Barcelona’s gothic cathedral La Seu is situated in the centre of Barcelona in the Gothic district (Barri Gotic).
Its full name in Catalan is Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia which means Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia.
Santa Eulalia was a young virgin suffering martyrdom during the times of the Romans. Today she is the patron saint of Barcelona. The Cathedral’s nickname La Seu is derived from the fact that it is the seat of the Archbishop of Barcelona.
History of La Seu Cathedral
On the site of today’s La Seu Cathedral a Roman basilica had already been built in the 4th century and was destroyed by the Moors in 985. The current gothic cathedral was started in 1298 by King Jaume II and finished 150 years later in 1448.
Until the 19th century it kept its indistinct facade, which was typical for Catalan churches in the Middle Ages. In 1889 the actual neo-gothic facade was completed.
The building of La Seu Cathedral is 93 meters long and 40 meters wide. Its highest point at 70 meters is the spire of the central tower.
If you would like to get to the roof of La Seu Cathedral, use the elevator in the northeastern corner. At an altitude of 50 meters you have got a nice view over Barcelona’s ancient gothic quarter. Going down to the bottom of the crypt you will find the sarcophagus of Santa Eulalia.
Cloister of La Seu Cathedral
Most visitors claim the 14th century cloister to be the most impressive part of La Seu Cathedral. In the courtyard of the cloister you can always find 13 geese. They represent the age of the young virgin Santa Eulalia at the age of her martyrdom.
Nowadays, the galeries of the cloister’s inner courtyard frame a tranquil garden around the central Well of the Geese (Font de les Oques) which seems like a refreshing oasis in Barcelona’s busy gothic quarter.
La Seu Cathedral – Facts
Admission: The cathedral is free, the elevator to the roof costs 2 Euros.
Opening hours: 09.00 – 13.00 hrs and 17.00 – 19.00 hrs
How to get to La Seu Cathedral?
By metro take the yellow line L4 to Jaume I. Walk up Via Laietana for 200 metres and you will find La Seu Cathedral on your left after 100 metres on Avinguda de la Catedral