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CATHEDRAL....Barcelona's main place of worship, begun in 1298, has a front fašade with gargoyles like you might expect in Northern European Gothic churches. But, it has it's own unique Spanish touches, too. Right smack in the middle of the central nave is the late 14th century choir stalls. Just behind the stalls, the stairs lead down to the crypt where Santa EulÓlia, one of Barcelona's patron saints is buried. Carvings on the alabaster sarcophagus give details on how she was tortured and killed. I didn't look that close.

Granted, I don't spend a lot of time in Catholic churches. However, this cathedral had something that I'd never seen before. It was practical, yes, but I much preferred tradition in this case. Instead of lighting candles, the devout slipped coins into a box and electronic candles lit up for you. Gone were safety hazards, the smell of wax, a bit of smoke, and one of my favorite things about Catholic churches.

MARTIN

Copyright 2009 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.