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Quick Facts on Sant Pau del Camp

Short URL
gohist.co/s/318846
Names
Church of St. Paul of the Countryside Sant Pau del Camp Sant Pau del Camp, Barcelona
Address
Sant Pau 99
Location
El Raval  neighborhood
Main date(s)
late 12th-early 13th C
Coordinates
41.376450° N, 2.169532° E
Admission
Free
Phone
93-441-00-01

Interior

Inside, the church is dark and rather plain, lit only by tiny arrow-slit windows and small stained-glass circles high up in the central dome. Its austerity adds to the overall feeling of antiquity. Built on a central plan, the church has a single barrel-vaulted nave, a wide transept and three spacious curved apses at the east end. Over the transept is an octagonal cupola supported on squinches.

The small 12th-century cloister, is a major highlight. Especially striking are the exotic Moorish arches, carved from masonry with up to three lobes. There is also a central fountain and capitals finely carved with animals and foliage. In the 14th-century chapter house is the tomb of Guí­fre Borrell, count of Barcelona in the early 10th century.

Holly Hayes
October 27, 2011

Exterior

No longer "of the countryside" as its name suggests, Sant Pau is now located in a shabby side street of the El Raval district, partially hidden by trees. But it is not far from the Ramblas and worth seeking out.

The west portal features worn carvings and Latin inscriptions. Christ, Saint Peter, and Saint Paul appear on the tympanum; the lintel bears their names and stamp-like designs in low relief. In a unique configuration, carved symbols of the evangelists Mark (lion) and Luke (ox) flank the door; Matthew (winged man) and John (eagle) are in relief above. Above the portal is a relief of the hand of God.

Around the portal are simple 13th-century carvings of fish, birds and faces. The upper half of the west facade is decorated with large Lombard bands and a central oculus. The east end has three round apses decorated with Lombard bands and small windows.

Holly Hayes
October 27, 2011

History

Sant Pau del Camp was first built by the Benedictines in the 10th century after its predecessor was destroyed in a Muslim raid (985). Remains of the original 9th-century structure can be seen on the capitals and bases of the portal. The church was rebuilt primarily in the late 12th or early 13th century.

Holly Hayes
October 27, 2011

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