January 15, 2013

0298, 0469 SPAIN (Catalonia) - Barcelona Cathedral

0298 Barcelona Cathedral (1)

Posted on 05.08.2012, 15.01.2013
In the 4th century, so before the invasion of Germanic tribes in Iberian Peninsula, Barcelona already had an Christian cathedral. This building was destroyed in 985 by Al-Mansur, better known as Almanzor, whose reign marked the peak of power for Moorish Iberia. In 1058 (after Mis Geribert, Viscounts of Barcelona, sold the site to Bishop Guislebert) was consecrated the second cathedral, in Romanesque style, and work on the present day Gothic building began in 1298.

0469 Barcelona Cathedral (2)

Named the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulàlia (in Catalan, Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia, or more commonly La Seu), the Barcelona Cathedral is a hall church, vaulted over five aisles, the outer two divided into chapels. The neo-Gothic façade was constructed over the nondescript exterior that was common to Catalan churches in the 19th century (was finished in 1890), and the roof is notable for its gargoyles.

The cloister, completed about 1450, encloses the Well of the Geese, in which swim white geese. It's said that the number of geese represent the age of Saint Eulàlia at her death, namely 13. Eulàlia, co-patron saint of Barcelona (alongside Our Lady of Mercy), suffered persecution and martyrdom during the reign of Roman emperor Diocletian in 303 A.D. Since 1339, her remains are located in the crypt of the cathedral, into an alabaster sarcophagus. The purpose of the geese is to guard the treasure of the cathedral, a tradition which lasts from the roman times, since these birds have saved Rome from the Gauls, warning the Romans of an enemies surprise attack.

The choir stalls retain the coats-of-arms of the knights of the Order of the Golden Fleece, Charles, the future Holy Roman Emperor, selecting Barcelona as the site of a chapter of his Order in his first trip into Spain. Also in the cathedral is a plaque commemorating the baptism of the first people from the Americas, six native Caribbeans brought back by Columbus in 1493. Furthermore, one side chapel is dedicated to Christ of Lepanto, and contains a cross from a ship that fought at the Battle of Lepanto, in which a fleet of the Holy League decisively defeated the fleet of the Ottoman Empire.

About the stamps
On the postcard 0298
The first stamp is one of the two issued on November 3, 2010 to celebrate the Christmas. For several years, the spaniards use as theme the works about Christmas of some of the most representative national artistic heritage or compositions of contemporary artists.
0.34 EUR  - It's on the postcard 0298

The second was issued on March 16, 2012, to celebrate the bicentennial of the 1812 Constitution, and depicts the cover of a deluxe edition engraved by José María de Santiago and dedicated to the Cortes (Legislative assembly).

On the postcard 0469
The stamp, having the Spanish tourism as a subject, was issued on January 2, 2012.

Barcelona Cathedral - Wikipedia
Why are there geese inside Barcelona’s Cathedral? - Quezi

Sender 0298: Fabienne (direct swap)
Sent from Barcelona (Catalonia / Spain), on 04.04.2012
Photo: Ricard Pla
Sender 0469: Marius Vasilescu
Sent from Barcelona (Spain), on 27.12.2012
Photo: Pere Vivas

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