Your Guide To: Santa Maria del Mar
The Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar is located in the Ribera district of Barcelona, not far from Parc de la Ciutadella, the city’s gothic quarter and La Rambla. This fine example of Catalan Gothic architecture is also called “the cathedral of La Ribera”.
The basilica’s defining features are its simplicity and elegance. From the outside, the imposing building looks quite severe. Once you enter, you are surrounded by soaring arches and an atmosphere of serenity.
It’s impossible not to look up as soon as you enter. The church’s tall, slender columns are dotted with stained glass windows, which give a sense of space and light.
Santa Maria del Mar’s simple grace provides a contrast to the elaborate décor of Barcelona Cathedral and the intricate facades of Gaudí’s famous Sagrada Família.
As the basilica is huddled amid Ribera’s narrow streets, there are only a couple of spots to get a good overall impression of the building. These are the former burial grounds of Fossar de les Moreres and the Plaça de Santa Maria.
We suggest Santa Maria del Mar as a lovely stop during an afternoon in Barcelona’s El Born district.
Your Guide To: The History
Work on Santa Maria began in 1329 and was completed in 1383. The swiftness of its construction ensured that its style remained purely Catalan Gothic, and today, it is the only remaining church of this style.
Combine Santa Maria del Mar with:
– A picnic in nearby Parc de la Ciutadella
– A stroll through the Gothic Quarter and the bohemian El Born district
– Barcelona Cathedral and lunch in the gothic quarter
What you need to know:
The basilica is closed between 1.30pm and 4.30pm every day.
It’s worth checking out events in advance as classical music concerts are often held in Santa Maria del Mar.
During the summer months, you can visit the basilica’s rooftop terrace as part of a guided tour.