Barcelona

Cathedral de Barcelona: Barcelona’s Gothic Cathedral

Cathedral de Barcelona
Cathedral de Barcelona

The Cathedral de Barcelona (website), officially known as The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, is a huge, fourteenth century gothic cathedral. OK. It’s not as big as the Duomo in Milan, but it’s nevertheless on the really, really big side.

Construction of the current building began in 1298 and continued for 150 years. Huh. One hundred and fifty years. I’ll never again complain about how long it takes the City of Toronto to build public works. Nah, that’s a lie. Yes I will.

A couple of rows of arch-shaped stained glass windows ring most of the cathedral. The upper row contains tall windows. The lower row’s windows are shorter and narrower. Set in one wall, near the top of the cathedral is another row of circular stained glass windows.

Just in front of the high altar in Cathedral de Barcelona is a set of stairs that leads down underneath the alter to a crypt. When I was there, I couldn’t go down into the crypt. It was set up as a chapel and there was a service going on.

I don’t know if they would have allowed me to join the service. I thought it was best not to try because I’m a nonbeliever. My fear was that God might punish me for being convinced that he doesn’t exist. It’s best not to challenge fairy tales if you can avoid it—just in case.

On Top of the Cathedral de Barcelona

View from the roof
View from the roof

Near the front of the sanctuary, off to the left, there’s an elevator that takes people up to the roof of the cathedral. The elevator ride cost €3 when I was there.

When faced with that sort of fee, I usually take the stairs because I’m a cheap bastard. I tell myself its because the exercise will do me good. But it’s really because, like I said, I’m a cheap bastard.

However, there was no free stairs option to get to the roof of the Cathedral de Barcelona. Having come all the way to Barcelona and not wanting to miss out on might be a great view, I paid the fee and rode to the roof.

That was a wise choice. The roof afforded me fantastic wide-angle views of Barcelona. The vantage point also allowed me to see the pointy spires on the roof of the cathedra. That’s not surprising because, where the hell else would they mount spires but on the roof?

While I was way up high on the roof, overlooking the city, taking in the scenery, and basking in the majesty of the Cathedral de Barcelona a pivotal question invaded my mind: “Why the hell do I keep doing crap like this? My fear of heights is legendary. Time to head back down into the sanctuary.”

Cloisters, fountains and Palm Trees. Oh, my.

Cloisters
Cloisters

I was in need of some calming after triggering my acrophobia. I found it through a door on the right side of the sanctuary.

Beyond that door were beautiful, peaceful cloisters. They included a courtyard with soothing fountains and a few palm trees. Palm trees. How cool is that? Then again, there are palm trees in a number of spots throughout Barcelona. But I’m a guy from Toronto, Canada. Palm trees are a big deal for me.

At the back of the cloisters was a door to a museum. Unfortunately, the museum was closed when I was there so I don’t know what it contained.

I suppose I could do some research. I’d then be able to tell you what’s normally in the museum. But you can Google it just as easily as I can. Don’t be so damned lazy!

Oops. Is it sacrilegious to say “damned” when you’re talking about a cathedral? If so, forget I said it (the “damned” part, not the “lazy” part).

Oh. I just realized that I also said “hell” a couple of times in this post. That does it. Now I really am damned for all eternity to the hellfire that I’m certain doesn’t exist. Oh, well. You win some and you lose some.

Been there? Done that? Do tell.