Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar, Barcelona

Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar, Barcelona (must see)

The Basilica of Santa Maria by the Sea is an imposing church, dominating Barcelona‘s Ribera district, a more authentic (and not so touristy) part of the city. The church was built between 1329 and 1383, during the heyday of Catalonia as a maritime and commercial power. It represents an outstanding example of Catalan Gothic architecture and is equally beautiful both outside (where it appears massive and severe) and inside (producing the impression of lightness and spaciousness). Inside, the basilica is a huge space literally filled with peace and tranquility, adorned with beautifully painted windows, stone carvings, statues of saints, and big organ. There are three aisles forming a single space with no transepts and architectural boundary between the nave and presbytery. The simple ribbed vault is supported on slender octagonal columns and abundant daylight streams in through the tall clerestory windows.

The most captivating thing about this church, perhaps, is just sitting here listening to the holly mass in Catalan. You don't even need to understand a word of it to feel divine. Even without touring the Basilica itself, it will be just as magnificent experience.

Why You Should Visit:
Very grand and very well preserved; offers a lift to the roof, small "art gallery", the crypt, beautiful stone carvings, choir gallery, and the most astoundingly peaceful courtyard with a large pond.
Lots of local cafes with outside tables so a lovely area to wander around.

Tip:
It is possible to take part in a guided tour up to the roof, which is actually very interesting and combined with some of the most exciting views over Barcelona.
Make sure you are properly dressed though, otherwise the guards at the entrance may turn you away.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 9am–1pm / 5–8:30pm; Sun: 10am–2pm / 5–8pm

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Barcelona, Spain within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar on Map

Sight Name: Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar
Sight Location: Barcelona, Spain
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Barcelona, Spain

Create Your Own Walk in Barcelona

Create Your Own Walk in Barcelona

Creating your own self-guided walk in Barcelona is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
La Ribera Walking Tour

La Ribera Walking Tour

La Ribera is a culturally rich, historic area of old town Barcelona. Centuries ago, it was a very well-to-do neighborhood and was inhabited by aristocrats, merchants, wealthy sailors, and Jewish money-lenders. Today, it is regarded as the Soho of Barcelona and offers trendy shops and cafes, a popular hangout place for tourists and locals alike. Follow this guide and explore the unique sights of La...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
City Orientation Walk I

City Orientation Walk I

According to legend, Barcelona was founded by mythological Greek hero Hercules on one of his expeditions, when his boats were hit by a storm. The first 8 boats managed to escape without damage, but the 9th one was lost at sea. Hercules found his lost friends some days later, along a small hill, all safe and sound. The crew was taken by the beauty of the coastal landscape, and so they decided to...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 Km or 2.3 Miles
Gothic Quarter Walking Tour

Gothic Quarter Walking Tour

The Gothic Quarter is a dense nucleus of historic buildings that has formed the central part of the Old City since Roman times. This charming neighborhood has many narrow, atmospheric streets and peaceful squares filled with trendy bars, clubs and Catalan restaurants where you can explore, relax, and feel the sense of history. Take this self-guided walk to travel back in time and discover all the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 Miles
Picasso's Barcelona

Picasso's Barcelona

Pablo Picasso – the great Spanish painter and sculptor – developed his style in Barcelona where he spent the formative years of his life. It is said that when Picasso spoke nostalgically of home, he always meant Spain, especially the Catalonian capital. This self-guided walk will take you to the Picasso Museum, the bar-restaurant and the art gallery where his works were first displayed to the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 Km or 2.6 Miles
La Rambla Walking Tour

La Rambla Walking Tour

La Rambla is the street in central Barcelona, popular with tourists and locals alike. Seemingly endless, it is filled with cultural and historic landmarks, as well as shops and cafes. The Spanish poet Federico García Lorca once said about La Rambla, "The only street in the world which I wish never ended." Take this self guided walk to explore the most famous sites on La Rambla,...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
La Barceloneta Walking Tour

La Barceloneta Walking Tour

La Barceloneta neighborhood was originally formed during the 18th century by fishermen and their families. Today, La Barceloneta beach is one of the most active areas of the city, both during the day and night. In addition to its beaches, the neighborhood also features a lovely marina, a popular market, and many fancy restaurants and cafes. This self-guided tour will help you discover the modern...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles

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