Church of Santa Maria del Pi

Basilica de Santa Maria del Pi

The legend has it that once upon a time a fisherman saw an image of the Virgin Mary on a pine ('pi' is the Catalan for 'pine') that he wanted to cut down to build a new boat. This image impressed him so much that not only did he not touch the pine but he also built a chapel next to it. The church of Santa Maria del Pi, which stands for a magnificent example of the Catalan Gothic due to its size and perfection of lines, was built over an older Gothic or Visigoth construction. This modest church decorated with stained glass windows was erected between the 1320s and 1390s in the Gothic Quarter.

The interior details were lost in 1936, and even the huge rose window, elaborated by an outstanding architect Josep Maria Jujol, is a copy of the 14th century original. This absence of interior decorations makes you the feel the ages of the temple's history and its great dimensions, as one of the widest Gothic naves only enhances this impression. Inside there is a small museum where you can see mainly gold and silver religious utensils, while the glass cases on the right exhibit gigantic puppets ('gegants') used during Catholic festivals. The church is still the headquarters of several religious brotherhoods while the legendary pine (or its distant relative) still grows next to the temple. Entry requires payment. Musical concerts are regularly held at the church.

Right on the opposite of the temple, at Plaça del Pi there is an interesting store of knifes and shaving accessories operating since 1911. On weekends local farmers come to the square to sell their products. Different cheeses, honey and handmade chocolate are particularly terrific. You can try everything before buying.

Address: Plaça del Pi, 7
Opening hours: April 8 – November 10 Mon-Fri 10 am – 7 pm, Sat 10 am – 6 pm, Sun and holidays 5 pm – 8 pm; November 11 – April 7 Mon-Sat 10 am – 6 pm, Sun and holidays 5 pm – 9 pm
How to reach: metro Liceu
Coordinates: 41.382078, 2.173602