Santa Maria del Mar church in Barcelona is one of the main churches in the city, also called the cathedral of La Ribera. It is literally called Saint Mary of the Sea, the neighbourhood was known to be a fishermen town at the time as well as the space for artisans and craftsmen. Even nowadays, you can see these trades and businesses reflected in the street names of the area.

The church was probably one of the fastest of being built, during medieval times building a church could take easily a century and they managed to built Santa Maria del Mar in 55 years. The construction process was very special as locals and mainly workers who loaded and unloaded the ships (called "bastaixos") where the ones that using their hands, backs and boats have transport the stone needed to built from Montjuïc quarry to their destination.

Santa Maria is one of the best examples of Gothic style architecture and is located in the Born/Gothic area, it is very convenient when visiting the old neighbourhood to stop by.The church has three naves with very tall columns that are set 13 meters apart from each other. The structure Santa Maria has gives the impression that is a big space, with an incredible width and height, and the stained glass windows also help having that impression of space.

From the outside the church is austere, but there is a magnificent rose window at the back and you can observe it while having a drink in the square just in front where there are bars and restaurants. On the inside, you can see private tombs from medieval guilds and brotherhoods.

If you read the book Cathedral of the Sea by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Santa Maria del Mar is the church that he talks about in his book that follows the process of construction and how the population at the time believed this church to be the people's church.

Santa Maria del Mar rooftop tour

If you want to have the full experience and take the chance to visit the roof terraces in Santa Maria, now you can from May to October. There is no need to book, you can buy them in the very same church the ticket for the rooftop tour. The tour is 45 minutes, the guide will go through the story of the church and how it is tied so much to the neighbourhood. The climb up to the rooftop is through a narrow staircase and there is no lift, so something to take into account if you have reduced mobility.

Opening Times and Entry Fee

Mon – Sat 9:30 – 13:00 17:00 – 20:30 FREE entry to the nave only

Sunday 10:00 – 13:00 17:00 – 20:00 FREE entry to the nave only

13:00 – 17:00 Entrance to the nave, choir and crypt €5

11:00 – 19:00 Rooftop tour (access to the nave, choir, crypt and roof terraces) €8

Disclaimer: Santa Maria del Mar picture by Melissa Delzio


¿What do you think? Help others with your opinion and experience

You might also like

10 catalan dishes you must try in Barcelona
Barcelona Guide

10 catalan dishes you must try in Barcelona

It is important to know what foods you need to try when visiting a place, Barcelona is no different, and you although it is Spain, the cuisine is a more Mediterranean kind of dishes due to the proximity of the sea. I will show you around the Catalan cuisine and the 10 dishes that you cannot leave town without trying.The Catalan cuisine is inside what is cal…

Ca L'Ignasi, great quality of food near Rupit
Eating

Ca L'Ignasi, great quality of food near Rupit

I went on a day trip to Rupit and we went to have lunch to a little town called Cantonigròs to a restaurant called Ca L'Ignasi. The restaurant is in a beautiful house made of stone in Carrer Major, num. 4 in the main street. You can choose to have your meal indoors or outdoors as they also have a nice garden outside with some tables, so it is a good choice…

Girona, the new scenario for Game of thrones in Catalonia
Tours & Excursions

Girona, the new scenario for Game of thrones in Catalo…

Game of Thrones has chosen Girona as one of its scenarios for the 6th season, it is the first time HBO on GOT films in Catalonia. Girona is an amazing city, 100 km from Barcelona, near the well known Costa Brava. It is a great opportunity for tourism in the area, and put our great heritage to be seen by millions of people who follow the series.No wond…