This cathedral was constructed in 1203 on top of the remains of the Muslim mosque, and its thin bell tower was finished in 1431. In 1278 the church was consecrated and dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The floor plan follows the Latin cross and has one nave and two side aisles, classified as Gothic-Romanesque. There is a transept with an octagonal dome base and three apses. The interior has stonework in the naves that show the work of artisans who came from Tuscany, Toulouse and Provence to work on the church in the 13th century. The interior also has the remains of Gothic mural paintings.
The entrance to the Old Cathedral is through the Canonja, the set of buildings that housed the priests. These buildings date from the second half of the 12th century. The bell tower has bells from the 15th century and five electric bells from the 1950’s. The form of this tower is slender and it is considered as the most famous tower in Cataloña. The architecture of the tower is Catalan and has the shape of an octahedron, with plain faces with narrow large windows. The height of the tower is about 60 meters.
The cloister is a rectangular cloister (located on the west side of the church) that was constructed in the 14th century. It has refined decorated large windows that make it unique. The gallery has five ogival arches and elegant tracery windows, with each window having a different style. From the cloister, one has wonderful views of the city and countryside below.
In 1707 Felipe V took over the city and turned the Old Cathedral into military barracks. Many parts of the church were remodeled for military purposes. The beginning of the recovery started when the Old Cathedral was declared a National Monument in 1918. In 1947 the military abandoned the building and in 1949 restoration was started by the architect Alexandre Ferrant.
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