Map - A WALK ARROUND SANTA MARIA

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1 Santa Maria church or collegiate church is situated on one of the highest points in the city. It is formed of a single nave, indeed it is the second largest nave in Catalonia, surrounded by chapels, two bell towers and an adjoining building in the Mudejar-Renaissance style, built years later than the current vestry.

In the entrance hall you will find an information point with information about the temple as well as other of the city's places of interest.

Inside the temple, you will see that the nave is surrounded by chapels between the buttresses. Here we will find the works of art that compose the permanent exhibition 2 "Art in Santa Maria". There are reproductions of Marian art from a range of different styles, including the Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque, as well as paintings in some of the latest styles.

You will see the temple's ensemble of stained-glass windows- five of which are located in the apse, four across both sides of the nave, and one on the south-eastern façade. It is here that the simple tower known as the "Moor's bell tower" rises. The main bell tower can be found on the southern façade. It is octagonal in shape and houses both the clock and the church bells.

The high altar is presided over by the “Parelles” virgin, a small alabaster statue which was saved from the Trinitarian monastery which bore the same name before it was destroyed.

The vestry is located just behind the altar and was built after the main temple. It is in the Mudejar-Renaissance style and has a small chapel in the interior with a selection of the most famous virgins in the area. You will also be able to see the external façade which was recently restored, faced by a boundary cross.

From this point you will also be able to appreciate the entire lower part of our outstanding historic centre, as well as the Segre river and "Balaguer's Front"- the city's expansion on the opposite bank.

On your right you will have a gateway which provides access to the 3 Gothic wall, from where it is possible to walk along the whole stretch. Halfway along, there is a tower with stairs that lead to the second access point, next to the 4 Portal del Gel gateway. This was formerly the entrance point to the city, and leads to the Mercadal Square. If you continue on up the wall you will arrive at the Gironella tower. Leaving the wall at the final gateway, we will have the old Civil War observatory on our right, popularly known as "El bombo".

The route can be continued towards the Firal district, along the Erals path which will take you to the city's 5 old cemetery. Along this path you will find an attractive boundary cross.

Further on, you will get to a green square with swings by the entrance to the cemetery. A small remnant of the Arab wall that once encircled this district (10th to 11th century) can be found here.

In the cemetery there are some magnificent sculptures by some illustrious stonecutters which won't fail to impress you.

Of particular note are the tombs of the Betbesé family and the tomb of the Nineteen, both works by the Balaguer sculptor Antoni Betbsé y Delsams, and the Puig family tomb sculpted by Enric Clarassó who was one of the most representative modernist funeral sculptors in Barcelona.

If you continue walking, you can go down the city centre's streets, or if you proceed down Muralla Street, past the Portal del Gel gateway it will take you directly to the Mercadal Square.

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