Basílica de Santa María del Pi: The hidden treasure of Barcelona’s Barrio Gótico

In the middle of the Barrio Gótico, you’ll find one of the most beautiful churches in Barcelona, and one that is not as well known: the Basílica de Santa María del Pi. It includes several spaces that are worth a trip, including the bell tower, the garden, and the crypt. During your stay with us at our boutique hotel near Ciutat Vella, you’ll have the chance to visit this and many other attractions in the capital city.

It’s not clear when exactly the first stone was laid to build this basilica, which is located between Pi and Sant Josep Oriol plazas, just a few blocks from the Mercado de la Boquería. Most documentary sources date its construction to the fifth century.

What is well known is that the new church (the one that made it to the modern day) was built in the fourteenth century. That was a cursed century, when the plague spread across most of Europe. For that reason, work on the church had to stop for a while. The Basílica de Santa María del Pi was finally inaugurated in 1453. It was actually the next generation when it rose to its greatest heights of splendor with the arrival of the Renaissance in Catalonia.

Like other churches, this basilica has been witness to some of the bloodiest episodes the city has experienced. It played a fundamental role in the War of Succession by raising the people’s morale with the ringing of the bells. It withstood pandemics, bombings, fires, and all shorts of upas and downs, but there it still stands.

Basílica de Santa María del Pi - Vaganto Hotel Blog

What to see at the Basílica de Santa María del Pi

You’re standing in front of the Basílica de Santa María del Pi. Now what? Stop at these elements for the most enriching visit.

  • The facade

Before you go in, spend some time with the impressive façade. Look at the rosette, which measures 10 meters in diameter and is considered the largest in Catalonia. In reality, it’s a copy of the original, which was destroyed in an earthquake centuries before. The replacement was also a target of attacks during the Civil War.

  • The crypt

The crypt is under the main altar and is quite small. In general, access is closed, but it is possible to go on a guided tour.

  • The bell tower

The church is crowned by an octagonal bell tower that houses six bells. The largest and most impressive is called Antònia. The tower is 55 meters high and you can climb all the way to the top to admire one of the most beautiful views of Barcelona. Enjoy your stay at our design hotel near Parallel.

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