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Plaça del Pi

Plaça del Pi (10)

Very close to the Rambles, just off the Carrer Cardenal Casañas, is the Plaça del Pi. Always lively, there is a pine tree, or pi in Catalan, planted in it a few years ago to commemorate the original tree after which the square and the church are named.  

This is, without a doubt, one of the places in Barcelona that you have to see, and one you will return to again and again, to have a beer or maybe a hot chocolate if it is early or the weather is cold. Here you will almost always find a group of classical or jazz musicians entertaining the tourists and the locals. There are often stalls set up just like there would have been years ago, selling natural products such as honey, cheese, quince and different essences…and at other times antiques from different parts of the city and Catalonia.  

Here you will also find the Church of Santa Maria del Pi, a gothic construction from the 14th and 15th centuries with a 13th century Romanesque door, although according to some experts there is undocumented evidence that a Paleo-Christian church dating back to the year four thirteen originally stood on the site. 

The church has a large single nave with seven rectangular sections covered by a groin vault, and lateral chapels between the buttresses. Its gothic rose window has a diameter of 10 metres and it was reconstructed in 1940 having been destroyed during the Spanish Civil War. The tympanum over the main door is divided into two columns which form three small panels. In the central one there is an image of Santa María del Pi and the arms of the city and the parish, and on the two side panels there are two pine cones which together with the pine tree on the coat of arms, reflect the name of the church. 

The main altar is made of alabaster and was first used in 1967. At the back of the presbytery, where there was originally an entrance door, is the sacristy. The presbytery is dominated by an image of Santa María del Pi, which is 3.3 metres tall and was made by the sculptor Enric Monjo.

The church’s belltower was built between 1379 and 1461. It is an octagonal structure, 54 metres high and the walls of the base are 3.55 (three point five five) metres thick. It houses a set of 6 bells, the largest of which, with a diameter of 1.4 metres and weighing 1,806 kilos, is called “Antònia”.

On the side of the church is the Ave Maria door, which conserves some elements from the Romanesque door of the previous church and on the rear side the buttresses and large windows of the apse can be seen. 

Adjacent to the church is the Plaça Sant Josep Oriol, named after a 17th century cleric who carried out cures and was finally buried in the Church of Santa Maria del Pi. 

In this little square there is sometimes an art market with seascapes, landscapes and even some contemporary works by local artists.

From here it is easy to walk to the Cathedral through the Carrer Ave Maria and then Carrer de la Palla, go shopping in the Carrers Petrixol and Pi, or simply wander around the surrounding  narrow streets to see what surprise there is around the next corner.

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