Santa Maria del Mar: Detail of the West portal flanked with statues of St. Peter and St. Paul
An inscription on the façade records that the present church, which was built from west to east, was begun in 1329. It has been called "perhaps the most logically and most scientifically planned of the great Catalan buildings, a simplification of, yet an advance upon, the plan of the cathedral" (Bevan). Situated in the maritime quarter of the city, it was put up quite quickly with the support of noble families, merchants, guilds and confraternities. S Maria del Mar has an aisled nave of four bays (square in the main vessel, oblong in the aisles) that leads directly into the choir, without crossing or transepts. The choir has one straight bay, a seven-sided apse, ambulatory and nine radiating chapels.