The story of Cristo de Lepanto inside the cathedral of Barcelona
This beautiful wooden sculpture was build to command one of the ships that fought in the Battle of Lepanto 1571 (a naval engagement of the Holy league against the Ottoman Empire).
The Battle of Lepanto was a naval battle fought near the western coast of Greece. The Holy League, a coalition of European Catholic maritime states, led by the Republic of Venice and the Spanish Empire, fought against the Ottoman Empire. The Holy League's fleet was commanded by Don Juan of Austria, the illegitimate half-brother of King Philip II of Spain.
The Ottoman fleet was significantly larger and had more experienced sailors, but the Holy League's ships were better equipped and had better artillery. The battle was fought primarily with galleys, which were long, narrow ships propelled by both sails and oars. The two fleets clashed in a fierce battle that lasted for several hours, and ultimately, the Holy League emerged victorious.
The battle was a significant victory for the Holy League as it stop the invasion of the Muslim towards Europe. The war ended the Ottoman naval expansion and started the beginning of the decline of Ottoman naval power.
The tales suggest that this wooden Christ has this curved shape because it was used as a figurehead in a Christian ship and tried to avoid a cannonball shot from the Muslims during the war.
The sculpture can be found in one of the small chapels inside the Cathedral in Barcelona.