When approached from the side of the avinguda de la Catedral, the central cathedral of Barcelona is a magical sight. Officially named the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, it is frequently referred to as simply La Catedral. Its main facade (the northwestern one) is richly decorated with gargoyles and stone labyrinths, as it follows the North European Gothic tradition. Thus la Catedral is distinctly different from the majority of other churches of Barcelona. The facade was added to the church only in 1870, even though its design dates back to the plan of 1408. Nowadays the facade is periodically covered with scaffolds and restored here and there.
The rest of the impressive structure was built between 1298 and 1460. Other facades are barely decorated at all. The octagonal towers with flat roofs remind us that the church stands in Catalonia and is not immune from the influence of Catalan Gothic tradition. The interior of the church is vast and domineering, with the central nave separated from the aisles with rows of tall slender pillars. La Catedral is one of few churches of Barcelona that were spared from the anarchist looting during the civil war: its ornaments and decorations, although quite frugal anyway, are intact.