The earliest origins of Barcelona’s Cathedral date back to a basilica with three naves, destroyed by Al-Mansur in 925. The
remains of this basilica can be seen at the Barcelona's History Museum. Around 1046,
Bishop Guislabert pushed for the construction of a new cathedral. There are hardly any references to this cathedral. It is believed to have occupied part of the Gothic building but all that has
been preserved is Romanesque.
Building work began in 1298. Construction was slower: the Crypt of Saint Eulalia and the choir-stall are from the end of the 14th century; the cloister from the 15th century and the retro choir and the organ from the 16th century.
The façade was finally finished in the early 20th century, by the architects Josep Oriol Mestres and August Font i Carreras,
based on an early 15th century design by the French architect Mestre Carlí. Rather than Catalan Gothic, the style is Nordic Gothic The
façade is 70 meters high and crowned with an image of Saint Helena, by the sculptor Eduard Alentorn.
In the cloisters, for Corpus Christi, there is a typically Barcelonian custom, “l’ou com balla”: an egg (ou) is put into the jet of water in the cloister garden fountain to make it “dance”. There is also a pond with thirteen white geese. Always thirteen, because that is how old Saint Eulalia was when, according to legend, she was martyred.
Did you know that you can visit the choir and the top roof? It is not a free visit, but still great to see!