Earlier this year the Barcelona City Council opened the bell tower of Santa Maria del Pi, one of the most beautiful churches in Barcelona located in the center of the Born district. We hadn’t talked about it yet in the ShBarcelona’s blog and it is a exceptional viewpoint from where enjoy the view of the city; a must-visit for both locals and visitors. The entry for the whole tour is 15 euros which are intended for the restoration of the Basilica of the church.
The origins of Santa Maria del Pi
This is one of the Gothic churches in Barcelona along with the Cathedral of the city, Santa Maria del Mar and Sant Just Pastor church. The earliest origins of Santa Maria del Pi are found in the tenth century by documents found, but it is known that the current building began being built in 1320. This church has a single nave, is covered by thirteen gothic ribbed sections and has side chapels between the buttresses of the nave, forming a typical Catalan Gothic building. The bell tower was begun being built in mid-fourteenth century by the hands of three different architects, and is not attached to the church. It consists of three bodies with increasing height to avoid collapse. During the War of Succession the bell tower was inhabited by the Carmelites nuns in its first two floors.
The present time..
In the bell tower there are 6 bells previous to the eighteenth century, except the smallest, known as “esquirol” (squirrel), for its size and its sharp sound. The largest bell is called Antonia del Pi, which has been melted and rebuilt several times for various damages. The other bells are called Andreua, Vicenta María and Josefa, names given to them considering they were the voice of God and had to be baptized. On both the walls and the floor of the bell tower you can see the names of some of the builders, and games they entertained themselves with on their breaks.
For a long time the bell tower of the Santa Maria del Pi church was the highest building from where to see the city from, with its 54 meters high. You can also visit the bell tower at night on a special tour called Campanario del Pi Sensorial, during which the building becomes a visual and audio show. Highly recommended!