Santa Maria del Mar, Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain

Santa Maria del Mar, Barcelona

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Santa Maria del Mar (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈsantə məˈɾi.ə ðəl ˈmaɾ], "Saint Mary of the Sea") is a church in the Ribera district of Barcelona, Spain, built between 1329 and 1383 at the height of Principality of Catalonia's maritime and mercantile preeminence. It is an outstanding example of Catalan Gothic, with a purity and unity of style that is very unusual in large medieval buildings.

The first mention of a church of Santa Maria by the Sea dates from 998. The construction of the present building was promoted by the canon Bernat Llull, who was appointed Archdean of Santa Maria in 1324. One of the distinctive features of Santa Maria del Mar was its backing by the common people, as opposed to the nobility. Construction work started on 25 March 1329, when the foundation stone was laid by king Alfonso IV of Aragon as commemorated by a tablet in Latin and Catalan on the façade that faces the Fossar de les Moreres. The architects in charge were Berenguer de Montagut (designer of the building) and Ramon Despuig, and during the construction all the guilds of the Ribera quarter were involved. The walls, the side chapels and the façades were finished by 1350. In 1379 there was a fire that damaged important parts of the works. Finally, on 3 November 1383 the last stone was laid and on 15 August 1384 the church was consecrated.

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