Sant Pere de les Puel.les
Nuns who lost their heads
This church was founded outside the walls by the Visigoths, then refounded in 945 by the counts of Barcelona as a Benedictine convent. The puelles were the strictly cloistered young nuns, who enjoyed a great reputation for their beauty. When Al-Mansur’s troops burst in in 985, the women cut off their own noses, hoping to avoid a fate worse than death; the Moors in disgust chopped off the rest of their heads.
The church was rebuilt in 1147, and when the nuns left in the 19th century their cloister became a prison. After a burning in the 1909 Setmana Trágica, it was given its fortress façade; after more arson in 1936, only the Greek-cross plan and a few columns and capitals remain (the best ones are in MNAC).
Plaça de Sant Pere
Hours 8.30–9.30am and 7–8.30pm (in theory)
metro: Arc de Triomf