Hidden FC Barcelona Coat of Arms – Barcelona, Spain - Atlas Obscura
Join us on an Atlas Obscura Trip in 2019 »

Barcelona, Spain

Hidden FC Barcelona Coat of Arms

Barça football fans might see the insignia hidden in a church window as a divine sign. 

Santa María del Mar is one of the many iconic churches found in Barcelona. It dates back to the 14th century and was named after St. Mary, the patron saint of sailors, probably because of its location close to the sea. The church has lived through a lot over the years: earthquakes, occupation by Napoleonic forces, bombings, and Francoism, to mention a few. 

In 1936, however, Santa María del Mar was damaged by fire after being set on fire by anarchists during the Spanish Civil War. More or less the whole interior of the church was destroyed, and still today stones blackened by fire bear witness to what happened.

Renovations began in 1938, but it would take until the 1960s before the damaged windows were replaced. The project was running low on funds so a fundraising campaign was started in which numerous organizations, including Futbol Club Barcelona, were asked to contribute. FC Barcelona obliged, but only if their coat of arms would be included in one of the stained-glass windows.

To most visitors, this detail probably goes unnoticed, but if you look carefully you will find the FC Barcelona coat of arms embedded in one of the windows of this majestic cathedral.

Know Before You Go

The window with the coat of arms can be found at the foot of one of the windows to the left of the altar.