14th century Catalan Gothic architecture has a strong personality. Particularly outstanding is the sober horizontal-structure of its buildings. A strong case can be made that the basilica of Santa Maria del Mar is the clearest example of this type of building in Barcelona throughout the fourteenth century.
The side aisles are half the span of the central nave and this, in turn, shows that the geometric composition of the project was based on a system known in the Middle Ages as “ad quadratum”. This feature is one of the most significant examples during the entire Gothic period. The feeling you get is one of lightness. Why? First because of the 16 1.60 meter thick octagonal columns. The capitels start from the intertwining arches that crisscross the 13.2 meter central nave.
Including with the aspe, the basilica is 80 meters (or 100 feet) long, 33 meters wide –if we combine the central nave, the side aisles and the chapel naves–. If we take into account that the central nave is also 33 meters high, the architectural design, seen from the front, fits inside a perfect circumference.
The keystones in the vault were built first starting with the presbytery and moving one by one towards the main entrance. These were restored and colored between 1971 and 1985.
The Crowning of the Virgin Mary.
The Birth of Jesus.
King Alfons (father of Pere IV) on horseback.