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HISTORY FAÇADES BELFRY THE INTERIOR "LIVING STONES"

HISTORY


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According to traditions undocumented, but accepted by some historians, a small Paleochristian church stood on this site in 413 A. C.

What is certainly a historical fact is that in 987 A. C.  There was a small Romanesques church here, "outside the wall of Barcelona", consecrated to Santa Maria del Pi.

The church you are now visiting was built between 1319-1320 and 1391. Its pure Gothic style is evident in the single nave, almost devoid of ornaments.

 

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THE FAÇADES

The middle of the main façade boast a large rose window of 10 m. in diameter, very much in keeping with the church's Gothic style. In 1940, the rose window was entirely rebuilt after being destroyed  by fire in 1936.
 

The tympanum or the main door is divided by two small columns, making the little chapels, the one in the middle holding the statue of the Virgin. Above this  statue hang the parish and city costs-of-arms. At the end of the base of the tympanum are two pinecones which, together with the pine tree on the coat-of-arms, testify the name of the church.

 

Space to photos on the principal façade

 

 

 

 

The side façade shows the buttresses which  support the arches and vaults of the nave. In the middle of this façade is the Ave Maria doorway which still conserves some elements from the Romanesque portico of the previous church.

 

 

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timpa.jpg (26575 bytes) These images are of the door of the Ave Maria, located in the lateral front. To the right they can appreciate a few details of the capitals with a few small ornamental samples of human figures, with strong Romanesque, own reminiscences of the period of transition between the Romanesque one and the Gothic.

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The rear façade shows the buttresses and large windows of the apse. It, too, conserves an old doorway, dating back to 1578, which permitted access to the place of worship from the rear. Over the centuries, other buildings round about have hidden part of the church's original walls.

 

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THE BELFRY

This is one of the most characteristic features of the Pi church and of Barcelona. The work of the architect Bartomeu Mas, its construction was begun in 1379 and completed around 1461. It is octagonal in structure and measures 54 m. high with the walls at the base 3,55 m wide. It contains six bells. "Antònia" is the largest, with a diameter of 1,40 m and weighing 1806 kg, and "Andreua" the oldest, dating from 1669.
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THE INTERIOR

planta.jpg (14294 bytes) The  ground floor of the church consists of a single nave with seven rectangular, Gothic-arch sections and side chapels situated between the buttresses. Inside, the nave measures 54 m. long, 16,50 m. wide and 27 m. high. The  side chapels are 12,20 m. high. In 1936 the high altar, the altarpiece, the statues, the neo-gothic choir-stalls dating from 1868 and the monumental organ built by Johan de Kyburz in 1808, were reduces to ashes by the fire.

 

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The high altar. This consists of an alabaster table, designed by the architect Joaquim de Ros i de Ramis. It was inaugurated in 1967. The cimborium has been installed at the back of the presbytery,  where there was originally an entrance door to the church. The statue in the presbytery represents Santa Maria del Pi. Its is 3,30 m. high and was sculpted by Enric Monjo in 1973.

The choir-stalls. The baroque choir-stalls of 1771, designed by Josep Mas i Dordal, were replaced in 1868 by a neogothic version. When these were destroyed by fire, the Baroque-style ones were reintroduced in 1986.

The Stained Glass Windows. The original ones have not been preserved. The oldest ones still remaining date back to 1718 and of these, one portraying The Adoration of the Magi (over the Avemaria doorway), was crafted by Antoni Viladomat.

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"LIVING STONES"

The most valuable part of the history of Santa Maria del Pi are the generations of faithful Christians (the living stones) who built the temple and preserved it, thus bearing witness to their faith. This is probably the parish most connected with holy people in the whole of Barcelona:

Sant JOSEP ORIOL, was the priest of this community from 1687 to 1702. He cured a great many people here and died in the odour of sanctity. He was buried in the Pi and on 20 May 1909 was canonized as a saint.

Santa JOAQUIMA DE VEDRUNA I DE MAS, was a parishioner here and was baptized in this church on 16 April 1715. She also made her confirmation and her marriage vows here. When she became a widow, she founded the Carmelites of Charity. She was canonized a saint in 1959

Blessed ÀNGELA MARIA ASTORCH, a Pi parishioner, was baptized in 1592. She was beatified in 1982.

Blessed MERCÈ PRAT. She belonged to the Pi's Sisterhood of Saint Theresa. She died a martyr in 1936 and was beatified in 1990.

BRÍGIDA TERRÉ, was a Pi parishioner and the founder of the Hieronymite Sisters of Barcelona (Jerónimas)

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