (see for example the cathedral of Reims) to Barcelona emphasizes the unity of space, raising the three ships almost at the same height, similarly to what is done in other churches of Gothic Catalan: for example, in Santa Maria del Mar ‘s it adopts approximately the same solution, and in other cases, such as in Santa Maria del Pi or in the church of the monastery of Pedralbes, the unity of the space is taken to the end of making a single nave.
The walls of the exterior façades are not located on the sides of the side naves, but move outside leaving the buttresses inside the building, when they are usually outside. This increases the apparent width of the cathedral, with the impression of adding one more nave on each side, but as the space between the buttresses is not covered with a transept vault but with two, the impression is that they have added two naves on each side and that the cathedral has seven naves instead of three. This has effects on the lighting of the interior and on the arrangement of the chapels.
Having widened the space, the stained glass windows are much further from the center, and also the arrival of light is hindered by the buttresses and arches that support the vaults between the buttresses. The part of the cathedral in which this darkening occurs less is the apse, which is the only part in which the buttresses are left outside and the stained glass windows are placed on the edge of the side nave.
Effects on the chapels
When the buttresses are located outside, between them are the vaults that form the roof of the chapels and have a height proportionate to their size, as in the church of Santa Maria del Mar). In the cathedral of Barcelona, on the other hand, the height of the ceiling between the buttresses is excessive to form the collected space that suits the chapels, so the chapels (two in each space between buttresses) are covered by lower vaults than they leave a gallery on top.
The original intention was to build more chapels above the gallery, and in fact four were built over the gallery next to the Gospel next to the door of St. John, which can still be seen the supply of chapels must have been excessive because no more were built.
The exterior dimensions of the Cathedral are 93 meters long, 40 meters wide and 28 meters high in the central nave. The bell towers rise up to 54 meters. The dome is 70 meters high on the outside and 41 meters on the inside.
Main façade and dome
The neo-Gothic façade, designed by the architect Josep Oriol Mestres in 1882, is 40 meters wide, consists of a façade flanked by two towers with a needle-like finish and is decorated with all kinds of elements of Gothic style of vertical lines and with great profusion of images of angels and saints. Eight stained glass windows are visible on the façade, most of them modernist, but also renaissance, such as the famous Noli me tangere designed by Bartolomé Bermejo, on the lower left.
The dome, designed by the architect August Font i Carreras has a height of 80 meters, was carried out between 1906 and 1913. The outer crowning of the dome ends with the colossal image of Saint Helena, mother of Constantine, who raises the Cross. According to tradition, she rediscovered the True Cross, invocation of the cathedral along with that of St. Eulalia; this sculpture was made by the artist Eduard Alentorn and was shot during the Spanish Civil War. At the ends of the crest are images of winged angels.
There are five doors to Barcelona Cathedral:
The main door, located in the center of the façade of the Plaza de la Catedral, was designed by the architect Josep Oriol Mestres. It is from the 19th century in neo-Gothic style, with a large Gothic arch with archivolts, presided over on its main by a sculpture of Christ, by the sculptor Agapit Vallmitjana i Barbany, and on both sides of the door, the images of the apostles, of the same author. In the archivolts of the portal there are sculptures of angels, prophets and kings in a total of 76 figures that together with the carpentry of the door were made by the sculptor Joan Roig i Solé. The inner face, on the other hand, dates from the 15th century, and we find the medallions engraved in stone on the extrados of the entrance arch, which are by the artist Antoni Claperós, and which represent the Ascension and Pentecost.
Portal de Sant Iu, is the oldest and for five hundred years was the main entrance to the cathedral, by the cross on the side of the Gospel. His dedication is due to the building in front of him, which for many years belonged to lawyers, whose patron saint is Sant Iu. Made of marble and stone from the mountain of Montjuïc, it is one of the first attempts at the ogival arch of the Catalan Gothic (1298), and contains some rather original elements within the Gothic and which are considered a sample of the dubious beginnings of this style.
Thus, on the pillars there are musical angels sticking their heads out of the extrados of the arch, as if they wanted to get out of the wall, and the arches above the door are separated by elements that represent walking sticks, with the end curved top, instead of pillars, as is more common (see for example, the facade of Santa Maria del Pi, of very similar composition). In eardrum is an image of Santa Eulalia attributed to the school of Jaume Cascalls end of the century XIV, on each side, inside the tympanum, there is a small head, merely ornamental.
On each side of the cover there are marble reliefs made of imposts, three on each side, representing two themes: the struggle of man against the beasts and the interpretation of nature in a religious and symbolic way, in the line of the medieval bestiaries.
From left to right we find:
A crane that catches a lamb between its claws, and that symbolizes the demon that traps the soul of the sinner.
A wild man, with his body covered with hair and dressed only in a kind of shorts. It represents the concupiscent impulses of the man and in his hand he carries a weapon that could be a stick or a mace, but it is not possible to know why a piece of it has been lost. He makes the gesture of hitting something that is out of relief, which we don’t know it is either, but it seems very unlikely to be the crane of the relief on the side. In fact, given the forest environment to which the wild man would belong, some authors have assumed that it may have been originally intended to go alongside the reliefs on the other side (the fawn and the lioness), which would link with the same scenario.
The struggle of a man, dressed as a soldier, with a crane, symbolizing the fight against the devil. It is not clear who will win, but more effective than the sword, which the crane is gripping by the blade, seems to be the shield, with a large engraved cross.
A man dressed in a tunic and fighting a lion, to whom he stabs a dagger. He is supposed to represent Samson, because of his resemblance to other contemporary representations, although he should be killing the lion with his hands and not with a dagger.
A fawn, which symbolizes the longing of the soul to draw closer to God. At the back is a tree with three crowns and two small owls on top, which could be for decorative purposes only.
A lioness breastfeeding two of her puppies and protecting a third between her legs, of uncertain interpretation.
Some authors attribute these reliefs to the ancient Romanesque cathedral, while others believe them to have been made by Italian artists in the fourteenth century. Although the stylistic features denote that they came from the same hand or from the same workshop, the reliefs do not seem to have been conceived with a unitary program nor are they related to each other, and some scholars have even assumed that the its disposition is not that provided for by the sculptor.
Gate of Mercy. It is one of the outer entrances to the cloister, with a canopy arch flanked by high pinnacles carved with great finesse. On the tympanum there is a wooden relief with the representation of Piety (that is, the representation of the sorrow of Mary with Jesus dead on her lap) surrounded by symbols of the Passion, work of the German sculptor Michael Lochner, established in Barcelona since 1483; in the lower right corner of the tympanum and in small size is represented the canon Berenguer Vila, who was the donor who financed the relief. This door serves to make the entrance to the cathedral by the cruise next to the Epistle, once crossed the cloister.
Porta de Santa Eulàlia, is located in Carrer del Bisbe and the entrance is through the cloister, similar to the Porta de la Pietat, it is built with a canopy arch and in the tympanum there is a sculpture of Santa Eulàlia, a reproduction of the original by the sculptor Antoni Claperós which is kept in the cathedral museum. On the sides of the image are carved the coats of arms of Bishop Francesc Climent Sapera who paid for the west gallery of the cloister. The archivolts are carved with fine foliage.
Door of Santa Lucia. It is the entrance to the outer chapel of this saint, being the third gateway to the cloister. The door is Romanesque with semicircular archivolts, supported by three attached quadrangular pillars and two thin free circular columns of smooth wood on both sides of the door, and capitals sculpted with figures of animals and characters, accompanied by thirty plants belonging to six common species. which are distributed by imposts and archivolts: oak leaves, of Anemone sp., of agrimony and of Potentilla sp., polypodium fronds (a fern) and an indeterminate grass.
These plants are represented with enough realism to identify them, which shows that the sculptor had the plants in front, and their presence has been related to fashion, which appeared in northern France in the early thirteenth century, consistent by abandoning the idealized acanthus that the Romanesque had inherited from the Corinthian order of classical architecture, replacing them with naturalistic representations of the local flora. In addition to the plant motifs, in some archivolts and in the upper strip of the imposts we find geometric motifs.
The four capitals of the columns, the two interiors have only plant motifs, the right exterior has carved two quadrupeds (one on each side, but sharing the same mouth, which has been noted as a sample of not too good quality of the sculpture of this door) and on the left the scenes of the Annunciation and the Visitation are represented. Part of the door ornament had to be rebuilt in 1842 by the fall of a bomb, and the tympanum, which is smooth, has not-too-well-preserved paintings from the early twentieth century.
From the end of the thirteenth century are the two bell towers, from the beginning of the Gothic construction, whose location corresponds to the ends of the transept. Both are octagonal and 53 meters high.
One of the towers called the hours or clock, rests on the entrance of Sant Iu. On top of this tower were the clocks of reference in the whole city, due to the initiative of the Municipal Council, such as the one built by Bernat Desplà in 1401, that of Bernat Vidal from 1464-1466, those of Jaume Ferrer of 1490 and 1494 and especially the so-called Flemish clock (in service between 1577 and 1864, now in the History Museum of Barcelona) and the one built by Swiss watchmaker Albert Billeter in 1864, still in operation. At the entrance to the clock room an inscription recalls that it was made in 1577 and another tombstone mentions the names of the councilors of that year.
The Eulàlia bell is also found in this tower, which is the largest, weighing 7 tons, and is the one that touches the hours, and the one that bears the name of Honorata and gives the quarters. The upper structure is beautifully ornamented iron and was built in the late nineteenth century following the modernist style. The old version of the Honorata had been destroyed by the Bourbon authorities in 1714, along with the Pyramid of the Born, in a process of destruction of national symbols. The bell had served as a ringing bell to mobilize the population during the 14 months prior siege. It was destroyed and with the molten metal cannons were built for the Citadel.
The other tower is in charge of church hours. In this one there are eleven bells, all with female names.
The bell tower of the cloister houses a total of eleven bells of different origins and times. After the Spanish Civil War the bell tower was left with only five bells, two of which are still used today: they are “l’Angelica”, small and from the early eighteenth century (it is the oldest) and “la Tomasa”, the latter is one of the best known bells in the city and in Catalonia; it is a very large piece with a very beautiful sound but it is completely invisible from the street. The Tomasa apart from being very thick is also very thick, this makes the note sharper than others of smaller size. Once the war was over, four new bells were rung to enrich the whole.
In the 70s of the twentieth centurythe Guixà company moved the bells inside the tower and incorporated four more bells. The notes of most of the existing bells offered the possibility of creating a set on the diatonic scale of B flat major. Three of the old bells were discarded and have since been abandoned in a room in the middle of the tower. The joint night left in project of creation of the greater bell tuned in If b, the tonic note of the ensemble, in 1998 the new bell named “Montserrat” was fused, a gift from Barcelona City Council and the Crédito y Caución bank. This bell was the largest and last one made by Guixà.
Like most Gothic cathedrals, the one in Barcelona also has one hundred and sixty gargoyles, through which rainwater pours from the roofs.
The oldest gargoyles of the cathedral are those of the apse next to the gate of Sant Iu, which must be from the early fourteenth century, and represent a man wearing a cap reminiscent of a beret, a knight armed on horseback, a unicorn and an elephant. The one with the elephant bears on its back a castle-shaped structure, in the style of those used in the east for hunting or war, and which elephants often wear in medieval representations; the horn, which we see of a different color, is the result of a later repair.
The gargoyle of the knight, ostensibly adorned with helmet, armor, shield and spurs, and the horse with bridle, has been related to the brotherhood of the freneros or the stevas (by the invocation of san Esteve), that grouped the frenerosand related trades, which made harnesses, weapons and armor and occupied this part of the city, known as the neighborhood of La Freneria (there is a piece of street that still retains this name) that extended to the Plaza de Sant Just; in this same area of the cathedral, in one of the ossuaries located between the first buttresses of the apse, you can still read an inscription from 1740 with the name of the brotherhood. The other gargoyles in the apse depict common animals, such as an ox, a lamb, a pig, and a collared dog, and in the lower buttresses sheep, dogs, and wolves. They are accompanied by a lion, a sparrow and a monstrous animal.
The gargoyles in the cloister date from the 15th century, and the four in the corners represent the symbols of the evangelists. According to a popular tradition, gargoyles are witches who, when the Corpus Christi procession passed, spit, being punished for being petrified like monstrous figures, with the mission of spitting water from the roofs of the cathedral.
Chapel of St. Lucia
The chapel of St. Lucia or the Eleven Thousand Virgins is located at an angle of the cloister with external entrance. It was built between 1257 and 1268 in the late Romanesque style, under the mandate of Bishop Arnau de Gurb (1252-1284) as a chapel of the episcopal palace, with which it was united, and at first unrelated to the cathedral, which at that time was smaller and did not reach it (the chapel was completed thirty years before the Gothic cathedral began).
Rectangular in plan, with a single nave with a pointed barrel vault and very small dimensions, it is built with very regular voussoirs, its façade has a door with a semicircular arch with archivolts and two columns on each side with capitals carved with geometric figures and d ‘animals; on the center of its facade a small belfry of two hollows rises (added later). At the corner of the façade of the chapel and Bishop’s Street is a small column carved in bas-relief, which according to a long-repeated seventeenth- century tradition, would have served as a measuring pattern for the old cane used in the city, corresponding to 1,555 mm. This interpretation is currently rejected, as it is a decorative staff that is not the size of a cane and is repeated, by symmetry, on the other side of the facade. The confusion is attributed to the inscription on the same façade where the word “cana” can be clearly read, but which in its entirety says “a dues canas lo pou”.
It has a rear door that allows access to the cloister and had a side door that opened to Bishop Street, walled in 1821, whose tympanum can still be seen with an Agnus Dei transitioning from Romanesque to Gothic. Inside there are in two side arches, two tombs. The one next to the Epistle (that is, entering through the main door on the right) is that of the Gothic-style Bishop Arnau de Gurb, which had been walled up for many years until it was rediscovered and restored in 1891. so the arrangement of some elements may not be the original, and that of the side of the Gospel (entering on the left hand) that of Canon Francis of Santa Coloma, of the fourteenth century, above which there is a calvary carved in stone with a blue glass background, the same canon is depicted kneeling beside the cross, which was a common way of representing the donor (the one who had paid for the work) similar to how canon Vila appears on the tympanum of the Porta de la Pietat.
The original dedication of the chapel was to the Virgin Mary, to Saint Quiteria and to all the holy virgins, with an altar dedicated to Saint Lucia and another to Saint Agatha. The exclusive dedication to Saint Lucia dates back to 1296 when, according to tradition, through the miraculous intercession of this saint, a girl born without eyes obtained them (Saint Lucia is considered a protector of sight).
The interior dimensions of the Cathedral, not counting the chapels on each side, are 79 meters long and 25 wide; the entrance to each chapel is 9 meters high, 5 meters wide and about 6 meters deep. The central nave is 13 meters wide and 26 high; the side naves are 6 meters wide and 21 meters high; the pillars, standing flat until the start of the arches, are 15 meters high.
Consecrated in 1337 by bishop Ferrer Abella (1335 – 1344), now three meters long is marble and white is maintained by two capitals of the primitive temple visigòtic the century wine. In the background and halfway up the central columns you can see the image of the exaltation of the Cross surrounded by six angels, the work of the sculptor Frederic Marès i Deulovol made in 1976.
Until 1970, on the high altar was a purely architectural Gothic altarpiece, made of gilded wood with a structure of superimposed niches forming arches and traceries, without any other sculptural decoration. It dates from the end of the fourteenth century and is one of the few preserved examples of this type of altarpiece. The 16th century was built on a Renaissance plinth. In the central niche there was a cross carved from 1746. It was replaced to adapt the presbytery to the post- conciliar liturgy and moved to the nearby church of Sant Jaume in Barcelona, where today it stands as the high altar of this parish.
At the bottom is the chair, carved in alabaster in the middle of the fourteenth century, whose wooden back is from 1967 and on it is the coat of arms of Cardinal Archbishop Ricard Maria Carles i Gordó (1990-2004).
Considered one of the characteristics of Gothic art, with the opening of large windows to give way to exterior light, after the Romanesque era, that the buildings were thick walls and no openings or if there were, few and very narrow, with exceptions like the one of the Cathedral of Augsburg of the year 1100 with precursory figures of the gothic ones.
The Gothic stained glass windows of the cathedral are all with the same three-street layout, the central one with the image of the holder and the sides with geometric decorations that frame royal shields, the city, angels and trilobal crowning.
The times of the stained glass windows can be divided into three parts: The first, dated 1317 – 1334 by the coat of arms of Bishop Ponç de Gualba which can be seen in the stained glass window of Santa Creu and Santa Eulàlia, collects all the stained glass windows of the head, above the radial chapels. In addition to this, that of Sant Pere, that of Pope Sant Silvestre where on the sides there are heads of holy bishops of the author called Mestre de Sant Silvestre made in 1386 and that of Sant Esteve.
Of the second stage, around the year 1400, are those of the ends of the apse: Sant Andreu with the coats of arms of Bishop Armengol of the year 1398/1408, and that of Sant Antoni Abat, made by Nicolau de Maraya the years 1405/1407.
In the third stage or group are made in the century XV, like the show window of St. Michael the Archangel and the principal, located in the chapel of the baptistry, the year 1495 the author of which was Gil de Fontanet with cartoons drawn by Bartolomé Bermejo. As you can read in the bottom strip of the stained glass window, this is the Noli me tangere.
Made in the twentieth century, they are at the foot of the temple: the one paid for by the Diputació de Barcelona is the one representing Saint James, Saint Anthony the Abbot, Saint Alexander and Saint Joaquima de Vedruna; the one paid by Barcelona City Council, with Saint Sever, Saint Josep Oriol, Saint Medir and Saint Vicenç Ferrer; that of the Virgin of the Angels and Saint Bartholomew, supported by Bartolomé Barba Hernández, civil governor of Barcelona (1945 – 1947); the one of the Virgin of the Bust and san Gregorio, with the shield of the archbishop-bishop Gregorio Modrego Casaus (1942 – 1967), etc.
The restoration carried out in 1970, allowed to discover the polychromy of the vault keys that the passage of the centuries had been darkening.
The cathedral has a total of 215 keys, the largest of which are those of the main nave; they are two meters in diameter and weigh about 5 tons. The keys to the central vault, starting with the presbytery, are:
Christ crucified between the Virgin Mary and St. John, with the symbols of the sun and moon.
Saint Eulalia with the coat of arms of Blanca of Naples, wife of James II. Dated 1320.
The Virgin of Mercy, who welcomes under her cloak, to one side, a pope, a king, a cardinal, a bishop and a canon; on the other side, the queen, a nun and three other female figures. Dated 1379.
The Annunciation. The Virgin Mary with the archangel St. Gabriel. In 1379.
A bishop with deacons. It is believed that it was Bishop Pere Planella (1371 – 1385) because there is his shield on the side of the key.
The Eternal Father surrounded by angels, by the sculptor Pere Joan. Made in 1418.
Another great key is the one found in the crypt of Santa Eulàlia and which represents the saint with the Virgin and Child Jesus. Near the gate of Sant Iu, its key represents Saint Peter and is surrounded by four other small ones in a trilobal shape. The one at the exit door to the cloister, on the opposite side, represents Saint John the Evangelist with his eagle symbol; it is also surrounded by four smaller ones.
Work on the choir began under Bishop Ramon d’Escales in 1390. The walls of the choir were made by George of God with corbels representing Old Testament prophets. On the left side the artist himself made the staircase to the high chair and, on its entrance jambs, two small sculptures representing the Annunciation.
In 1394, Pere Sanglada, an already established sculptor, was commissioned to make the choir stool; by order of the cathedral chapter he traveled to Girona, Elna, Carcassonne and finally to Bruges, where he bought oak wood for its execution. He surrounded himself with good helpers such as Pere Oller and Antoni Canet and began the first phase of the choir with the ashlar masonry, the medallions of the bracelets and the mercies, which is where the most important sculptures are concentrated. Of various subjects, the religious are the least represented and are the scenes of dance, games and music, among others, the most striking.
Pere Sanglada is commissioned to make the pulpit, also made of oak, in a prismatic way, with an architectural background of traceries and pinnacles where there are fifteen images that represent, among others, Jesus Christ with Saint Peter and Saint Paul and another panel of the Virgin with Saint Eulalia and Saint Catherine. At the bottom of the pulpit are arches with vaulted keys representing those of the cathedral. It was completed in 1403, when the sculptor received one hundred florins as the balance of the account of the pulpit: Pro operando tronam dicte Sedis ubi predicatur et ymagines que existunt eadem.. Years later, the choir continued with the ashlar masonry of Macià Bonafè, who cut another 48 chairs and finished them in 1459. With this work, he surpassed that of Pere Sanglada to be the high chair.
In 1483 the German Michael Lochner was commissioned to carve the canopies in the shape of high pinnacles, which due to his death in 1490, had to continue his assistant Johan Friederich Kassel until 1497. In 1517, the sculptor Bartolomé Ordóñez designed the oak partitions for access to the ashlar masonry, with relief scenes from the Old Testament and the Passion, one of the great works of Spanish Renaissance sculpture. Diego de Siloé also took part.
Charles V, decides that the celebration of the nineteenth chapter of the Order of the Golden Fleece be in Barcelona and orders to enable the heart of his cathedral for the date of March 5, 1519. Joan of Burgundy was in charge of painting the heraldry on the 64 panels of the ashlar masonry. In the center of the choir, on the pavement, is the entrance to the sepulchral crypt where the bishops of Barcelona and canons of the Cathedral are buried.
It is a Renaissance work made by Bartolomé Ordóñez from Burgos, who is known to have worked on this work in 1519, projecting it as a Doric colonnade crowned with a balustrade and whose intercolumns consist of four relief scenes from the life of Saint Eulalia, two on each side of the door, and at their ends niches containing body sculptures. For the execution he had the collaboration of the Mantuan Simone da Bellalana and the Florentine Vittorio da Cogono, from his workshop. He was unable to complete the work due to his untimely death in 1520 in Carrara, where he had moved to buy marble and carry out the commission. It was finished in 1564 by his disciple Pere Villar in accordance with the master’s project. Only the reliefs representing the Judgment of Saint Eulalia by Dacian and the Cremation of Saint Eulalia together with the exempt figures of Saint Severus and Saint Eulalia belong to Ordóñez.
The historian Justi pointed out that Villar had worked in the background of Barcelona, in the years 1562-1563, «the reliefs of the flogging and crucifixion, although well done, but cold, nevertheless, as the work of an imitator ». José Camón Aznar was also of this opinion. Subsequent studies have given as the work of Pere Villar only the relief of the Crucifixion of St. Eulalia; the other relief of the Flagellation of Saint Eulalia is a work after the death of Villar, made by the sculptor Claude Perret in the years 1619-1621. The remaining free sculptures of Sant Oleguer and Sant Raimon de Penyafort, inside the niches, with the names inscribed in the bases, are not the work of any of the previous artists but of an anonymous master of the late seventeenth century since Sant Oleguer does not received canonization until 1675 and the other statue is of similar style and scale.
Although there is documentation relating to the organ dated 1259, the current instrument began its journey in 1538 and its construction was completed in 1540. The original bill for the organ was provided by Pere Flamench (the organ school of the Crown of Aragon currently receives a series of influences from Flemish and French organists who will leave a big mark) and the carver. Antoni Carbonell, It was installed under the bell tower of the door of Sant Iu. Since then, the organ has received contributions from at least 16 master organists who have made a series of modifications to its bill to adapt it to the aesthetic tastes of each era and provide it with all kinds of aesthetic and mechanical innovations.. The last intervention was carried out by Gabriel Blancafort from 1984 to 1994.
The organ box is the original, Renaissance- style, flat, of the Catalan school like the boxes of the organs of Santa Maria del Mar (1560), the cathedral of Tarragona (1567), the one of Valencia (1510, scrapped and partially reused), among others. It consists of two bodies, the largest of 16 ‘(feet) which partly takes advantage of the temple factory and acts as a facade; its tubes are the originals except those arranged in battle (horizontally), plus a small body (a box proper) of 4 ‘located in the center of the grandstand of the organ on the back of the organist. This is the oldest organ box preserved in Catalonia. Inside the organ there are tubes from all eras of the different interventions he has received, which have been respected to the fullest in the last intervention performed. The whole technical part is current.
The current organ has a new floor plan, four keyboards with 56 notes and a pedalboard with 30 notes, with mechanical traction and a sound distribution that follows the precepts of the ” werkprinzip “, a word of the twentieth century that defines the internal arrangement of the German baroque organs:
the first keyboard or chair is placed on the back of the organist.
The second keyboard or major organ is at the height of the base of the facade of the organ; the pipes on the façade belong to this keyboard.
The third keyboard, the ” expressive ” owes its name to the fact that the performer can cause the volume to increase or decrease at will. Physically a floor is placed above the large organ.
The fourth keyboard triggers battle and echo. The battle consists of a series of registers placed horizontally on the façade just above the organist’s head; is a typically Iberian settlement that spread to the Portuguese and Spanish overseas territories and later, in the twentieth century, has reached the rest of the world. The echo is a trunk with a lid that the organist opens and closes at will to cause the echo effect.
The pedal tubes (operated with the feet) are located on both sides of the organ, in the area furthest from the central axis, where the organist is located. The instrument has 58 registers with a total of 4013 sound tubes and 128 free register combinations.
Large doors, rather door frames covered with twills (canvases), closed the box on Holy Thursday after the Glory of Mass and did not reopen until Easter Sunday as a sign of mourning, so that throughout in those days the organ remained silent. These canvases, the work of Pere Serafí «el Grec» from 1560, were removed in 1950 and are preserved in the Cathedral Museum.
In addition to accompanying the liturgical acts musically, the cathedral organ is often used for large concerts.
Crypt of Santa Eulàlia
The crypt is located under the presbytery and its construction is due to Jaume Fabre, at the beginning of the fourteenth century. The entrance by a wide staircase under an almost flat arch, adorned in the center with the portrait of a bishop, seems to have belonged to Ponç de Gualba, under whose mandate it was built. Beside them are groups of small heads of characters of the time. On the side walls of the staircase there are two arches with sculptures of human heads, which were the entrance to two chapels lined in 1779 by remodeling works to advance the steps to the high altar.
The flattened vault is divided into twelve arches that will all converge in a large central vault keystone, which represents the Virgin Mary with the Child Jesus placing the diadem of martyrdom on Saint Eulalia. It was completed in 1326, although the transfer of the remains of the saint was not done until 1339. The presence of a crypt is not at all common in Gothic churches, but it is believed that it was built in Barcelona in order to maintain the organization of the Romanesque cathedral, which had in the same place the crypt with the tomb of Santa Eulalia.
The new alabaster sarcophagus was carved by the Pisa sculptor Lupo di Francesco; and is exposed behind the altar table, in the center of the crypt, supported by eight columns of different styles with gilded Corinthian capitals. On the cover and on its sides are engraved scenes of the martyrdom of Saint Eulalia; in the four upper corners there are angels and in the center the Virgin Mary with the baby Jesus. On the back wall is the old tomb of the ninth century along with the inscription of the year 877 which evokes the finding of the relics in Santa Maria del Mar, called Santa Maria de les Arenas.
Former Chapter House
Known for the chapel of Sant Oleguer and the Blessed Sacrament, as well as the Sant Cristo de Lepanto, which is one of the most devout images of the cathedral. The chapter house was built by Arnau Bargués in 1407 with a magnificent architectural resolution with a rectangular floor plan covered with a large star- shaped vault. The keystone of the central vault of the chapel represents Pentecost and was made by Joan Claperós in 1454. In the center of the floor is a tombstone on the tomb of Bishop Manuel Irurita, allegedly assassinated in 1936. When the bishop of Barcelona, Sant Oleguer, was canonized in 1676, it was decided to dedicate it to his mausoleum. Above the tabernacle is the tomb of the saint, in Baroque style with a glass urn that allows you to see from the chancel the incorrupt body of the saint, the work of sculptors Francesc Grau and Domènec Rovira II; on this work was placed the reclining statue of Bishop Oleguer which had already been executed by the sculptor Pere Sanglada in 1406.
Above this tomb is the Holy Christ of Lepanto, dating from the 16th century, which until 1932 had been venerated in the central chapel of the ambulatory; at the foot of the crucifix is an image of a Pietat, a reproduction of a sculpture by Ramon Amadeu i Grau. The Christ of Lepanto was the cross of the galley of John of Austria, the flagship that fought at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. The crucified Christ is tilted to the right; legend has it that the figure moved away to this side to dodge a pipe. According to belief, this was a sign from the God of Christians that foreshadowed the Ottoman defeat, which finally took place. On both sides of the altar is the entrance to the chancel, from the first third of the eighteenth century, located behind the saint’s tomb. It is adorned with marble and jasper, carved doors and a coffered wooden ceiling with panels with paintings, which some authors attribute to Antoni Viladomat and others to Manuel Tramulles. In the center of this room is the incorrupt body of Saint Oleguer of Barcelona, who died in 1137.
Due to the presence of southern Gothic, the buttresses had an interior projection, which allowed the creation of double chapels with great depth between them, with ribbed vaults and crowned with vault keys.
It is known from the documents that at the beginning of the 15th century almost all of them were already equipped with an altarpiece. As used to happen in almost all the great cathedrals, over the years they suffered alterations, both in the replacement by currents of new arts of the time, of Gothic altarpieces by Baroque, and of the invocations for change of benefactors.
Chapels next to the Epistle
We describe them arranged from the main door to the altar:
Chapel of Sant Cosme and Sant Damià
Next to the old chapter house, is this chapel, at first dedicated to Saints Clara and Catherine, completed around 1436 by the master builder Bartomeu Gual, was paid for by Sança Ximenis de Cabrera to make the his tomb, made by Pere Oller, a sculptor who also worked in the heart of the cathedral. The tomb is placed inside an arcosoli with two small dogs carved at the feet of the reclining figure, on the front are represented the figures of male mourners in two groups surrounding a female figure with a book in hand and others women in prayer. On the tomb, painted on the wall, is a representation of the elevatio animae (that is, the ascension of the soul of the deceased to the Last Judgment) by the painter Lluís Dalmau. The altarpiece, dedicated to the holy doctors Cosme and Damià, was begun by Bernat Martorell and, on his death in 1452, continued by his disciple Miquel Nadal who finished it in1455.
Chapel of Sant Josep Oriol
Its altar is of modernist style, constructed shortly after the canonization of santo in 1909. In front is the mausoleum, made by the sculptor Josep Llimona, of Cardinal Salvador Casañas i Pagès († 1908), the main promoter of the canonization of the Barcelonan Josep Oriol.
Chapel of Sant Pancraç and Sant Roc
It has a polychrome baroque altarpiece from the 18th century, with images of the saints Roc de Montpellier and Pancras of Rome, of little artistic value.
Chapel of Sant Ramon de Penyafort
Under the altar of this chapel is the reclining sculpture of Sant Ramon, in relief on a slab. On the altar, the polychrome white marble sarcophagus, with embossed scenes from the saint’s life, dating from the fourteenth century. The two pieces come from the old Convent of Santa Caterina in Barcelona of the Dominican Order.
Chapel of St. Paul
The altarpiece of this chapel is late Baroque, based on a trace by the painter Francesc Tramullas i Roig, author of the altar paintings. The sculptural work is by the sculptor and architect Carles Grau and the polychromy is the work of Francesc Petit, 1769-1770. The titular saint is St. Paul of Tarsus, accompanied by St. Dominic Guzman and St. Peter the Martyr. In the predella there is a carving from the end of the 19th century that it represents, Sant Gaietà de Thiene.
Chapel of Our Lady of the Pillar
Baroque altarpiece of the eighteenth century, of little artistic value. The mausoleum of Archbishop Gregorio Modrego Casaus († 1972), has a bust by the sculptor Frederic Marès i Deulovol from 1972.
Chapel of Sant Pacià and Sant Francesc Xavier
The high quality altarpiece of Sant Pacià, dedicated to the former bishop of this see, is Baroque from 1688 by Joan Roig (father). In the altarpiece there are scenes from the life of Pacià panels on the sides, and medallions with the life of Jesus and a beautiful relief with the scene of the Holy Supper in the predella (from a woodcut by Albrecht Dürer). On the altar is a splendid reclining image of St. Francis Xavier in ecstasy, made in 1687 by Andreu Sala. On the ground is the tomb of Bishop Joan Dimas Loris († 1598).
Chapels at the foot of the temple
In many large churches with three or more naves, each nave has a portal on the main façade. This is not the case of the cathedral of Barcelona, since as in other Catalan Gothic churches it was preferred to take advantage of the inner side of the main façade to place more chapels, one on each side of the door:
Chapel of the Baptistery.
The baptismal font is made of marble white Carrara, carved by the artist Florentine Onofre Julià in 1433. The stone ornamentation of the door on the right and the cupboard on the left are by Antoni Canet in 1405. The relief of the background, with the Baptism of Christ, is the work of the twentieth century. A tombstone recalls that in the pile were baptized the first six Indians to arrive in Europe from America, brought by Christopher Columbus in April 1493.
In this chapel is the stained glass window Noli me tangere, which depicts the Magdalene with the Risen Jesus, by Gil de Fontanet according to the traces of the Cordovan artist Bartolomé Bermejo, who drew it at the end of the 15th century.
Chapel of the Immaculate Conception.
The chapel was dedicated to this devotion in 1848, when it became the seat of the Brotherhood of the Immaculate Conception. His image is recent, a copy of which was cut by Joan Massat in 1603, destroyed in a fire in 1936, and holds in his hands the keys to the city offered by the city council as an ex-vote for the plague of the year 1651 that underwent the municipality. The musician Joan Pau Pujol was buried there. On the left wall of the chapel is the mausoleum from 1899 by the Bishop of Barcelona, Francesc Climent Sapera († 1430).
Chapels on the side of the Gospel
They are described in order from the main door to the altar:
Chapel of Sant Sever.
It is the first to be found from the main door (entering on the left hand side). The baroque altarpiece is the work of the sculptor Francesc Santacruz i Artigas from 1683. The carpenter Agustí Llinàs and the goldsmith Pau Llorenç collaborated. It shows scenes from the life of the saint, such as the transfer in 1405 of the relics from Sant Cugat del Vallès, in the presence of King Martí l’Humà.
Chapel of St. Mark.
Its original Gothic altarpiece was paid for by the city’s shoemakers’ guild, dedicated to the saint, and was painted in 1346 by Arnau Bassa. It was moved to the Collegiate Basilica of Santa Maria de Manresa, where it is currently preserved, and was replaced in 1443 by another by Bernat Martorell, now gone, with a predella with the scene of The Flagellation, by Jaume Huguet. It was later replaced by the current Baroque altarpiece by the sculptor Bernat Vilarfinished in 1683, a date that appears in two medallions on either side of the side doors, and gilded by Josep and Francesc Vinyals between 1691 and 1692, as it appears in a medallion on the image of the saint.
On both sides of the chapel are two excellent oil paintings by Francesc Tramullas Roig from 1763: Saint Mark writing the Gospel and Martyrdom of Saint Mark. The vault and the upper enclosure of the chapel show interesting murals on canvas with scenes from the Holy Supper and the Supper at the House of Emmaus, as well as a rich repertoire of angels and flowers with scenes alluding to the Eucharist. These paintings are attributed toFrancesc Tramullas and his disciple Francesc Pla, called the Vigatà.
Chapel of Sant Bernadí.
It was the last chapel built in the first period of construction. In 1349 it was consecrated under the invocation of St. Mark, moving to it the guild of shoemakers who until then had been in a chapel of the cloister. In 1431, this guild moved back to the one with the largest capacity. The chapel remained without worship until in 1459 the esparto and stained glass guild occupied it, placing it under the invocation of St. Bernard and the guardian angel. The discrepancies between the guilds advised the chapter to keep the guild of esparteros and move the guild of glassmakers to the chapel of St. Michael the Archangel, in the ambulatory.
In its current altarpiece, from 1705, you can see the images of Saint Bernard of Siena, Saint Michael the Archangel and Saint Anthony of Padua. The altarpiece, which had previously been in a cloister chapel, was funded by Jeroni de Magarola i Grau, Count of Quadrells, which is why there is an image of Saint Jerome of Estridó at the top of the central street. In the predella a transfixion of Saint Teresa is observed. Previously, there had been a Gothic altarpiece dedicated to Saint Bernard and the Guardian Angel, an important work by Jaume Huguet and now preserved in theCathedral Museum.
Chapel of the Virgin of the Roser.
You can see an altarpiece from 1619 by the sculptor from Terrassa, Agustí Pujol, based on sculptural reliefs structured in three streets topped with a pediment and with an image on each of them. In the central street, crowned by a carving of Saint Lawrence on the pediment, below it is a coronation of the Virgin, an Assumption and below, the Virgin of the Roser. On the left street, with St. Michael the Archangel crowning him, from above, there is a flogging and an Annunciation. On the right street, a St. Jerome at the top and under oneresurrection of Jesus and a Nativity. It is one of the most remarkable baroque works of the Cathedral.
Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene, St. Bartholomew and St. Elizabeth.
From the painter Guerau Gener, who was an apprentice in the workshop of Lluís Borrassà, is the altarpiece of this chapel from 1401. It is structured in three streets, predella and dust cover. In the central street, above is a calvary and below, the titular saints St. Bartholomew and St. Elizabeth of Hungary. On the left street, from above, exorcism of the daughter of King Polem, martyrdom of St. Bartholomew and preaching of St. Bartholomew slaughtered. On the right street, miraculous intercession of St. Elizabeth, St. Elizabeth healing the sick and posthumous miracles of St. Elizabeth. In the predella, from the left, the Annunciation, the Nativity of Jesus, the Virgin and Child surrounded by saints and angels, the Epiphany, the presentation of Jesus in the temple. On the floor is the tombstone of Auxiliary Bishop Ricard Cortés i Culell, who died in 1910.
Chapel of San Sebastián and Santa Tecla.
It has an altarpiece of the years 1486 / 1498, commissioned by the canon of the cathedral at John Andrew Sors Jaume Huguet 14 April 1486, although it did make him and ordered his workshop, namely Rafael Vergós, Francesc Mestre and Pere Alemany. It is structured in three streets, predella and dust cover. In the central street, above is Jesus among the doctors and below, the titular saints St. Sebastian and St. Tecla with the donor praying kneeling before them. On the left street, from above, Saint Tecla in the lions’ grave, Saint Tecla in the bonfire and Saint Nicasi. On the right street, St. Sebastian destroying the symbols, the martyrdom of St. Sebastian and St. Roch.
In the predella, from the left, Michael the Archangel, Mary Magdalene, Ecce Homo, John the Evangelist, St. Barbara. The side doors show John the Baptist, on the left, and Saint Andrew on the right. In the central part of the dust cover is an Annunciation; it is also decorated with 6 builders guild symbols. The side doors show John the Baptist on the left and St. Andrew the Apostle on the right.
Chapels of the Virgin of Joy and the Virgin of Montserrat.
Both have altarpieces: the first by the sculptor Josep Maria Camps i Arnau from 1945; with a modern image of Pope St. Pius X on the wall. In the second, the altarpiece has an alabaster carving from 1945, a replica of the Moreneta, installed in front of a pictorial work from 1940.
We describe them in clockwise order:
Chapel of the Innocent Saints
It is located after the door of Sant Iu; on its altar there is a silver casket from the 16th century with the relics that the Duke of Venice gave to John the Great on the condition that they be preserved in the cathedral of Barcelona. On the wall there is an archosoli containing a sarcophagus by Bishop Ramon d’Escales (1386-1398), the work of the sculptor Antoni Canet from 1409, exquisite Gothic sculpture, both in the magnificent reclining statue of the bishop and the weeping ones under Gothic arches on the front of the tomb. The altarpiece of the chapel, made around 1709, is the work of the sculptor Marià Montanya and paintings by Joan Gallart (ca. 1670-1714).
Chapel of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
There is an image of the sculptor Vicenç Vilarrubias made in 1940.
Capella de la Mercè
This chapel shares the devotion with Saint Peter Nolasc. It has a baroque altar by the sculptor Joan Roig (father) from 1688. The main images, many of them resolved in a large relief, show the Foundation of the Order of Mercy in the presence of that of King James I and Bishop Berengeu de Palou II. In this same chapel, the painter Pasqual Bailon Savall made four paintings in 1688: The Primate of Peter, Pope St. Silvestre administering the baptism of Constantine, The Vision of St. Peter Nolasc and The Preaching of St. Ramon in the Cathedral of Barcelona before James Itoday not visible in the chapel. These works were paid for by the cathedral priest and Doctor of Law, Theology and Philosophy, Pere Roig i Morell.
Chapel of Santa Clara and Santa Caterina
The altarpiece of the year 1456, was made by Miquel Nadal (the predella) and Pere Garcia de Benavarri (the rest). On its side walls you can see Francesc Tramulles Roig, two good paintings: the martyrdom of Saint Stephen and the release of Galceran II of Pinos by Saint Stephen. Sant Esteve was the old invocation of the chapel, which was owned by the brake guild.
Chapel of Sant Pere
It has paintings on the side walls with scenes from the life of Sant Pere and the altarpiece is dedicated to Sant Martí de Tours and Sant Ambròs; it was made by Joan Mates in 1415, with a marked Franco-Flemish character. It presents eight paintings on tempera with the following motifs: Calvary; Sant Martí and Sant Ambròs; Birth of St. Ambrose and the miracle of the swarm of bees; St. Martin’s miraculous dream; Consecration of St. Ambrose as Bishop of Milan; Sant Martí splitting his cloak; Consecration of St. Martin as Bishop of Tours; Preaching of St. Ambrose.
Chapel of Santa Elena
It is the chapel of the axis of the cathedral, in center; the Holy Christ of Lepanto was there until 1932. The current altarpiece, formerly placed in the cloister, is dedicated to Saint Gabriel and was built between 1381 and 1390 by an unknown author.
Chapel of St. John the Baptist and St. Joseph
Chapel of the carpenters’ guild, which had had as its patron, before St. Joseph of Nazareth, St. John the Baptist. The altarpiece, dedicated to Saint John, is anonymous from 1577. There is an image of St. Joseph from the eighteenth century. The Renaissance altarpiece is of polychrome carving, with oil-painted doors by Joan Matesrepresenting the evangelists. The furniture, has four levels, attic and five streets, contains the following images and scenes in relief (listed from top to bottom and from left to right): Baptism of Jesus; Annunciation to St. Zechariah of the birth of St. John; Birth of St. John; image of St. John the Baptist; Visitation of the Virgin; Preaching of St. John; Arrest of St. John; Imprisonment of St. John; Banquet of Herod; Beheading of St. John; Prayer of Jesus in the Garden; Flagellation of Jesus; image of St. Joseph with the Child; Coronation of thorns; Camí del Calvari, Sant Josep; St. John the Baptist.
Chapel of the Transfiguration
Also called Sant Benet. The altarpiece of the Transfiguration, is the work of Bernat Martorell, one of the most important works of the Cathedral and Catalan Gothic painting was done years 1445 / 1452 was commissioned by Bishop Simon Salvador († 1445). On the left wall there is an arch with the mausoleum of Ponç de Gualba who was bishop of Barcelona (1303-1304) with an ordeal crowned by the artist Jaume Cascalls. The free sculpture of Sant Benet, from 1932, is by Josep Maria Camps i Arnau.
Chapel of the Visitation
It was Canon Nadal Garcés who commissioned the altarpiece in 1466/1475 from an unknown author. To its left is the mausoleum of Bishop Berenguer de Palou II, which was possibly part of the old Romanesque cathedral.
Chapel of Sant Antoni Abat
This chapel corresponded to the guild of porters and the baroque altarpiece of the saint dates from 1690-1712. The sculptural work is attributed to Joan Roig father and son, while the gilding is the work of Joan Moixi. The following masonry houses the carvings and reliefs: Santo Domingo de Guzmán; Sant Antoni Abat; Sant Antoni de Padua; St. Benedict; Saint Francis of Assisi; scene of the Miracle of the mule of St. Anthony of Padua; Temptations of St. Anthony; Miracle of St. Francis of Assisi. The side paintings in the chapel show scenes relating to Saint Anthony the Abbot and are by an anonymous eighteenth- century painter. Next to this chapel is the sacristy.
Sacristy and treasure
The sacristy consists of three rooms, in the entrance wall there are elements of stone crest crowned by a cross. In 1408 it was extended with the treasury room and in 1502 with the other room, where the priests dress.
Among the pieces for the cult he keeps, the processional custody stands out, made of silver and gold with rhinestone applications, and is of Gothic architecture with some Renaissance elements. It is a work from the end of the fourteenth century. The monstrance, with a stone manor, represents a Gothic cathedral. He rests on a throne or chair donated by King Martí l’Humà (1396-1410), according to the sacristy’s inventory books. The chair, known as the King Martin Chair, has a wooden core, covered with gold-plated silver plates in a flamboyant Gothic style., is portable and removable. The carving of the wood is of great delicacy: it gives the appearance that it is a work entirely of goldsmithing (often publications are found which erroneously indicate that the chair is of gilded silver). On the custody is mounted a crown in the form of a diadem given by Queen Violant de Bar or, according to others, by Martí l’Humà himself; has engraved the initials SYRA, of which no convincing transcript has been found so far.
Important pieces are also the processional cross of Francesc Vilardell from 1383, gilded silver with the images of the Crucifix and Santa Eulàlia, adorned with enamels of the four evangelists on the arms of the cross, two 11th century lipsanotheques, the cross of the King Martí of 1398 with his Lignum Crucis or the sword of King Peter IV of Catalonia, constable of Portugal.
At the time of Bishop Frodoí the century IX was instituted when the group of canons, which assumes the existence of an associated faculty. The current Gothic cloister is located on the same side that occupied the smaller Romanesque primitive. Its construction dates from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and involved great architects such as Andreu Escuder and sculptors such as the Claperós, father and son. The cloister is accessed through the exterior doors of La Pietat and Santa Eulàlia as well as the interior of the cathedral located in the transept made of white marble with archivolts of thin columns and a clearly Gothic tympanum.
This door that connects the cathedral with the cloister opens at the end of the transept, on the opposite side of the door of St. Iu. It is of white Italic marble and Romanesque, although slightly ogival, and is now believed to be one of the side doors of the Romanesque cathedral, which was in the same place, although throughout the twentieth century different authors they have been arguing that it was the main door (moved and reduced, to convert the semicircular arch into an ogival) or that it was a work imported from an Italian workshop. It has archivolts decorated with geometric motifs, and on the capitals, shutters and abacuses are carved themes of the Old and New Testaments and the struggle of man with beasts. Above is a later Gothic crest that helps to integrate the door into the whole of the cathedral.
In the nearest corner the Porta de la Pietat you can see a temple with the fountain of the master builder Escuder, in the center of which is a keystone with the scene of St. George fighting with the Dragon of the sculptors Antoni and Joan Claperós from 1448 and another sculpture of Sant Jordi with a horse in the center of the fountain, this is by the contemporary sculptor Emili Colom, made in 1970. The egg as it dances is a tradition of the day of Corpus, consisting of dancing an empty egg on the jet spring of the cloister fountain, which is adorned with flowers, although it is a tradition that is currently performed in other sources of the old city.
Scenes from the pillars of the cloister arches show scenes from the Old Testament and vault keys from the New Testament, as well as reliefs carved into the strip in the form of a capital that surrounds the columns of the arches. ogives we can see the legend of the Tree of the Holy Cross. In three of its galleries there are chapels, which at first were under the patronage of some institution or guild, as well as a pantheon of some family. All the chapels are covered with ribbed vaults (mostly quadripartite) with vault keys at the junction of the nerves.
Two of the chapels have modernist tombs: those of the Sanllehy family, where Carles Sanllehy is buried, made by the artist Josep Llimona i Bruguera and that of the Girona family, representing the three theological virtues (faith, hope and charity) by the sculptor Manel Fuxà i Leal, the crucifix is the work of the sculptor Eduard Alentorn from 1910. In the center of the cloister is a garden renovated in 1877 with magnolias and large palm trees; until then, it had been planted with orange trees (the Casa de la Ciutat, the Llotja and the Palau de la Generalitat had also had orange groves, but only the latter remains). The orange trees, along with lemon and cypress trees, were already there in 1494, according to the description given by German traveler Jeronimo Münzer, and to remember them in 1974, an orange tree was replanted.
In the cloister laundry there are thirteen white geese, a number that tradition relates to the age of Santa Eulàlia and the number of torments she suffered.
New Chapter House and Cathedral Museum
Located with entrance through the north gallery of the cloister (the only one without chapels) next to the chapel of Santa Llúcia. It consists of two outbuildings, the capbrevació (old dining room for the poor) and the new chapter house, from the seventeenth century with a rectangular floor plan and covered with a barrel vault with lunettes, fully decorated with paintings; the central panel depicts the Glorification of Santa Eulàlia and Sant Oleguer, the sides are painted with allegorical figures with texts from the Holy Scriptures with flights of angels. It is the work of the Barcelona painter Pau Prim, made from 1703 to 1705. It is possible that some other artist was also involved in its execution but it could not be attributed. The collection of works is not very extensive, but significant. Of the old Romanesque temple, the trefoil baptismal font from the 11th century stands out.
Painting, Gothic among several tables, is the Mercy Desplà, by Bartolomé Bermejo, funded by Canon Louis Desplà and dated 1490. Of the painter Jaume Huguet, the altarpiece of San Bernardino and the Guardian Angel of the years 1465 / 1470. There are also magnificent embroidered altar fronts, depicting scenes from the life of Jesus in the 15th century.
Gothic altarpieces made by Guerau Gener, Lluís Borrassà, Gabriel Alemany and Bernat Martorell, among others, are preserved in the chapels of the Cathedral.
The Cathedral Museum preserves Gothic paintings by artists such as Pere Destorrents, Jaume Huguet, and Bartolomé Bermejo, author of La Pietat.
Custody is one of the treasures of the Cathedral; made of gold and silver, it is adorned with jewels that were an offering of deep-rooted popular devotion. From the middle of the s. XV, the chair of king Martí, of golden silver, does the functions of pedestal of the custody. This chair gets its name from the fact that it is a supposed legacy or donation of King Martí l’Humà, and dates from the s. XIV. The ashlar in the heart of the Cathedral dates from the 14th and 15th centuries. On the backs of the ashlar masonry are the coats of arms of the Order of the Golden Fleece, from the s. XVI.
In this set, there is also the high chair, the work of Pere Çanglada and Maties Bonafé, with the collaboration of Antoni Claperós and John Lambert, made between 1394 and 1499. The high canopies in the form of pinnacles, from the in 1499, they are the work of artists Kassel and Michael Lochner. The back is closed with a marble facing with reliefs of the s. XVI, realized by Bartholomew Ordo’6nez and Pedro Billiards.
The stained glass windows
The Cathedral has many Gothic and modern stained glass windows. All follow the same scheme of three streets, the central one with the image of the holder and the lateral ones with geometric decorations that frame royal shields, of the city, angels, etc. and trilobal crowning.
The times of the stained glass windows can be divided into four parts: The first, dated the years 1317-1334, by the shield of Bishop Ponç de Gualba that can be seen in the stained glass window of Santa Creu and Santa Eulàlia, collects all the stained glass windows of the head, on the radial chapels. In addition to this, that of Sant Pere, that of Pope Sant Silvestre where on the sides there are heads of holy bishops of the author called Mestre de Sant Silvestre made in 1386 and that of Sant Esteve.
The second stage, around the year 1400, are those of the ends of the apse: Sant Andreu with the coats of arms of Bishop Armengol from the year 1398/1408, and that of Sant Antoni Abat, made by Nicolau de Maraya in 1405-1407.
The third stage is the stained glass windows made during the 15th century, such as the stained glass window of Saint Michael the Archangel and the most important, called Noli me tangere, located in the chapel of the baptistery, is the work of Gil de Fontanet, with cartoons drawn by Bartolomé Bermejo, from the year 1495.
The fourth stage covers the end of the s. XIX at the end of the s. XX and includes the windows of the facade and the side walls.
Barcelona Cathedral is a Gothic cathedral that can be framed within what is known as the Catalan Gothic, however, despite saving the differences that occur in the cathedral due to this reason with respect to the rest of the European cathedrals, there are certain characteristic features that also cannot be explained given this Catalan branch of the main Gothic and that they are only right when the building is understood as another part of the total set that is Barcelona and, therefore, as a reflection of the unique social structure of the city, almost completely detached from the influence of the nobility and the ‘Church, who lose power in favor of the increasingly developed bourgeois class and the king. With all this, the cathedral is a building of representation, in equal measure, of civil and religious power, and is therefore the church of the bishop and the king. The characteristic structural features resulting from
On the ground floor, there is a whole second floor of grandstands that had the function of hosting the most prominent personalities in important celebrations and within these, the royal is located at the foot of the central nave, in front of the altar. major. It is an unusual fact that can only be explained by considering the influence of the great figures of the city and the king in the construction of the cathedral.
The position of the dome: as a general rule, Gothic cathedrals tend to have the dome located at the point where the central nave intersects with the transept, in order to illuminate the high altar; the cathedral, however, has the dome arranged at the foot of the central nave, almost touching the main façade and its function becomes to illuminate the royal grandstand, which is just below. In this way king and high altar (which receives the light of the triforium) happen to have the same illumination during the celebrations and, therefore, the same degree of importance.
The entrance to the crypt of Santa Eulàlia, composed of a huge staircase, is expressly facing the royal gallery, thus reaffirming the power of the monarch. As a general rule, the entrances to the crypts occupy secondary places in the general structure of the temple, in which it is a main part and strongly participates in its shape.
The location of the two main towers is not, as usual, on either side of the main façade, where they would have been excluded from the rest of the city (facing a small square that touched the city wall), but as at the ends of the cruise ship, facing the city center. Another peculiarity of these are the two mechanical clocks installed, one in each, from the beginning of the cathedral in the thirteenth century, marking the civil hours (the one that is touching the royal palace) and religious (the which is touching the episcopal palace).
In addition to these main singularities, there was a tribune built during the reign of Martí l’Humà (1396-1410) in a more discreet place than the royal one and which was connected by a corridor to the second floor with the royal palace. Unfortunately, this grandstand is no longer preserved — its remains were used to install the elevator — and the bridge that connected the two buildings was demolished, although the post-construction wall can still be seen. original of the wall. However, it is a very exemplary element of the bivalence of the cathedral, as its function was linked to the possibility that the king wanted to visit the cathedral without having to be seen and therefore detached from any religious sense.
Since 2005, reconstruction work has begun on the main façade along with the two side towers and the dome.
Due to the expansion caused by the change in temperature and water leaks inside the stones, which are anchored by iron elements, already oxidized, were broken with the danger of landslides.
The architects in charge of its restoration are Josep Fuses i Comalada and Mercè Zazurca i Codolà, who calculated a budget of more than four million euros, although later studies to strengthen the perimeter of the cathedral raised the budget to about seven millions. It is planned to dismantle a third of the façade and replace those destroyed stones, as well as the iron anchors with others made of stainless steel or titanium. It is intended that the stone be the same as the original, from Montjuïc, although the quarry was already closed a long time ago. The town council, however, has in its municipal deposits stone blocks from Montjuïc that could be used in the restoration. If this were not enough, a similar one would be imported from some quarries in Scotland.
In 2010 the bronze statue of Saint Helena was removed from the pinnacle of the dome to restore it, a task that was carried out in the cloister. This was put back in place at the tip of the dome during the 2011 La Mercè festivities.
In the cloister of the Cathedral there is a pond next to a fountain. There we find thirteen geese, as many as, according to legend, Santa Eulàlia was years old when she was martyred.
On the morning of May 3, the municipality of Barcelona is blessed from the roofs of the Cathedral, on the occasion of the feast of the Holy Cross, owner of the Cathedral. The event is open to anyone who wants to participate.
On the occasion of the celebration of the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, Mass is celebrated in the Pla de la Seu, presided over by the Archbishop of Barcelona, and then a procession of the Blessed Sacrament is carried out through the streets of around, with the participation of cattle and castellers and other traditional dances of the city.
The egg as it dances
Every year, during the Corpus Christi festival, the tradition of the egg as a dance is installed in the cloister of the Cathedral.
The egg as it dances is a custom consisting of dancing an egg in the fountain of the cloister, adorned with flowers and red cherries.
The Cathedral of Barcelona was the first to present the egg as a dance in Barcelona, at least since 1636.
On the day of his feast, December 13, the devotees of this martyr, invoked for the protection of his sight, approach his Romanesque chapel in the Cathedral to venerate his relics.
Santa Llúcia Fair
From the first days of December until the 23rd of the same month, the Santa Llúcia Fair takes place, the market for nativity figures and Christmas objects on Avinguda de la Catedral.
On May 22, the feast of St. Rita of Cassia (which has a chapel in the cloister of the Cathedral), the roses are blessed after the 11 a.m. Mass.