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Sant Miquel del Port Review

Have a close look at this baroque church with its modern (1992), pseudo-bodybuilder version of the winged archangel Michael himself, complete with sword and chain, in the alcove on the facade. One of the first buildings to be completed in Barceloneta, Sant Miquel del Port was begun in 1753 and finished by 1755 under the direction of architect Damià Ribes. Due to strict orders to keep Barceloneta low enough to fire La Ciutadella's cannon over, Sant Miquel del Port had no bell tower and only a small cupola until Elies Rogent added a new one in 1853. Along with the image of Sant Miquel, Sant Elm, and Santa Maria de Cervelló, patrons of the Catalan fleet, also appeared on the baroque facade. All three images were destroyed at the outbreak of the Spanish civil war in 1936. Interesting to note are the metopes, palm-size, gilt bas-relief sculptures around the interior cornice and repeated outside at the top of the facade. These 74 Latin-inscribed allegories each allude to different attributes of St. Michael: for example, the image of a boat and the Latin inscription "iam in tuto" (finally safe), alluding to the protection of St. Michael against the perils of the sea. To the right of Sant Miquel del Port at No. 41 Carrer de Sant Miquel is a house decorated by seven strips of floral sgraffiti and a plaque commemorating Fernando de Lesseps, the engineer who built the Suez Canal, who had lived in the house when serving as French consul to Barcelona. In the square by the church, take a close look at the fountain, with its Barcelona coat of arms, and Can Ganassa, on the east side, a worthy tapas bar.

Updated: 03-10-2014

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