Visit the Sant Bartomeu & Santa Tecla Parish Church with the Best Views of Sitges
First preliminary note: in Sitges the place where the Sant Bartomeu Parish Church stands is actually known as 'La Punta' - 'The Point'. This location at Baluard Square, with the waves breaking alongside the stairs leading up from the seafront promenade, gives it an indisputable personality and magnetism. Sitges' church is imposing from up there. It guards and protects. But it also smiles and invites. It is one of a kind.
The two towers of the Sitges Parish Church, the bell tower and the 'comunidor' (clock tower), stylize and define the silhouette of this local icon, where the palm trees on the promenade give it a Mediterranean aroma that lends warmth and a feeling of continuous summer. The good news is that guided tours of the church are now available again, including the possibility of walking up to the top of the bell tower. You can check the times via the Museums of Sitges website.
We went up the church's highest tower accompanied by Montse Curtiada, head of the Educational Department of the Museums of Sitges and who has accompanied many groups on this visit. Montse agrees that the visit to the bell tower "is the most surprising and enjoyable part of the tour, without a doubt; remember that when you get to the top you have a spectacular view of Sitges and its surroundings, apart from the fact that most people are thrilled to be inside and at the top of an emblematic place that they always see from outside and from down below."
The views are truly spectacular. Despite the fact that there a net to prevent birds from flying in that checkers the landscape, the truth is that it is impressive to be able to view Sitges from the heights and with a 360-degree format. An ecclesiastical curiosity: looking towards Vilanova, you can see the Vinyet and Virgin of Grace chapels and, if we turn around, in the foreground we have the Sant Sebastià Church, and in the background, the Trinitat Chapel (we highly recommend the excursion to Trinitat).
But don't think that the tour's only 'must' or 'highlight' is the bell tower visit. Inside, the Sant Bartomeu and Santa Tecla Parish Church is also an artistic treasure. Alright, here's why: this church has one of Catalonia's most outstanding collections of Baroque altarpieces. Made of polychrome wood, each one served -and serves- to explain the life (and martyrdom) of different saints. In addition, on the second floor, right next to the stairs leading up to the bell tower, there is a small room that you simply cannot miss. Its name already heralds the gift: 'The Room of Treasures'. Inside, outstanding pieces including the Corpus Christi monstrance or a spectacular silver sanctuary.
By the way, during your visit you may run into the rector of the Sitges Parish Church, Josep Pausas. With his friendly and welcoming personality, Pausas notes that "many people who come in for the first time are astonished when they discover our Baroque altarpieces." And the thing is that the Sant Bartomeu and Sant Tecla church is like almost everything in Sitges; neighbors and visitors included: beautiful on the outside...and on the inside ;)