Santa Iglesia Catedral Primada de Toledo
The Toledo Cathedral is one of the most beautiful and majestic cathedrals in all of Europe. I have been to Toledo, Spain on multiple occasions and every trip has taught me something new about this amazing and historical city. Last week I visited the cathedral with my parents, who absolutely feel in love with the city and of course, I was finally able to take more pictures of the cathedral and other parts of the city. This post is the first of three on Toledo.
The cathedral is considered by some authorities to be the Magnum Opus, of the gothic style in Spain.(1) “The cathedral is dedicated to the Virgin Mary in her Assumption to the heavens.”(2) The construction of the cathedral began in 1227 under the direction of the Archbishop Don Rodrigo Jimenez de Rada.(3) However, the King, Ferdinand III gave the order for its construction. During the 15th century, the gothic style was added to the cathedral by building the Chapel of Saint Peter and the Chapel of Saint James.
The design of the cathedral was influenced by the Bourges Cathedral in France. The dimensions of the cathedral are 390ft. long, 194ft. wide, and 146ft high. There are five naves that are supported by 88 pillars and the are also 72 vaults.(4)
The Main Chapel
Walking up to the main chapel, you feel tiny in comparison. The alter is overwhelming and the decorations at first are a bit hard on the eyes. However, after a few minutes you begin to realize just how beautiful the chapel is. The altarpiece is made of polychrome and golden wood was designed by Petit Jean.(5)
The Sacristy was built by Vergara the Young in the sixteenth century. Inside you will find El Expolio, a piece by El Greco painted on the site in 1587.(6)
The room is an art gallery with painting from other important artists such as Caravaggio, Tiziano, Van Dick, Orrente, Tristan, and Goya.(7)
Directly in front of the main chapel, you will find the Choir. The Choir is the most beautiful Choir in all of Europe.(8) It was made to accommodate all the cathedral’s Clergy: the Archbishop, Canons, Prebendaries and Chaplains.(9) Walking around the Choir is inspiring and it makes you think back in time with all the clergy were sitting here praying or singing. The amount of detail that you see in each of the seats, statues, and ceiling is amazing.
Chapel of the New Monarchs (los Reyes Nuevos)
The Chapel of the New Monarchs was built between 1531 and 1534. The chapel was built on the old blacksmith shop of the cathedral.(9) I couldn’t take more photographs of the chapel due to several boxes and ladders that were on the floor. However, the design and high ceiling of the chapel make it a must see during your visit.
On the opposite side of the main cathedral entrance and in front of the Main Chapel and Choir is the entrance to the Cloister. The outdoor hall way’s walls are decorated with beautiful statues and painting. Construction of the Cloister began in 1389 by the architect Rodrigo Alonso. However it was later finished by Master Alvar Gonzalez in 1425(10).
Walking away front he Main Chapel and through the Cloister is the entrance to the Chapel of Saint James.
Chapel of Saint James
The chapel was built between 1435 and 1440 by Hanequin de Bruselas(11). Inside the chapel are the sepulchers of Don Alvaro de Luna and his wife Dona Juana Pimentel. It was thanks to Dona that the chapel could be completed.
Chapel of Saint Ildephonsus
The chapel was erected in its present form for the burial of Cardinal Gil Carrillo de Albornoz in 1364.(12) In the middle of the chapel is the founders sepulcher.
Times and Costs
Times: 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sundays & Holidays: 2:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Sundays are free for Spaniards and residents showing their cards in the box office.
Costs: €8.00 for adults.
Address: C/Cardenal Cisneros I/45002 Toledo
Phone: 34 925 222 241
Below are more photos of the cathedral.
We had an enjoyable time visiting the cathedral and I am looking forward to posting more about this amazing Spanish city.
All sources were taken from the audio guide and booklet provided by the cathedral.
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