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The church of La Mercè is dear to the heart of the people of Barcelona. Our Lady of Mercy (La Mercè) is the city's co-patron saint (the other is Santa Eulàlia); she earned the privilege after supposedly diverting a plague of locusts in 1637. Thus, the city's main fiesta (Sept 24) is named in her honor, and many Barcelona-born females are called Mercè (among males there is an abundance of Jordis -- or George -- Catalonia's patron saint).

The 18th-century church itself is the only one in the city with a baroque facade. Perched on top is a statue of the lady herself, a key feature of the city's skyline. The edifice resides on an elegant square with a central fountain of Neptune.