Santa Maria del Mar is a Gothic church from the XIV century, located at the seaside, was built as a private initiative on the wealth accrued from overseas ventures by the inhabitants of La Ribera.
The stained glass windows of this basilica, dating from the 15th and 18th centuries, are very famous.
From the outside, Santa Maria gives an impression of massive severity that belies the interior. It is hemmed in by the narrow streets of the Ribera, making it difficult to obtain an overall impression, except from the Fossar de les Moreres and the Plaça de Santa Maria, both of them former burial grounds. The latter is dominated by the west end of the church with its rose window. Images of Saint Peter and Saint Paul occupy niches on either side of the west door, and the tympanum shows the Saviour flanked by Our Lady and Saint John.
The north-west tower was completed in 1496, but its companion was not finished until 1902.
In contrast with the exterior, the interior gives an impression of light and spaciousness. It is of the basilica type, with its three aisles forming a single space with no transepts and no architectural boundary between nave and presbytery. The simple ribbed vault is supported on slender octagonal columns, and abundant daylight streams in through the tall clerestorey windows.
The interior is almost devoid of imagery of the sort to be found in Barcelona's other large Gothic churches, the cathedral and Santa Maria del Pi, after the fire which occurred in 1936 during anticlerical disturbances. Amongst the most notable of the works destroyed at that time was the Baroque retable by Deodat Casanoves and Salvador Gurri.
Church Santa Maria del MarPlaça de Santa Maria, 1, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Area: El Born
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 9.00am to 1.30pm and from 4.30pm to 8pm. Sunday and holidays from 10am to 1.30pm and from 4.30pm to 8pm
Phone: +34 933 102 390
Metro/Bus: Metro: L4 Jaume I / Bus: 17, 19, 40, 45, 120
Barcelona metro map