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Dress code for Spanish churches?

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Mar 11th, 2012, 06:32 PM
  #1
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Dress code for Spanish churches?

Is there a dress code for visiting the Spanish Catholic Churches? If so, please explain. We'll be visiting in late May-early June and expect the weather to be hot. Are shorts permitted? Thanks!
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Mar 11th, 2012, 06:38 PM
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The days of a dress code in the churches are looong gone as are active Catholics!
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Mar 11th, 2012, 07:08 PM
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Compared to Italy and a few other Catholic countries, the dress code is more relaxed, and in the summer you see people with bare arms and shorts sightseeing in churches. While you don't normally see Mass goers in shorts, it will be rare for you to be stopped. Last time I saw anyone being turned away for inappropriate dress was about 20 years ago! True some churches do have pictorial signs of banned dress (e.g. swimwear, barefoot) and you must draw a line somewhere, but generally what is acceptable as street dress is also ok in churches.
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Mar 11th, 2012, 07:35 PM
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I agree 20 years ago, you would have been turned away. But I would dress casual, not barefoot or bathing suit type clothing. The churches are truly beautiful.
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Mar 11th, 2012, 08:03 PM
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I agree as well. Last year I spent the entire month of June and some of July in Spain traipsing through every destination I could manage, and found that when you go into churches you will see people wearing just about everything imaginable. Most churches advertise a "No shorts or flip-flops" policy with some indicating no sleeveless shirts, but the rules are very rarely enforced.

The simple fact is that you are right, it will be hot. These days shorts are acceptable, as well as short sleeved shirts. My general rule of thumb is simply to be respectful of the church and other travelers, and look presentable.

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Mar 11th, 2012, 08:17 PM
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How short are your shorts? Just generally speaking for touring in a foreign country, I wouldn't wear that looks like you're going to the beach. I think something near knee-length is most appropriate.

I would try to dress respectfully on days you plan to visit churches. Not that anyone would stop you from entering, but it's polite imo. Nothing crazy but say linen capris and a cotton top, instead of short-shorts and a tank top.
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Mar 11th, 2012, 08:36 PM
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Thanks for the info. Since I'm almost 65 years old, my shorts aren't very short and my arms are never bare! Just checkin. A few years ago we were in Italy and the code is pretty strict there. Thanks again!
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Mar 11th, 2012, 08:43 PM
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Oh, you'll be fine
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Mar 12th, 2012, 09:20 AM
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40 years ago, my sister was denied entrance into St. Marks in Venice (bare arms), into St. Peters (Vatican - dress above the knees), but there was never a problem in Spain.
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Mar 12th, 2012, 11:39 AM
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You´ll be fine. Just try not to enter when there´s a service going on. I´m a non believer, but I treat churches as museums, where respect must be shown to what´s inside. Shorts in hot weather are OK, pictures if allowed (try to avoid flashes) and never flip flops.
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Mar 12th, 2012, 12:03 PM
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A few years ago in Barcelona my teenage daughter was denied permission to a church for having bare arms.
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Mar 15th, 2012, 08:32 AM
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The only place I've seen an active warning about a dress code for Spain is Barcelona. I was interested to see what others were seeing/hearing.
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Mar 15th, 2012, 08:39 AM
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My wife was denied entrance to the cathedral in Barcelona last year because of bare arms.
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Mar 15th, 2012, 09:24 AM
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Agree with most said here, but religion is still a very serious thing among many Spanish, and the issue has been more politicized during the recently outgoing Zapatero government. Have a look at "Spain is still a very Roman Catholic country, but times are changing" by the Guardian's excellent Madrid correspondent Giles Tremlett. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011...urch-influence
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Mar 15th, 2012, 09:50 AM
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I was just in Barcelona last Fall and am really surprised about these notices of being denied entrance just because of bare arms. I probably didn't have bare arms, but don't really remember (it was fairly warm when I was there). The thing that really surprised me is that Barcelona is a very cosmopolitan, modern, large city, so I don't know why they would be so conservative about something like that, more than other places that are a lot more conservative and religious (such as Poland where I've been, no dress code there for sightseeing in churches).
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Mar 15th, 2012, 11:50 AM
  #16
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Probably depends on whether or not the local bishop is ultra conservative and wanting to make points with the Pope. That's the way it is here in the States. The last Pope appointed very conservative local bishops and now they are all trying to win favor with this very conservative Pope...an example is how the US Catholic Bishops is pushing the contraception issue in politics.
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Mar 15th, 2012, 01:39 PM
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When in a church, just dress as if visiting someone else´s house that you don´t know. It´s easy.
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Mar 15th, 2012, 02:06 PM
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What happens in Barcelona is not so much a conservative bishop, but tourists walking around the Ramblas as if they were going to the beach.
So, it is understandable that they enforce the code, just in case someone decides that wearing a bikini is a good idea

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Mar 15th, 2012, 02:26 PM
  #19
 
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I agree with cova, there is no need to go into a church in shorts and flip-flops. And you dont have to go to the beach dressed as Dirk Bogarde in Morte a Venezia
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Mar 15th, 2012, 02:38 PM
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I agree with Josele. I think it is disrespectful to go into churches wearing shorts or other skimpy attire. This is not to say that it is not done in churches at home. I am sometimes....surprised by clothes I see girls wearing in the church I attend. The church is on the grounds of a university, so that many young people attend. Apparently no one has taught them appropriate wear for religious services.

But it's nice that they're attending Mass.
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