When you come across the church of La Concepció in the heart of the Eixample district, you’ll discover a haven of peace in the centre of Barcelona. However, a question remains unanswered: what is a Gothic church doing in the middle of the modern city? The key to this Barcelona enigma lies in the history of the site.
The convent of Santa Maria de Jonqueres, a beautiful Gothic building with a magnificent cloister, used to stand next to the old city walls, near the Plaça d’Urquinaona. The necessary expansion of Barcelona meant that this architectural ensemble had to be demolished at the end of the 19th century. The authorities decided that the convent should be dismantled and taken, stone by stone, to the city’s new area of economic and residential expansion: the Eixample.
The bourgeoisie, who were starting to move to the area, needed a proper place of worship. This is the reason why the church was moved to its current site. The cloister, with its two-tiered gallery of stylised columns and beautiful pointed arches, is one of the largest in Barcelona, together with the ones in the cathedral and the Monastery of Pedralbes. The ensemble was completed with the bell tower from the former church of Sant Miquel, which also had to be demolished to allow the expansion of the densely packed network of medieval streets. The pinnacles and several decorative elements were added to the top at a later date, lending the ensemble the unique appearance it has today. Elegant and discreet, the Concepció is a true symbol of the neighbourhood.
Phone: 934 576 552
How to get there: Metro L3, stop Passeig de Gràcia and L4, parada Girona.| Bus 39, 43, 44, 45 and 47.
Web site: www.concepciobcn.com
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