This is a large Gothic building known as the “cathedral of Empordà”. Its altarpiece is considered a unique work in Catalonia and one of the most important examples of Catalan Gothic sculpture in the second half of the 15th century.
La basílica de Santa Maria is the parish church of Vilafranca del Penedès. Building began in 1285 in a gothic style, although it was not dedicated until 1484, on the same site as an old chapel had been documented since the 10th century.
The neo-gothic façade was not completed until 1905. It houses the outstanding remains of XIVth century murals a large range of gargoyles and sculptures on the upper part of the basilica. It is also home to the Carrara marble sculpture collection of the taking Christ from the cross produced in the crypt by the modernist sculptor Josep Llimona, as well as the independent Gothic bell tower which is an octagonal tower made of two sections.
The silhouette of this bell tower is the most characteristic image of the town. You can climb the tower to enjoy the exceptional views that can be seen from its highest point of of 52 metres. The narrow spiral staircase which forms the belltower's backbone will take you to the see weather vane in the shape of an angel, the former cell where the monks lived, which now houses a clock dating back to 1929 and the three church bells.