Tag Archives: Gothic architecture

Sumptuous Santa Maria del Mar in Barcelona Spain: Cathedral of the Sea

Gothic Church of Santa Maria del Mar

Barcelona Spain

Barcelona Spain

Barcelona Spain

Barcelona Spain

Barcelona SpainI love the Sumptuous Santa Maria dei Mar cathedral in Barcelona Spain; also known as Cathedral of the Sea in Catalonia.

Catalonia was part of the great Aragonese maritime power and at one time it was one of the most prosperous cities in the Mediterranean. The foundation stone of the church was laid by King Alfonso IV of Aragon and the Catalan Gothic church was built between 1329 and 1383. In 1428 an earthquake destroyed the rose window on the west end of the church. It was replaced in the 15th century with a Gothic window. Outside the church, visit the trendy Passeig del Born with plenty of shopping and Vino con Vista opportunities.

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes travel guides at www.vino-con-vista.com.
 

Barcelona Spain Santa Maria del Mar

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Alghero’s Cathedral of Santa Maria in Italy

Catalan Gothic cathedral's bell tower in Alghe...

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Alghero is a beautiful coastal city of medieval origin situated in the northwestern coral coast of Sardinia. This town is 300 miles off the coast of Spain near Barcelona. They speak Italian as well as Catalan.

The recently refurbished cathedral of Santa Maria (Cattedrale di Santa Maria Immacolata di Alghero)  stands in Piazza del Duomo on Via Sant’Erasmo. Some of its oldest structures provide an outstanding example of the late Catalan-Gothic period.  This cathedral has been the bishop’s seat since 1503.

Door of the Cathedral’s Bell Tower in Alghero Sardinia

This cathedral is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It has an elaborate apse and an octagonal bell tower with a pyramidal cuspid. Some of the construction has dramatically transformed the interior and the façade. The original facade was replaced in 1862. The changes include four neo-classical Doric Columns supporting a triangular pediment  and a new central staircase.

The bell-tower is behind the church. It was part of the first phase of late Gothic construction and was modeled after the Cathedral of Barcelona. It has an octagonal barrel and pointed arch openings. It is crowned with a slender pyramid-shaped spire with polychrome majolica that is commonly used in Catalonia.  The distinctive Gothic  bell tower can be visited during high season.

Campanile of Santa Maria Cathedral in Alghero Sardinia

In 1503 Pope Julius II  implemented a major overhaul of the dioceses of Sardinia. He was supported in his efforts by King Ferdinand II. The first part of the building was finished during the first half of the XVI century and Alghero’s noble families guaranteed the financing needed to complete the project.

alghero Sardinia

Ornate lions in the cathedral of Alghero

The Cathedral was consecrated in 1730; 400 years after its foundation.  It houses the neoclassical marble mausoleum of the Duke of Monferrato, brother of King Carlo Felice  of Savoy, who died in 1799. This  mausoleum was sculpted by Felice Festa in 1807.

The interior space has three naves, separated by pillars and columns.  There are six chapels adorned with interesting sacred art. The first chapel to the right is dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament and it has an imposing altar consecrated in 1824. The carved marble is decorated the center with a circular temple reminiscent of the Temple of Vesta in Rome.

The Virgin protects the sailors in Alghero Sardinia

The Baptism in Alghero’s Cathedral

The presbytery has five chapels which include the base of the bell tower. It is surrounded by a balustrade, made ​​of inlaid marble with a coral hue. On the sides of the stairway to the altar there are two marble lions that resemble their kindred spirits in the Cathedral of Cagliari.

The balustrated high altar has a group of sculptures depicting the Immaculate Conception accompanied by angels.

The main altar of the cathedral in Alghero Sardinia

There is an elegant pulpit . Behind the wooden choir, in the apse there are five Gothic radial chapels.

Cathedral of Alghero Sardinia

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Italy Travel Guides available @ www.vino-con-vista.com

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Barcelona’s Beautiful Gothic “La Seu” Cathedral is Dedicated to Saint Eulalia

Cathedral of Barcelona before 2007 restoration...

Cathedral of Barcelona before 2007 restoration Español: Catedral de Barcelona antes de la restauración de 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cathedral of Santa Eulalia in Barcelona. ; Ita...

Cathedral of Santa Eulalia in Barcelona. ; Italiano: la Cattedrale di Santa Eulalia a Barcellona nella Spagna ; Español: la Catedral de Santa Eulalia de Barcelona, Barcelona ; Português: A Catedral de Barcelona, Barcelona ; Català: la catedral de Barcelona , Barcelona (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cathedral of Santa Eulalia in Barcelona. ; Ita...

Cathedral of Santa Eulalia in Barcelona. ; Italiano: la Cattedrale di Santa Eulalia a Barcellona nella Spagna ; Español: la Catedral de Santa Eulalia de Barcelona, Barcelona ; Português: A Catedral de Barcelona, Barcelona ; Català: la catedral de Barcelona , Barcelona (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cathedral of Santa Eulalia in Barcelona. ; Ita...

Cathedral of Santa Eulalia in Barcelona. ; Italiano: la Cattedrale di Santa Eulalia a Barcellona nella Spagna ; Español: la Catedral de Santa Eulalia de Barcelona, Barcelona ; Português: A Catedral de Barcelona, Barcelona ; Català: la catedral de Barcelona , Barcelona (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Cloister of Cathedral of Barcelona in...

English: Cloister of Cathedral of Barcelona in Barcelona. ; Français : Le cloître de la Cathédrale Sainte-Eulalie de Barcelone à Barcelone ; Català: el claustre de la catedral de Barcelona , Barcelona ; Español: claustro de la Catedral de Santa Eulalia de Barcelona, Barcelona (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Claustro, Catedral de Santa Eulalia de Barcelona

Claustro, Catedral de Santa Eulalia de Barcelona (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Alabaster sarcophagus of Saint Eulalia of Barc...

Alabaster sarcophagus of Saint Eulalia of Barcelona in the crypt of Barcelona Cathedral (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Cathedral of Santa Eulalia

English: Cathedral of Santa Eulalia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Crypt of Santa Eulalia in Cathedral o...

English: Crypt of Santa Eulalia in Cathedral of Santa Eulalia, Barcelona, Spain Français : Crypte de Sainte-Eulalie dans la cathédrale Sainte-Eulalie de Barcelone, Espagne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Gargoyle on Cathedral of Santa Eulali...

English: Gargoyle on Cathedral of Santa Eulalia, Barcelona, Spain Français : Gargouille sur la cathédrale Sainte-Eulalie de Barcelone, Espagne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Barcelona Spain

The majestic Gothic Cathedral in Barcelona is located in the Plaça de la Seu, in the Barri Gotic district; the historic Gothic Quarter of Barcelona. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Barcelona Spain. The city’s gothic cathedral is known as La Seu. The first stone of the current church was laid in the 13th century, but the cathedral was not completed until the early 20th century.

La Seu was named after Barcelona’s patron saint Eulalia. The official name is Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulalia which is Catalan for Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia.
 The commonly used name La Seu refers to the status of the church as the seat of the diocese. In 343 A.D. during the Roman Empire, a basilica was built at the site of the current cathedral. In 985 the basilica was destroyed by the Moors. It was replaced by a Roman cathedral, built between 1046 and 1058. A Roman chapel, the Capella de Santa Llucia, was added between 1257 and 1268. It was later incorporated in the cloister next to the cathedral.

In 1298, construction of the gothic cathedral started under King Jaume II, known as ‘”The Just.”  During the construction of the gothic cathedral, the existing roman building was demolished except for the Santa Llucia chapel. It was built between the 13th and 15th centuries over the crypt above the high altar of a former Visigothic chapel dedicated to Saint James. This was originally the church of the Viscounts of Barcelona. The Cathedral is located on a charming street that frequently hosts concerts and popular events.

The La Seu Cathedral at night, Barcelona

Civil wars and the Black Death delayed construction. In 1460 the main building was completed and the gothic facade was finished  in 1889. The central spire  is 230 feet tall and was completed in 1913. The design of both the facade and the spire were based on the original design from 1408 by the French architect Charles Galters.
The interior consists of one wide nave with 28 side chapels. The crypt contains the sarcophagus of Santa Eulalia. The cathedral also has a beautifully carved choir. An elevator in the northeast of the cathedral brings you to the cathedral’s roof.
La Catedral de la Santa Cruz y Santa Eulalia (...

La Catedral de la Santa Cruz y Santa Eulalia (también llamada, en lugar de catedral, Seo, o Seu en catalán) es la catedral gótica de Barcelona, sede del arzobispado de Barcelona de España. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Adjacent to the cathedral is a 14th century cloister. There are always 13 geese in its central courtyard. Each goose represents one year in the life of the martyr Santa Eulalia, a young girl tortured to death in the 4th century by the Romans for her religion. The cloister also contains a small museum with liturgist artifacts.

The distinctive roof is covered with gargoyles and features a wide range of animals. Take the elevator to the top of the cathedral for a panoramic “Vino con Vista” view of Barcelona. It is dedicated to Saint Eulalia who is entombed in the Cathedral’s crypt that contains the marble sarcophagus of the saint sculpted by Nicolas Pisano.

Barcelona Spain

She was martyred during Roman times in 304, under the reign of Emperor Diocletian when the enraged Romans put the 13 year old girl in a barrel with knifes and rolled her down the street. The street is now named “Baixada de Santa Eulalia” (Saint Eulalia’s Descent). Her Feast day is February 12th. She is the co-patron saint of Barcelona with Saint George. She is also the patron saint of sailors. There 28 magnificent side chapels are brimming with treasures. Look up at the ceiling to admire the interesting vault keystones.  The church is loaded with interesting art and artifacts.

Church of Santa Maria del Pei

Barcelona SpainSaint EulaliaGothic Cathedral in Barcelona Spain

Saint Eulalia Cathedral

Barcelona Spain

Barcelona Spain

Barcelona Spain

Barcelona Spain

The choir stalls retain the coat-of-arms of the Knights of the Golden Fleece held in 1519. The head of a Turk who was decapitated in the Batilla de Lepanto hangs from the monumental organ.

There is an interesting copy of the Black Virgin of Montserrat in one of the side chapels. When you finish touring the Cathedral have a Vino con Vista in a nearby cafe.

Dr. EveAnn Lovero is a college professor and writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com.

Vino Con Vista Travel Guides can be purchased at these sites
 

Santa Eulalia Cathedral in Barcelona

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The Beautiful Basilica of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva in Rome Italy

Façade with obelisk, Santa Maria sopra Minerva...

Image via Wikipedia

Bernini

Piazza della Minerva with Bernini’s Elephant

The Basilica of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva was built above the ruins of a temple to honor the goddess Minerva that was built by Gnaeus Pompey the Great around 50 B.C. to honor his Asian victories.  The basilica is located in Piazza della Minerva. On the right side of the facade of the basilica look for inscriptions that mark the flooding of the Tiber River between 1422 and 1870 because this is the lowest point in Rome and was subject to frequent flooding. Some of the Tiber flood waters rose to as high as 65 feet.

Interior of the Basilica of Santa Maria sopra ...

Interior of the Basilica of Santa Maria sopra Minerva, the only Gothic church in Rome. The church houses the tomb of St. Catherine of Siena. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Dominicans began construction on the gothic church in 1280 and used Santa Maria Novella in Florence as their model. Above the main doorway’s triangular pediment is the coat of arms of the Dominican Pope St. Pius V (1566-1572)

To the right of the neo-medieval church facade, admire the Palazzo Fonseca which is now the luxurious Grand Hotel Minerva. Stop in for a lovely Vino con Vista.

Lobby of the Grand Hotel Minerva

Grand Hotel Minerva in Rome ItalyInterior of the Grand Hotel Minerva in Rome Italy

Gian Lorenzo Bernini‘s  famous smiling elephant called “Pulcino della Minerva” supports one of Rome’s smallest Egyptian obelisks that was escavated in the Domenican cloister and brought to Rome by Diocletian during his reign from 284-305. The Latin inscription at the base of the monument that was commissioned by Pope Alexander VII says “A strong mind is needed to support solid knowledge.”
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Detail of the vault (one of the 4 sibyls : Sib...

Detail of the vault (one of the 4 sibyls : Sibyl of Delphi) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bernini also has some interesting works inside the basilica including the funeral monument of Maria Raggi constructed in 1643. Before San Giovani dei Fiorentini was built, Minerva was the church of the Florentine nation and houses tombs of nobles and citizens from Florence including Pope Urban VII. Fra Angelico and Pope Paul IV. The tombs of two Medici popes Leo X and Clement VII are located in the choir area behind the altar.
Altar in Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome, Italy.

Altar in Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bernini’s monument to Maria Raggi

Bernini

One of the fascinating aspects of sightseeing in Rome is visiting the churches to view an amazing spectrum of art.
There are over 900 churches in Rome Italy and they are the frequented by religious pilgrims and locals. These amazing churches are repositories of the relics of martyrs that are venerated within as well as priceless artistic treasures. The Gothic Basilica of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva is located in Piazza della Minerva near the Pantheon.

Rear view of the Pantheon from Santa Maria Sopra Minerva in Rome Italy

Michelangelo's Christ the Redeemer in the Basi...

Look for the trusty map inside the church to help you identify the key artwork in the basilica. In front of the altar you will find a staue of St. John the Baptist by Giuseppe Obici (1858) on the right and Michelangelo’s “Risen Christ the Redeemer” on the Left.

Churches in Rome Italy

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Facade of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva

Michelangelo’s statue of  “Christ the Risen Redeemer” was started in 1519 and shipped unfinished from Florence in 1521. The bronze draping was added later.Santa Maria Sopra Minerva in Rome

Saint Catherine of Siena is also buried in the Basilica beneath the main altar; although her head is in the church of San Domenico in Siena. The monument was created by Isaia da Pisa in 1430. In 1939, Saint Catherine and Saint Francis of Assisi were proclaimed principal patrons of Italy and she was also proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1970.

The Chapel of Saint Dominic has a painting byPaolo de Matteis and Benedict XIII’s tomb is protected by a lovely statue of “Purity” by Pieto Brracci on the right side of the ornate tomb.

Carafa chapel, Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Ro...

Visit the Carafa Chapel of Saint Thomas Aquinas with beautiful frescoes by Filippino Lippi. I love the scene that depicts St. Thomas presenting Cardinal Carafa to the Blessed Virgin. The relics of St. Thomas were kept in this chapel until 1511, when they were moved to Naples.

In the Chapel dedicated to the Annunciation you can admire the “Annunciation” painting by Antoniazzo Romano. The Virgin is shown giving dowries to young girls who are kneeling with Cardinal Juan de Torquemada. The cardinal is buried nearby.

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides about Italy. To learn more about Rome visit www.vino-con-vista.com

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