Sant Pau del Camp, Barcelona

The Church of Sant Pau del Camp (St. Paul of the Countryside) is the oldest church in Barcelona and a rare example of Romanesque architecture in Catalonia. Its name reflects the fact that the church was once surrounded by green fields outside the city walls.


History of Sant Pau del Camp

It was built by the Benedictines in the 10th century after its predecessor was destroyed in a Muslim raid of 985 AD. Remains of the original 9th-century structure can be seen on the capitals and bases of the portal. The church was rebuilt in the 11th and 12th centuries on a Greek-cross plan.

What to See at Sant Pau del Camp

Today, Sant Pau is not only old but remarkably intact. The western portal features well-worn carvings and Latin inscriptions of Christ, Saint Peter, and Saint Paul on the tympanum. Around the portal are simple 13th-century carvings of fish, birds and faces.

Carved symbols of the evangelists Mark (lion) and Luke (ox) flank the door; Matthew (winged man) and John (eagle) are in relief above. Above the portal is a relief of the hand of God.

Inside, the church is dark and rather plain, lit only by tiny arrow-slit windows and small stained-glass circles high up in the central dome. Its austerity adds to the overall feeling of antiquity. Built on a central plan, the church has three spacious curved apses at the east end.

The small 12th-century cloister, is a major highlight: it features Moorish arches, a central fountain, and animals adorning the capitals. In the 14th-century chapter house is the tomb of Guífre Borrell, count of Barcelona in the early 10th century.

Quick Facts on Sant Pau del Camp

Site Information
Names:Church of St. Paul of the Countryside · Sant Pau del Camp
Dedication: St. Paul
Dates:late 12th-early 13th C
Visitor and Contact Information
Coordinates:41.376450° N, 2.169532° E
Address:Sant Pau 99
Barcelona, Spain
Hours:Mon-Fri 6-7:45pm
Lodging:View hotels near Sant Pau del Camp
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours and prices can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.


  1. The Rough Guide to Spain 11 (April 2004).
  2. Frommer's Barcelona, 2nd ed. (May 2007).

More Information

© Richie Diesterheft
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Map of Sant Pau del Camp, Barcelona

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