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la Catedral

la Catedral

As if Sagrada Familia was not enough, Barcelona is also home to la Catedral, also known as the Church of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia. Construction began in the late 13th century and it took more than 100 years to complete the grandiose structure. Barcelona Cathedral is the seat of the archdiocese of the Catholic Church for Barcelona and the Catalan region and is dedicated to the co-patron saint of Barcelona, Sant Eulalia. Eulalia was martyred at the age of 13 by Romans and the Cathedral houses 13 geese in her honor. Legend has it that she was exposed naked in the public square and a miraculous snowfall in mid-spring covered her nudity. The enraged Romans put her into a barrel with knives stuck into it and rolled it down a street (according to tradition, the one now called Baixada de Santa Eulàlia). The body of Sant Eulalia is entombed in the cathedral’s crypt.

The church pierces the skyline of el Gotic, aptly so since la Catedral is a masterpiece of neo-Gothic architecture. Not only can you see the church from the skyline, you can also see the skyline from the church. Visitors are allowed to take a tiny, rickety elevator up 3 floors to the rooftop and walk around. While the view of the city is breathtaking, I was much more intrigued to tilt my gaze down and examine the structure itself. The opportunity to examine the roof and windows was incredible and my favorite aspect was one of the windows that allow sunlight to flood the interior but are invisible from external view.

I spent a good hour and a half walking around the church to appreciate the individual chapels and magnificent guild work and craftsmanship. Also, in the center of the interior there is the choir stall where the back of the seats are adorned with various coat-of-arms. With a little research, I discovered that the different coat-of-arms identified the members of the Order of the Golden Fleece, which is kind of a big deal in Europe and greater Christendom. After I paid my respects to Sant Eulalia, I made my way to the nearest cafe to re-energize and enjoy the rest of the sunny afternoon.

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