New: Cathedral of the Sea walking tour

Arnau was sixty-three years old. He felt tired, and leant on his son.
Bernard squeezed his father’s arm affectionately. Arnou bent his mouth to his son’s ear and pointed towards the high altar.
‘Can see her smile, my son?’, he asked.

Join us for a walk in  the footsteps of Arnau Estanyol through Barcelona in the 14th century! A time when the city suffered from famines, wars, numerous plague epidemics and, last but not least, the horrendous Inquisition.

Beeld twee kader verhaal

Santa Maria del Mar in the Ribera quarter of Barcelona

Yet in the same century, some very impressive buildings were built in Barcelona, among them the Santa Maria del Mar, the most beautiful church of Barcelona and epic center of  Ildefonso Falcones novel Catedral del Mar.

The Story

It is 1321. Catalan farmer Bernat Estanyol flees with his baby Arnau from his life as a serf in the countryside. The law states that whoever lives in Barcelona for a year and a day is a free man. Father and son succeed in their intentions, but Bernats life ends soon on the gallows. Arnau’s story then takes place around the Santa Maria del Mar.

beeld verhaalkaderHe carries stones for the construction of the church, and works in it’s shadow as a moneychanger, Consul of the Sea and marine insurer.
In between, he goes to war for King Pere, prevents with a ruse the conquering of Barcelona by Castile, loses his first wife Maria to the plague and escapes from the claws of the Inquisition.
No wonder Arnau was tired in 1384, when the Santa Maria del Mar was inaugurated.
An exciting story and a very informative one too, which tells you a lot about 14th century Barcelona.

Ildefonso Falcones. Cathedral of the Sea (2006)


  • Our tour leads us to all of the main places where the novel’s story unfolds and you will hear a lot of amazing things about 14th century Barcelona.
  • There’s no need to read the book Cathedral of the sea in advance
  • This tour is available in English and Dutch.
  • More info (prices, times et cetera) on our tour page or go straight to our booking page

The Cathedral of the Sea is now a mini-series on Spanish television and on Netflix! Watch the trailer above.

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