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Santa Maria del Mar

The Most Beautiful Gothic Church in Barcelona

The Santa Maria del Mar is a great tip for your trip to Barcelona. The church is one of Barcelona's landmarks, which looks like a fortress with its monumental towers in the old town. Locals call the church "Church of the poor". Especially worth seeing is the interior of the Santa Maria del Mar. You can also book a guided tour and enjoy the view over old town of Barcelona from the roof.

Highlights of the Guided Tour Santa Maria del Mar

  • 55 min guided tour in English
  • Visit the terraces and towers
  • Beautiful view over surroundings

Services of the guided tour Santa Maria del Mar

  • Approximately 55-minutes guided tour with visiting the terraces and the towers of the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar
  • Visiting (without guide) the crypt with picture lectures and gallery
  • Info sheet in English about the Basílica de Santa Maria del Mar
  • Reduced price for students and seniors from 65 years with ID


  • Guided tours are available in English

Services of the guide "Cathedral of the Sea"

  • English-speaking tour through the old town of El Born and the Gothic Quarter
  • Duration approx. 2.5 hours
  • The date and time are freely selectable
  • For bookings starting between 13:00 and 14:00, an additional entrance fee of € 5.00 will be charged on site for the visit of the interior of the Santa Maria del Mar church.
    Admission to Santa Maria del Mar church between 9:00 and 12:00 and from 15:00 is free.
  • Our tour guide is exclusively for your group
  • Meeting point: main access staircase of the church of Santa Maria del Mar (opposite Caputxes restaurant

Highlights "Cathedral of the Sea"

  • The church of Santa María del Mar
  • The money changer roads
  • The Sea Consulate
  • The street Montcada
  • The "Call" - the Jewish quarter
  • The bishop's palace
  • The royal palace
  • The harbour
  • Guided tours in English daily: 14:00 and 15:00
  • Gided tours take place every day, including public holidays
  • Free time selection with the private El Born and Cthedral of the Sea tour
  • No guided tours on: 1 January, 6 January, 25 and 26 December
Booking information
  • Select the product first
  • On the upper right, enter the number of people you would like to book for
  • Immediately after booking you will receive an e-mail confirming that we received your booking
  • Within 48 hours you will receive a binding booking confirmation
  • Discounted fares only with valid proof on site
Cancellation policy
  • In case of bad weather and events the tour can be canceled by the organizer at short notice; In this case you will receive a full refund
  • The visit is not suitable for people with reduced mobility or breathing problems
  • Free cancellation is possible up to 48 hours before the event; you will receive a full refund
  • In case of later cancellation a refund is not possible

Why Santa Maria del Mar is worth visiting

The construction is unique and was groundbreaking for the time. The church was built within 55 years only by Berenguer de Montagut in the 14th century and was consecrated in 1384. Due to the short construction period the Santa Maria del Mar has a very uniform-looking architecture. There's no mixture of architectural styles due to long construction times.

During the guided tour in English, you will learn about the construction and the history of Santa Maria del Mar. The guide will take you to the towers and terraces with a fantastic view of Barcelona. A fun and educational tour awaits you through the for the locals most popular church of Barcelona.

The Construction of Santa Maria del Mar

The construction site of Santa Maria del Mar has been of particular importance since the early Christian era. Here the apostle James is said to have preached. Therefore, a small chapel was built here. In 304, the body of St. Eulalia was buried there. The bones were hidden in the 8th century before the Moors and only 15 years later found again. In 1339 these were then transferred to the cathedral.

Guided Tour through Santa Maria del Mar (Video in Catalan, tour in English)

The beginning of the construction of today's Gothic church Santa Maria del Mar was in 1329 with the laying of the foundation stone. The church was the only Gothic church that was actually completed within one era. In 1714, during the Spanish War of Succession, the church was partially destroyed. The damage was repaired only provisionally. During the Spanish Civil War in 1936, these parts burned down in a fire. Due to the fire, the interior was largely destroyed as well. Also, a large part of the church windows had to be reconstructed. In 1990, the renovation and restoration work was completed.

The Interior of Santa Maria del Mar

Enter the church through the portal. A narrow nave, which emphasizes the height and length of the basilica opens up to you. The stained-glass windows flood the room with subdued colored light.
Due to the special construction of the nave the Santa Maria del Mar only has four narrow, octagonal pairs of columns to support the loads of 13 metres wide vault.
Around the church small chapels are located that form a kind of cloister. The apse is surrounded by a delicate pillar wreath, which merges into a multi-unit vault and thus forms the conclusion upwards.

The Exterior of the Church

High pillars divide the facade into three sections that correspond to the ships. The narrow octagonal, 33 metres high towers have a straight end on the top.
Turning left around the church, you get to a small square at Carrer Santa Maria, where a granite slab commemorates the Spanish invasion of 1714.

The best-seller novel "Cathedral of the Sea"

The novel "Cathedral of the Sea" took place almost 700 years ago, at a time when Barcelona was one of the most prosperous and growing cities in Europe. At that time, the inhabitants of the modest district Ribera decided to build a new church - by the people for the people. This church is dedicated to the patron saint of sailors - the Santa Maria de la Mar. But the people of Barcelona, both the poor and the rich, had to deal with a variety of problems at those times ...

The literary guided tour "Cathedral of the Sea" was inspired by the novel of Ildefonso Falcones. Visit the original locations with us, which were vividly described in this fascinating novel. Revive the stories of the 14th-century novel protagonists. We address greed, injustice, wars, the plague and the Spanish Inquisition during our 2.5 hour journey through time.

Book Tickets for the Guided Tour through Santa Maria del Mar

  • English speaking guide
  • Daily at 14:00 and 15:00
  • Including visit to the terrace and towers
Please select the date and the number of people you want to book for.
Please enter the date
14:00 - Guided Tour ENGLISH Santa Maria del Mar Desired quantity
Adults and persons age of 8+ 8.50€
Students and seniors 65+ 7.00€
15:00 - Guided Tour ENGLISH Santa Maria del Mar
Adults and persons age of 8+ 8.50€
Students and seniors 65+ 7.00€
Sum of your selection:

(incl. 0.00 € one time fee)
Our partner: Riosta (Santa Maria del Mar/ St. M. del Pi), 08037 Barcelona, Av. Diagonal, 357, Bajos

Important information

Find Hotels nearby

Pl. Santa Maria del Mar

Metro: Jaume I. (L4)
Bus Turístic: Pla de Palau
Parking nearby

Opening times
Monday to Saturday: 9:00-13:00 Uhr and 17:00-20:30
Sun- and Holidays 10.00-14.00 and 17.00-20.30

Guided visits in English: daily at 14:00 and 15:00

Notes for visiting the Santa Maria del Mar

The guided tour in English lasts about 55 minutes and includes a visit to the towers, the crypt and the roof. Without guide, the roof can not be visited.

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