Basílica de Santa Maria del Pi

Church in La Rambla & Barri Gòtic

Image by Busà Photography Getty Images

This striking 14th-century church is a classic of Catalan Gothic, with an imposing facade, a wide interior and a single nave. The simple decor in the main sanctuary contrasts with the gilded chapels and exquisite stained-glass windows that bathe the interior in ethereal light. The beautiful rose window above its entrance is one of the world’s largest. Occasional concerts are staged here (classical guitar, choral groups and chamber orchestras).

The third chapel on the left is dedicated to Sant Josep Oriol, who was parish priest from 1687 to 1702. The chapel has a map showing the places in the church where he worked numerous miracles (he was canonised in 1909). According to legend, a 10th-century fisher discovered an image of the Virgin Mary in a pi (pine tree) that he was intent on cutting down to build a boat. Struck by the vision, he instead built a little chapel, later to be succeeded by this Gothic church. A pine still grows in the square outside the church. Guided tours, including of the bell towers, run from Monday to Friday at noon and 1pm, and on Saturdays and Sundays at noon, 1pm, 3pm, 4pm and 5pm (€8.50).