Basílica de Santa Maria de Mataró







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Welcome to de most ancien church in the town.

This is a noble Baroque religious building which was built to hold the divine services of the Christian Congregation. In its architecture one can clearly see the different stages of its construction showing how the services offered to the population were changing throughout the history of the town.

The discovery of tick walls, columns and altar stones indicates that it was built on the same place where the Ancien Roman Temple was erected. In front of the Baptistery a Paleochristian Necropolis, dated from the 4 or 5 c. A.D., was found together with a magnificent sepulchral "Lauda" ant its "Crismó" (an anagram of the name of Christ) - at present displayed in the Crypt of "Els Dolors"-. They are the first signs of a Cristian life in our town.

A small column, resembling the one located in the Pre-romanesque Parochial Church in Cabrils, might be a vestige of the one which, according to the medieval documents, was dedicated to "Santa Maria de Civitate Fracta qui dicitur Alarona", thas is to say: Holy Mary,s in Mataró.

The continuity of the services in this place and further expansions, which the growth of the town demanded, prevents us from knowing exactly the evolution of the Temple previous to the three vaulted Gothic Church with its Bell Tower. We know for certain that in the 14 c. some small chapela were opened between the buttresses. They were dedicated to the St. Patrons of the Medieval Guilds.

In the 17 c., the Parish Priest Antoni Portabella, undertook the construction of the Transept and its Domes, according to the desing of "Fra Josep de la Concepció" known as "the Tracist" who was a prominent figure in the Baroque architectural world.

The enlargement of the Nave in 1685, according to the project by the Milanesse architect Hercule Torelli shaped the Church to the present size. The plant is 65.5 m. long by 15.5 m. wide, and the Crossing is 52,5 m. long.

The remodelled façade, fiinished in 1864, was built by the architect Simó i Fontcuberta in a current medieval-like style. .

The great organ was inaugurated in 1927 at the time of the parish priest Dr. Josep Samsó Elies who commissioned the general restoration of the temple. The same year, Pope Pio XI gave the Church the title of Basilica.

The destruction following the turmoil of the 1936-39 war meant a very grat loss of images and valuable altarpieces. Among them was the monumental High Altarpiece by Salvador Gurri (1749-1819) though some outstanding elements of it could be spared. They are offered to the public's admiration.

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