Cathedral of Santa Maria of Girona

Girona Cathedral; heritage of the city

The Cathedral of Santa Maria of Girona, is a tourist symbol of the city, an imposing building where year after year receives visits from millions of tourists from around the world thanks to its great historical relevance, coupled with appearances in one of the biggest productions in film and television (Games of Thrones). A millenary building full of history and legends, it is strategically located at the highest point of the city and with a singular characteristic: its only nave is the second largest in the world (only surpassed by St. Peter’s in the Vatican).

Barcelona Private Tours takes you to see this imposing historical monument full of sculptural riches.


Built between the fourteenth and eighteenth centuries with large dimensions dedicated to Santa Maria. The first stone of the facade was laid in 1606, but it was not finished until the twentieth century.

Origins of Cathedral of Santa Maria of Girona

It is a building of imposing construction, configured and protected from a set of walls and ramparts (of Roman heritage) and spaces of different styles of different periods, from Romanesque (cloister and tower of Charlemagne) to Baroque (facade and the imposing staircase dating from the seventeenth century).

The church underwent several reforms between the fourteenth and eighteenth centuries, beginning in 1606 and ending well into the twentieth century. Its bell tower was designed by the architect Joan Balcells, in 1580, although construction work did not begin until well into 1751.
The old bell tower of the building (11th century) has seven stories high filled with Lombard elements: lesenes, blind arches, and sawtooth friezes, as well as twinned windows with semicircular arches. The arcades and friezes made of black volcanic stone stand out from the rest. Its monumental tower (67 meters high) protrudes from the cornice that crowns the facade, and holds in its dome a bronze angel, contains in its interior 6 bells, including the popular Benita, which plays the hours. As a curiosity, it is worth mentioning that the clock of the Cathedral has the number four wrongly expressed in Roman numeration, “IIII” instead of “IV”.

Romanesque feet, gothic body and baroque face. Current appearance of the Cathedral of Girona. The tower of Charlemagne, the cloister and the sacristy are all that remain of the first Romanesque construction. The cloister is one of the most important in Catalonia thanks to its sculptural richness.

Cathedral of Santa Maria of Girona today

Today, only the cloister and the northern half of the bell tower remain of the original Romanesque cathedral, since the other half was destroyed to build the current Gothic nave. To reach the main door you have to climb a large staircase (90 steps) from the late seventeenth century.
The Romanesque cloister of the Cathedral of Santa Maria of Girona offers a wealth of sculpture, with sculptures of great quality to its 122 capitals and decorated friezes surrounding the pillars. Historical scenes from the Old and New Testament, others with humans and animals as protagonists, with purely decorative plant and geometric motifs.

The front windows were designed by Isidre Bosch Bataller in the early twentieth century. In 2009 the last restoration was completed, which included work on the Baroque façade (2001), the bell tower (2003), the museum’s restructuring project (2006) and the north façade (2009). In the latter, a walled window was opened and a new stained glass window was installed according to the design of the Irish artist Sean Scully.

Attached to the church is the Cathedral Treasury, where two pieces of great artistic value stand out: the Creation Tapestry (one of the few Romanesque textile testimonies) and the Beatus of Girona (a 10th century copy of the Commentary on the Apocalypse by Beatus of Liébana, with more than 100 full-page miniatures).

The Cathedral of Santa Maria; icon of the city of Girona

The Cathedral of Girona is a building dedicated to the worship of the Catholic community. Its long history has endowed it with a heritage of high cultural value that we put at the disposal of the visitor.

Great scenery for films and series

Girona, is a small Spanish capital privileged to present a great historical heritage, which makes it a great scenario chosen among many international candidates for the filming of major series and movies.
The cathedral of Girona has been one of the scenarios where several scenes of these great productions have been filmed, of which we highlight the popular HBO series, Game of Thrones and the film The Monk.

Recommendations when visiting this beautiful heritage site:
The regular entrance fee ranges from 7 €.

– Wear comfortable shoes to visit the old town of Girona, you have to climb some stairs.
– One of the best times to visit the Cathedral of Girona is during Temps de Flors, a time of the year when its staircases acquire great relevance, as it is the scene of fantastic floral displays that make it the most iconic space of the exhibition.

For more information and details about the schedules, please consult the following link

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