Built between the thirteenth and the fifteenth century, Catedral de la Santa Cruz y Santa Eulalia is one of the most famous cathedrals in Barcelona.
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Legend tells the story of a girl aged thirteen who, during the times of persecutions to the Christians (284-305 AC), ran away from home searching Daciano, Barcino’s governor, to reprimand him on what was taking place. The governor wanted the child to renounce the Christian faith, which she refused to do. The governor condemned her to thirteen punishments, which included imprisonment, whipping, standing on fire, being rubbed with stones, being stuffed in a barrel with nails and sharp objects and shoved down a hill, and ultimately, crucifixion.
The child was canonized in 663 AC, becoming Santa Eulalia, one of the patron saints of Barcelona.
The Cathedral is a tall building, about 90 meters high and 40 meters wide. Inside there are three naves, a large organ, various interior chapels and the altar. There is a gorgeous choir in the center of the main chapel with carved stalls, whose enclosure is ornamented with reliefs telling the story of Santa Eulalia. On the underground floor, visitors can see Santa Eulalia’s sarcophagus.
Outside, there is a cloister with large green plants and a beautiful fountain. There are also thirteen geese representing Santa Eulalia’s age when she was martyrized, and a statue of Sant Jordi killing a dragon.
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The dancing egg
L’ou com balla or the dancing egg is a tradition celebrated by many cities in Catalonia during Corpus Christi. An emptied eggshell is placed on top of the water shooting from the fountain, which makes the egg keep rotating without falling, which resembles a dance. This tradition is celebrated every year at Santa Eulalia’s Cathedral.
Visit Santa Eulalia’s Cathedral
Santa Eulalia’s Cathedral is one of the main touristic attractions in Barcelona. The Cathedral is open for visits every day of the week. If you visit the cathedral during the morning, between 8:30 m and 12:45 am, or in the evening, after 5:45 pm, you can go in for free. If you visit the cathedral between 1 pm and 5 pm, prices are 7€ per person, or 5€ if you are a part of a large group.
Santa Eulalia’s Cathedral is located at Pla de la Seu, inside the Gothic neighborhood. You can get there by using the yellow line (L3) of the subway, exiting at Jaume I; or using one of the touristic bus services in town.