Santa Maria del Mar in Barcelona
For three nights running (18-19-20 December), the Santa Maria del Mar basilica will play host to the much-celebrated Messiah, by George Frederic Handel. The exceptional nature of the venue, a jewel of religious Gothic architecture, will be enhanced by the level of the interpreters, the Puig Reig Polyphonic Choir and the l’Empordà Chamber Orchestra.
Handel composed the Messiah during the summer of 1741 and since then it has become one of the most celebrated of all his works, in particular the “Hallelujah” chorus. While the original idea was for the piece to be interpreted during Easter, it has become common to hear it during the Christmas period, often during popular concerts, providing the audience with the opportunity to participate in the celebrated chorus.
The Puig Reig Polyphonic Choir was founded in 1968 and, since then, has performed throughout Catalonia and on numerous occasions abroad. In 1993 it was awarded the Sant Jordi Cross. The l’Empordà Chamber Orchestra was founded twenty-four years ago in Figueras and is the only stable professional string orchestra in Catalonia.
The basilica of Santa Maria del Mar in Barcelona, also known as the “cathedral of La Ribera”, is one of the most perfect examples of Gothic style architecture due to its harmonious proportions and the serenity of the ensemble.
In the Middle Ages, the long periods of time it took to build a church – often more than a century – usually involved changes in architectural style. Santa Maria del Mar in Barcelona is an exception. It was built in just 55 years, from 1329 to 1384, and is the only surviving church in the pure Catalan Gothic style. Its structure comprises three naves of the same height, underpinned by very tall columns set 13 metres apart, a distance unsurpassed by any other existing medieval building. This gives the impression of sublime width, height and airiness, as if gravity had been reversed and pulled the immense blocks of stone upwards. The many stained-glass windows of the church of Santa Maria del Mar play an important role in giving this impression.
The window of the Ascension, in the chapel of Santa Maria, and the Lavabo in the chapel of Sant Rafael, as well as the great rose window are some of the most outstanding examples of the church. The latter was destroyed during the earthquake that shook Barcelona in 1428, and remade in the mid-15th century. If you look at the floor you’ll see private tombs and those of Barcelona’s medieval guilds and brotherhoods. The basilica of Santa Maria del Mar, which was designed by Berenguer de Montagut, was the place of worship for the shipwrights and merchants of Gothic Barcelona.
Experience a luxury holiday in Barcelona, booking one of our exclusive and luxurious apartments in the city center, directly on the sea, or in any area of interest of Barcelona. You can not forget a unique experience in one of the most vibrant and beautiful city in the world. Rent Top Apartments is you ideal partner for a real top holiday.