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Cathedral of the Sea (La catedral del mar #1)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  26,077 Ratings  ·  1,424 Reviews
Cathedral of the Sea follows the fortunes of the Estanyol family, from their peasant roots to a son, Arnau, who flees the land only to realize spectacular wealth and devastating problems.

During Arnau's lifetime Barcelona becomes a city of light and darkness, dominated by the construction of the city's great pride -- the cathedral of Santa Maria del Mar -- and by its shame,
Mass Market Paperback, 742 pages
Published 2009 by Black Swan (first published 2006)
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Laura LVD When I am in doubt about a books translation I check the All Editions tabs to see all the published versions; usually there are editions in several…moreWhen I am in doubt about a book´s translation I check the All Editions tabs to see all the published versions; usually there are editions in several languages for most books.(less)

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Tea Jovanović
This is one of my favorite Spanish novels... And my precious acquisitions as editor... :) I've heard about this book, at that time just published in Spain, from his agent during Book Fair in Turin... called Laguna's big boss during first cigarette break, we agreed to give an offer... And by the time my plane landed in Belgrade Laguna had the rights... :) I was so thrilled with the book that I immediately sold it to Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovenia, and became fairy editor for Falcones' agent... I' ...more
João Carlos
May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, m500pag, l2017

Igreja de Santa María del Mar - Barcelona

”A Catedral do Mar” (2006) primeiro romance do escritor catalão Ildefonso Falcones (n. 1959) tem uma cena de abertura que deixa antever o contexto histórico da narrativa: Bernat Estanyol está a festejar o seu casamento com Francesca Esteve; inesperadamente, eis que se aproximam da celebração, sem serem convidados, o seu senhor feudal e dois ginetes.
”- Estanyol! – gritou Llorenç de Bellera, pondo-se de pé com Francesca agarrada pelo pulso. – Usando do dir
May 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
Το μυθιστόρημα πέρα από το κομμάτι του μύθου, που είναι η ιστορία του Μπερνάτ και του γιου του Αρνάου, είναι ένα ιστορικό βιβλίο που ακολουθεί την πορεία της Καταλονίας όλου του 14ου αιώνα και την πορεία του βασιλιά της Πέτρου του Γ’. Αυτή είναι η μαγεία του, αλλά ταυτόχρονα και η δυσκολία του ως βιβλίο. Η καλοφτιαγμένη ατμόσφαιρα, οι πάμπολλες αναφορές σε ιστορικά γεγονότα, η μελέτη στην λαογραφία της εποχής κ η υπέροχη ένταξη της στο μυθιστόρημα δεν γίνεται να μην γοητεύσουν τον αναγνώστη. Παρ ...more
Aug 08, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Empecé esta novela esperando algo similar a 'Los Pilares de la Tierra' de Ken Follet (uno de mis grandes favoritos) y mi decepción no pudo ser mayor.
Después de uno de los comienzos de libro más desafortunados que leí en mi vida –que realmente no me pudo predisponer peor para con el protagonista... y el autor– lo seguí leyendo sólo para ver si en algún punto me empezaba a resultar interesante, pero eso no ocurrió. Claramente Ildefonso Falcones y yo no estamos hechos el uno para el otro.
Me encanta
Hefty historical novel set in fourteenth century Barcelona and revolving around the building of a cathedral (yes there are similarities to Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth). Unlike Follett’s novel this is very much woven around fact and an actual building and events and is based on a contemporary chronicle.
It is well plotted, but there is a certain predictability about it. The topics you would expect to come across are there; the inquisition, the plague, relationships with Jews and Moors, the
César Lasso
Nov 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mi puntuación es de tres estrellitas y media. Siendo la primera novela histórica de Falcones, es la segunda que yo le leo, porque empecé por su segunda, "La mano de Fátima". Y todo eso en el espacio de un año escaso. La verdad es que cansan ya un poco las más de 1600 páginas que he leído de ese autor, y pasará bastante tiempo antes de que agarre su tercera novela. A los autores hay que dejarlos en barbecho. En la variedad está el gusto.

La calidad literaria me parece flojita y simplemente comerci
Apr 27, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chrissie by: Laura and Janice
It is very important to know when you start this book that it is in fact based on the Chronica of King Pedro III. Although historical fiction, it closely follows true events in Catalonia during the 1300s under King Pedro’s reign. There is tons of history incorporated into the novel. At the same time it has an engaging and fast moving plot. You will learn about Barcelona, the building of the cathedral Sant Maria de la Mar. You will be impressed by the cathedral’s history, its beauty and how it en ...more
Dec 11, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read the book in English and perhaps it was not that good in translation. However, as a person who absolutely loved "The Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follett, I thought that this was just a poor copy of the epic novel. "Cathedral of the Sea" is worth a read if you like historical fiction, but that's pretty much about it.
María Mery
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
¡IMPRESIONANTE! Hacía tiempo que no leía una novela histórica tan buena. Pasear por Barcelona en el siglo XII... ha sido maravilloso.

Deseando que estrenen la serie, ya que he leído que han sido muy fieles al libro.
Jan 02, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
I gave up on this book at page 252 of 600. The very beginning was pretty interesting, and I found the character of a young man essentially raising his baby alone (with his remote wife) as a successful medieval serf in pastoral Spain very compelling. I liked the stuff through the pottery workshop, too, but after that? It felt to me like the story dropped off for the sake of cramming a historical setting with stock characters to represent different aspects of life in 14th Century Barcelona. There ...more
Nov 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Arnau Estanyol, el protagonista de esta novela de ficción histórica, se erige como la epítome del héroe, o en su defecto del súperhombre, con la integridad, el valor, la bondad, y todas las cualidades que desearíamos que definieran al humano: el ser humano ideal.

Aunque esto resulte en un personaje que, en mi opinión, decanta en una idealización extrema y digna de relatos épicos de los autores clásicos, de otra época, es imposible no dejarse atrapar tanto por la simpatía natural que Arnau inspira
Nov 26, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: gente interesada en la novela histórica, aquellos que conocen Barcelona o los que se la imaginan.
No leí este libro, lo viví... fue mientras trabajaba en la galería de arte y en los ratos libres adelantaba mi lectura en plenas calles del Barrio Gótico. Una forma muy didáctica, interesante e inteligente de conocer historia sobre Cataluña. Al principio no quería animarme a leerlo porque creí que era una especie de Código Da Vinci, pero resulto ser una excelente adquisición. Tanto que me animé a cargar el tabique desde Barcelona hasta México!. Altamente recomendable... lo terminé de leer en una ...more
Mar 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
642 pagine, in un soffio.

Sui libri come 'La cattedrale del mare' andrebbe applicato un bollino che indica l'alto pericolo di:
-forte affetto nei confronti di personaggi che porta a sentirsi vuoti quando le storie di questi finiscono
-lacrimuccia finale con tanto di imprecazione perché, cavolo Falcones, altre mille pagine le avrei volute!

Ignara di questi effetti indesiderati, mi sono addentrata in Catalogna nel 1300 e ho iniziato a percorrere le strade del Medioevo con Bernat e suo
(review in English below)

As 3 estrelas são, na verdade, só 2 e meia arredondadas para cima.

Muita maldade para o meu gosto... E não senti qualquer empatia com os protagonistas...

O livro está bastante bem escrito e tem muita informação histórica sobre a Catalunha medieval, especialmente sobre Barcelona, mas só comecei a sentir-me interessada na história quando já ia a meio.

Enfim, nem todos podem ser o Ken Follett...

It's really 2.5 stars rounded up.

Too muck wickedness for my taste... And I didn'
A expectativa em relação a este livro era enorme, pelas opiniões que tinha lido e ouvido. Na maioria das vezes não é bom partir para um livro com expectativas tão elevadas, porque a probabilidade de desilusão é maior. Neste caso, não posso dizer que fiquei desiludida, mas esperava que o livro me tivesse arrebatado mais. Um pouco como quando esperamos tirar um 20 num exame, mas afinal só conseguimos o 18.

Neste romance histórico, acompanhamos a vida de Arnau Estanyol, desde as dificuldades na sua
Ana Carvalheira
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Baseando-se nas crónicas de Pedro III, Ildefonso Falcones constrói uma narrativa ficcionada verdadeiramente apaixonante sobre a vida, os usos e costumes de uma época riquíssima, povoada de medos, doenças e guerras que ilustraram um dos momentos mais marcantes da história da civilização.

A ação, que se desenvolve entre 1320 e 1384, durante o reinado de Pedro IV, o Cerimonioso, rei de Aragão e Maiorca, conduz-nos a um mundo arrepiante pejado de emoções, muitas delas contraditórias e que dão forma
Sep 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of historical fiction
Historical fiction based in the fourteenth century Barcelona and surroundings as it follows the life Arnau in his fall from grace and the return to it. The book has this soapy quality which I enjoyed as a casual read. The historical background was more interesting. I have always had more fascination with the Moorish occupation of the Iberian peninsula and have never visited Barcelona even if this is a rather popular place to go to when you are Dutch. Which I think has a lot to do with the footba ...more
Frack Man
Apr 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Todos.
Impresionante obra narrativa, en la que se puede encarnizar la vida de Arnau Estanyol, una vida llena de altibajos y aventuras trepidantes te mantienen atado al libro hasta que terminas la ultima pagina.
Durante todo ese tiempo la historia de trasfondo es la construccion de la catedral de Barcelona, a mi parecer mas bien es la historia de la construccion y su relacion con Arnau pero bueno esa es otra historia.
La maestria con la que Falcones describe cada detallle, cada momento de la historia hac
Nov 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Novela histórica que he disfrutado mucho, en ningún momento se me ha hecho aburrida, ha logrado engancharme siguiendo las aventuras de Arnau, desde que nace hasta que ya es un hombre totalmente adulto. Un personaje que me ha fascinado.
During a pleasant stay at a small hostel at the top of a steep hill, or possibly a small mountain in Sorrento, a young woman once discovered a bookshelf. At the top of this very low and wide bookshelf a sign was positioned. It said "Grab one and leave another behind". The young woman got curious, and stepped a bit closer. She let her eyes wander over the shelf, and it truly held books of all sizes and shapes. Some were small and dusty, abandoned rather than left for someone else's joy, others we ...more
Liza Perrat
Apr 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in 14th century Barcelona, around the building of the magnificent Santa Maria del Mar––Cathedral of the Sea––in the Ribera district, I really enjoyed this book.
The main character, Arnau Estanyol is the son of a fugitive peasant who starts out as a lowly porter, carrying stones for the building of this cathedral. Arnau’s luck turns when King Pedro makes him a baron as a reward for his courage in battle. But the king also forces him to marry Eleonor, one of his wards, with who Arnau is not in
Lena Papanikolaou
Φιλίες ,πάθη, μιση, δολοπλοκίες προδοσίες ειναι τα κυρια χαρακτηριστικα αυτου του βιβλιου,Η ιστορια διαδραματιζεται τον 14 αιωνα στη Βαρκελωνη.Σε αιχμαλωτιζει στην κυριολεξια απο την πρωτη του σελιδα, σε μεταφερει σε μια άλλη εποχη με απιστευτη επιτυχια.Σου δημιουργει μια αγωνα που την αισθανεσαι ολοζωντανη σε μια απιστευτη πραγματικα ιστορια με τοσες εκπληξεις και ανατροπες που σε κανει να προσπαθεις να μαντεψεις απο την αρχη το τελος αυτης της εκπληκτικης ιστοριας!!!Πιστευω οτι ο Φαλκονες θα ...more
Great epic book by Ildefonso Falcones providing a historical picture of medieval life, including the beginning of the Inquisition in Spain. No comparison should be made with The Pillars of the Earth as many reviewers are erroneously doing.
Sotiris Karaiskos
Ένα βιβλίο που το έπιασα εμπνεόμενος από τον καταλανικό πυρετό των τελευταίων εβδομάδων, στα πλαίσια της αναζήτησης μου για ισπανόφωνα αναγνώσματα. Μετά το τέλος της ανάγνωσης μπορώ να πω ότι οι εντυπώσεις που μου άφησε είναι πολύ καλές. Ένα βιβλίο που μοιάζει σαν ένας συνδυασμός μεσαιωνικού ρομάντζου και σύγχρονο ιστορικό μυθιστορήματος, διανθισμένο με πολλές ταξικές αναφορές.

Το πρώτο στοιχείο προσφέρει μία πολύ ενδιαφέρουσα ιστορία, με πολλές στιγμές συγκίνησης που μας κάνουν να συγχωρούμε τ
Kirja Vieköön!
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Huikea ja mukaansa tempaavaa seikkailua ja historiaa! Keskiaikaa, inkvisitiota, rakkautta, juonitteluja - ja kaiken keskellä Barcelonan Basilika Santa Maria del Mar.
Es hat schon etwas von einer Seifenoper, wie sich die Figuren verschiedener Generationen immer gerade dann wiederbegegnen, wenn es für die Dramaturgie von Nutzen ist. Auch sind die Charaktere recht eindimensional – sie sind entweder eindeutig gut, egal wie sehr ihnen das Schicksal zusetzt, oder gehören zu den Bösen (meist sind es Adlige). Wie der zunächst unfreie Bauer Arnau nach und nach zu Macht und Reichtum kommt, ohne sich je korrumpieren zu lassen oder seine Hilfsbereitschaft zu schmälern, ...more
Jul 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know very little about the history of Barcelona. Thus, when I saw this book I eagerly bought it. The book didn't disappoint in telling about the history of the place. It was fascinating to know the economy, culture and people of the setting in the 14th century. The author clearly did a lot of research to present a story that involves almost all the levels of a medieval society - the nobility, the peasants, the merchants and the outcasts. It all revolves around Arnau Estanyol, the son of a serf ...more
Jul 01, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My parents gave me this Spanish-language book for my birthday, and I have to hand it to them for gifting me such a great combination of two of my favorite interests: fiction and history. The novel is set in 14th century Catalunia, in Barcelona in particular, and though driven by strong characters and a twisting plot that quickly drew me in, the history of the Catalans and their premier city on the sea plays a great role in this work. The author, obviously a Catalan proud of his people's history ...more
It has been awhile since I have thoroughly enjoyed a book the way I enjoyed this one.

The story follows the life of Arnau Estanyol who is brought to Barcelona as an infant by his father, a runaway serf. As a young boy, Arnau goes in search of the Virgin Mother and finds her at the Cathedral Santa Maria de la Mar. The Cathedral looms largely in the center of his life, first as a boy seeking solace, then as a labourer carrying huge blocks of stone on his back for her construction. As the course of
Marta Pascual Perez
No es que no sea el libro firme parte de un género que no es para mí. Simplemente es que no me ha gustado.
Hay una falta de respeto total hacia las mujeres, que entiendo que fuera propia de la época, pero que el autor de ha encargado de relatar con pelos y señales.
Tampoco me ha gustado que los protagonistas, sean santurrones que sólo obran mal porque los demás se lo hacen hacer. Los malos son malísimos y, no hay personajes con matices. Todos tienen una personalidad plana muy similar.
La narrati
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lldefonso Falcones de Sierra, married and the father of four children, is a lawyer who lives and works in Barcelona. The cathedral of the sea is his homage to a people capable of building, in the then unusual span of fifty-four years, what is undoubtedly one of the most lovely churches in the world.

A historical novel that has become an unprecedented bestseller, recognized by both readers and criti
More about Ildefonso Falcones...

Other Books in the Series

La catedral del mar (2 books)
  • Los herederos de la tierra
“The past doesn't exist. There is nothing to be sorry for. Today is when we start to live. Look... look at the sea. The sea has no past. It is just there. It will never ask us to explain. The stars, the moon are there to light our way, to shine for us. What do they care what might have happened in the past? They are accompanying us, and are happy with that; can you see them shine? The stars are twinkling in the sky; would they do that if the past mattered? Wouldn't there be a huge storm if God wanted to punish us? We are alone, you and I, with no past, no memories, no guilt, nothing that can stand in the way of... our love.” 65 likes
“Nunca te fíes de los que dicen servir a Dios. Te hablará con serenidad y buenas palabras, tan cultas que no alcanzarás a entenderlas. Tratarán de convencerte con argumentos que sólo ellos saben hilvanar hasta adueñares de tu razón y tu conciencia. Se presentarán a ti como hombres bondadosos que dirán querer salvarnos del mal y de la tentación, pero en realidad su opinión sobre nosotros está escrita y todos ellos, como soldados de Cristo que se llaman, siguen con fidelidad aquello que está escrito en los libros. Sus palabras son excusas y sus razones, idénticas a las que tú podrías darle a un mocoso.” 14 likes
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