Vic Cathedral is dedicated to Saint Peter the Apostle. It is located in the heart of Vic's medieval centre and is the seat of the diocese of Vic. Sections of the building are in various architectural styles ranging from Romanesque to Neoclassical.
The bell tower is Romanesque, the cloister and main altarpiece are both Gothic, and the chapel of Sant Bernat is Baroque. Between 1781 and 1803, Vic Cathedral was restored and enlarged in the Neoclassical style.
There is documented evidence of an early Cathedral in Vic dating from the year 516 but, during the Saracen invasion in 717-718, the building was destroyed and would not be replaced until the Count of Barcelona, Guifré el Pilòs, repopulated the Osona area and restored the bishopric, which was initially governed by Bishop Otmar.
The original cathedral with a single nave, thick walls and few windows was replaced by the one built in the Romanesque style by Abbot Oliba, who was bishop of Vic from 1018 to 1046. This cathedral was consecrated by the Archbishop Guifré de Narbonne in 1038.
It had a single nave with a transept comprising five absys and a dome. The current crypt and belltower were part of this church, and the capitels were from an even earlier one. In the Museu Episcopal de Vic, they have preserved some reliefs with figures from the Romanesque portal and capitels from the cloister, which are high artistic value.
Here you can see the impressive belltower alongside the Museu Episcopal de Vic.
Two hundred years later, Ramon d'Anglesola published a letter calling on the faithful to make contributions for the restoration of the building. The cloister dates from the 15th century and is Gothic.
This photo of the cloister shows a statue of 19th century theologian Jaume Balmes, who is one of Vic's most celebrated sons in the middle.
The magnificent alabaster altarpiece by Pere Oller was completed in 1428. It really was one of the highlights of our visit.
Over time the state of the building deteriorated, and it became increasingly evident that a complete reconstruction was necessary so towards the end of the 18th century, the majority of the building was demolished to make space for a new one.
The first stone of the neoclassical cathedral was laid in 1781, and the building was consecrated in 1803. The project was the work of Vic architect Josep Moretó i Codina.
In 1891, the Museu Episcopal de Vic was opened in order to house works from the old cathedral.
In the 20th century, the painter Josep Maria Sert was commissioned to do the decorations of the interior walls and ceiling. He completed the task between 1930 and 1931.
During the Spanish Civil War, Vic Cathedral was burnt by anarchists, and many of Sert's paintings were destroyed, so he was asked to repaint them all in 1945.
These photos were from our second visit to Vic Cathedral. We were impressed the first time and the second was even better!
By the way, it's well worth paying the old lady two euros to visit the cloister, the crypt and altarpiece.