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Barcelona Cathedral

A magnificent Gothic cathedral in the old centre of Barcelona, and the seat of the Archbishop of Spain.

TravelCurious Tip

For just €3 you can visit the roof of the Cathedral and get amazing views of the city - as well as a good look at the gargoyles.

Gothic quarters

The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia is a gorgeous Gothic cathedral in the old centre of the bustling Catalan city; it is also the seat of the Archbishop of Spain. Construction of the Cathedral began at the end of the 13th century during the reign of King James II of Aragon, and took around 150 years to complete, by which time King Alfonso V ruled the kingdom. It was built on the site where two less regal Christian churches had previously stood; a primitive paleo-Christian temple was replaced by a Romanesque Cathedral in 1058, which was in turn replaced with the majestic Gothic structure we see today.

The Cathedral is dedicated to Saint Eulalia, a young virgin who became a martyr for her faith when she was killed during the persecutions of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. The story goes that she was publicly shamed by being forced to go naked in the streets, but that snow miraculously fell to cover her. She was then put in a barrel which was stuck through with knives and rolled down the street, now called Baixade de Santa Eulalia. Her tomb is in the crypt of the Cathedral.

L’Ou com Balla

Eulalia is also commemorated in the Font de les Oques, a well in the cloister which houses thirteen white geese - the age at which the saint was allegedly martyred. While the structure and internal decoration of the Cathedral were completed by the 15th century, its neo-Gothic façade was added at the end of the 19th century, covering the rather plain original exterior; the roof was also adorned with an impressive range of gargoyles.

Mass is celebrated daily in the Cathedral and the church remains extremely popular with members of the Catholic community today. Visitors of the Cathedral can marvel at its magnificent Gothic art, Baroque altar, splendid choir and the mysterious sepulchre of St. Eulalia. If you are lucky enough to visit during the feast of Corpus Christi, you may see the Catalan tradition of the Dancing Egg - a hollowed egg suspended dancing on the jet of the cloister’s fountain.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Barcelona
Gothic Quarter
Barcelona’s oldest and most atmospheric district.
Church of Santa Maria del Mar
Built in Catalonian Gothic style, this Basilica has been through a lot.
Picasso Museum
A wonderful collection traces Picasso’s creative genius from his roots in Barcelona.
La Rambla
A bustling tree-line promenade through the heart of Barcelona.
El Fossar de les Moreres
Memorial to the defenders of Barcelona who died in the siege of 1714
Parc de la Ciutadella
Scenic city park housing the Catalan Parliament

Related Tours

The Historic Heart For Kids Private Walking Tour inc Tickets: Roman and Gothic History
In this three-hour tour, you and your family will learn more about the rich history of the Gothic Centre of Barcelona, which has developed enormously since the Roman period to become the thriving hub that it is today. 

  • Explore the majestic Barcelona Cathedral (Catedral de la Santa Cruz y Santa Eulalia).
  • Discover the historic Gothic Quarter – where your kids will love learning about its Roman past.  
  • Treat your senses to the smells, tastes and sights of Boquería Market
  • Stroll through Las Ramblas – Barcelona's iconic, bustling promenade. 
  • Our team will match the perfect guide to entertain and inspire all ages.
  • Safely navigate the city, avoiding traffic and busy crowds. 
The Gothic Quarter – also known as Barri Gòtic, is the area that stretches from Las Ramblas to Via Laietana, and from the Mediterranean seafront to Ronda de Sant Pere and is the centre of the old city of Barcelona. It is known as the Gothic Quarter, as it used to be the location of a Roman village and some of the remnants still remain.  As you enter each magical street and hidden squares, you and your family will learn about the fascinating history of this area that was first founded by the Romans. 
Barcelona's Private Half Day Highlights Walking Tour inc Tickets: The Gothic Historic Heart
In this three-hour tour, your private guide will unravel the rich history of the Gothic Centre of Barcelona, which has developed since the Roman period to become the thriving hub that it is today.  

  • Visit the majestic Barcelona Cathedral (also known as Cathedral de la Santa Cruz y Santa Eulalia).
  • Try your luck at haggling in La Boquieria  marketplace and explore iconic Las Ramblas promenade. 
  • Discover sleepy churchyards, medieval alleyways and crumbling Gothic Palaces. 
  • Learn about the Roman beginnings of the Old Town, and see remnants of this lost past. 
  • Take centre stage with your guide. No other groups or noise to drown out the experience.
  • A personal tour ensures that you set the pace at which you are comfortable.


The Gothic Quarter – also known as Barri Gòtic, is the area that stretches from La Rambla to Via Laietana, and from the Mediterranean seafront to Ronda de Sant Pere and is the centre of the old city of Barcelona. It is known as the Gothic Quarter, as it used to be the location of a Roman village and some of the remnants still remain. Currently, the Gothic Quarter is one of the most exciting part of the city as it’s home to some of Barcelona’s most famous landmarks, excellent restaurants, amazing restaurants and many squares (plaças) to relax and unwind. 
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