The Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar is a Gothic church located in Barcelona, Catalonia, in the Ribera district of Barcelona, more commonly known as el Born. Built in the 14th century under the direction of Ramón Berenguer de Montagut i Despuig thanks to the hard work of plebejans, commoners in general and young men from the port called 'bastaixos'(slave sailors who lived around the church) in particular. That is the reason they are depicted in the main door. The Basilika was build mainly, according to several authors, to serve people of La Ribera and was erected on the remains of an ancient Roman temple, Santa Marcia Sands. It exceed in its beauty the Cathedral of Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia, which was built about the same time and founded by the king and the church.
The basilica is considered one of few perfectly finished Catalan Gothic churches and is currently one of the most visited churches in the city because of its beauty, its location and the fact it appeares in the novel Cathedral of the Sea by Ildefonso Falcones.
From the outside it is a colossal building, strong and solid, what clearly contradicts the horisontalism and lightnbess of the interior. The building is typical for a compact European Gothic what is emhasized by its great illumination through the windows and a large central rosette at the top of the door. It is bright and simply decorated inside what is unusual for a Gopthic building usually sober and strongly ornamented. The building has three naves without a transept, creating one united space. The aisles consist of four bays and presbitery consists of a half-bay and a seven-sided polygon, all covered with a vault very Gothic in its expression. However, the design of the building gives a feeling of being a single space due to gaps between the pillars, poligonal, plain and auster which greatly clarify the ground. The exterior is adorned by two towers, one completed in 1496 and the other was not comlited until 1902 and previously had served as a clock tower.
The basilica has suffered various disasters over the years. Thus, several fires have ravaged Santa Maria del Mar, the most recent during the Spanish Civil War but also the earthquake in 1428 that caused a collapse of the rosette what caused several deaths. This rosette was subsequently rebuilt by Andreu Escuder, among others.
In 1923, Pope Pius IX, consecrated The Basilica as Minor Basilica, ranking it behind the Cathedral. It was declared a Historic-Artistic Monument in 1931, just before the assault and burning during the Civil War. Later the presbitery was rebuilt between 1980 and 1990, the Generalitat de Catalunya restored a cover, windows and stone keys of the vault that had been damaged 1714, the year that ended the War of Succession, in which Catalunya fell to the troops of Felipe V.
Next to the Basilica is the Fossar of Mulberry Trees, a plaza with the remains of all those killed in this hard-fought battle and to which homage is paid every 11 September, National Day of Catalonia.
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|Neighbourhood||La Ribera (Ciutat Vella)|
|Geographical coordinates||41.3842680, 2.1821462|
|Address||08003 Barcelona, Carrer dels Sombrerers 6|
|Construction dates||1329 - 1383|
|How to arrive?||official transport site|