Origins of Santa Maria del Mar

Updated: Aug 22

In the 13th century, in this same place there was another church, called Santa Maria de les Arenes, but the economic growth of the city and mainly of this neighbourhood, led to the need of a bigger church. The merchants of Barcelona raised funds to build it, but the real effort was made by the so-called "bastaixos" (Barcelona workers in charge of loading and unloading vessels) and fishermen, who transported the stone from the quarry of Montjuïc.

If you look closely, you will see these men remembered on the main entrance portal, represented while they are carrying the stones on their back. The church suffered big damages during the Civil War, as it was torched. The fire lasted eleven days and destroyed the baroque altar, the archives and many stained glasses. The restoration that followed, underlined its elegant and sober gothic style.