Santa Maria del Mar

Address: Plaça de Santa Maria, Barcelona, 08003, Spain
Telephone: 93 310 23 90

- Free


Catalan Gothic architecture at its most elegant and imposing.

Known as the ‘People’s Cathedral’, Santa Maria del Mar was built and paid for in the 14th century by the citizens and trades guilds of Barcelona. It’s a stunning building, with impossibly high columns reaching up to a vaulted ceiling. Most crucially, its interior is relatively sparse, with none of the usual trappings and ornamentation beloved of the Catholic Church – all of this was burnt to cinders by anarchists in 1936, leaving only the clean lines of the building itself.

Value for money

Expert tips

The occasional concerts held here, such as the Requiem at Easter and the Messiah at Christmas, are especially atmospheric.

Recommended for

  • Culture vultures
  • Escaping the crowds