This richly ornate Renaissance cathedral with its spectacular altar is one of the country's architectural highlights, acclaimed for its beautiful facade and gold-and-white interior. It was begun in 1521 and completed in 1714.
Enrique de Egas created the original Gothic-style plans, but it was Renaissance maestro Diego de Siloé who designed the facade and the chief attraction inside the cathedral, the Capilla Mayor, a rotunda circled by an ambulatory. Capilla Mayor is surmounted by a 45m (150-ft.) dome. The graceful rotunda has two architectural layers, the upper one adorned by art by Alonso Cano depicting the life of the Madonna along with stunning stained glass that dates from the 1500s. At the entrance to the rotunda is a pair of panels, one depicting Ferdinand and Isabella in prayer, the other by Alonso Cano depicting Adam and Eve.
Several glittering side chapels also decorate the cathedral, and one is especially extravagant, the carved and gilded Capilla de Nuestra Señora de la Antigua, also known as the Capilla Dorada, on the north wall. Before leaving the area, and once outside, note the Puerta del Perdón, a notably elaborate side entrance facing north on Calle de la Cárcel.
An imposing building, but fairly light and airy inside.
Multiple organs (seems to be the thing in Spanish churches,) and the normal multiple ornate chapels.
As per normal there is some spectacular art work here.
There was supposed to be no photography in here, but everyone else was taking photo's (many with flash - grrrrrrr) so why not.
As I have said in previous tips, people need to learn to turn their flash's off. It will ruin being able to take photo's for everyone soon. Also people need to be able to read the obvious graphic signs that clearly indicate NO PHOTOGRAPHY.
The Catholic Monarchs ordered the construction of the Cathedral after taking the city in 1492. Since the beginning the cathedral was planned projected following Renaissance designs. The construction lasted 2 centuries. Some of the most important architects and artist of that period, such as Diego de Siloé and Alonso Cano, took part on it.
Once inside the cathedral, the bright white color highlights. As the marble pieces that make the columns had different tonalities, they were painted white. The floor is white and black like a chessboard.
Emperor Carlos V intended to create here the royal mausoleum: the Main Chapel was designed to perform this function. But his son Felipe II ordered to build the monastery of San Lorenzo del Escorial, which became the site where all the kings of Spain from Carlos V on are buried. The Main Chapel contains the kneeling effigies of the Catholic Monarchs Isabel and Fernando by Pedro de Mena.
A room on the left aisle near the façade keeps part of the treasure of the cathedral. This is the place where the artist and architect Alonso Cano had his workshop and lived while working on the cathedral. He was the author of the main façade. Along the cathedral, on the cornice, there are some of his paintings. When I visited the cathedral (August 2010), these paintings were exhibited along the ambulatory around the Main Chapel (pics 3 & 4; in pic 2 you can see the bare wall in the locations of the paintings). One of the masterpieces kept in the Sacristy is the Alonso Cano’s Immaculate Conception (pic 5). He also made the busts of Adam and Eve in the Main Chapel.
There are also works of El Greco and José de Ribera the Spanoleto.
I recommend taking an audio-guide of the cathedral. There are 32 tracks with precise information of the main history, the chapels, altarpieces, the Treasure and other items.
Monday - Saturday: 10:45-13:30 and 16:00-20:00 hours
Sundays and holidays: 16:00-20:00 hours
Monday - Saturday: 10:45-13:30 and 16:00-19:00 hours
Sundays: 16:00-19:00 hours
Entrance fee: 3,50 €.
Included in the Granada City Pass.
Right in the center of the city you will find the main Cathedral in Granada and like all the rest in Spain it is amazing. The pillars are massive and during my trip to Spain I got a new sense of time and how long it actually took to build these structures.
In the web link below you can follow along to my travelogue with more pictures of the interior of this great cathedral.
The cathedral is huge, yet the city buildings come virtually right up to its walls. It's hard to get a good view of the building from the outside.
Many people after visiting Al Hambra skip the Granada Cathedral. I suggest that you do not do this. It is worth a visit.
Built in the 15-16 century it was meant to be a copy of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. The Cathedral took 180 year to build, often being held up because of events like the plague. It has Renaissance and Gothic sections. The only section remaining of the original Great Mosque on this spot is the Muslim ablutions well outside the chapel.
The Royal Chapel (Gothic), built by the Catholic Monarchs (Isabela and Ferdinand) is next door.
The AudioGuide here was not worth while imo. It did not follow any order. It was difficult to place the sites being described, despite the map provided with the AudioGuide.
The ornate capillas are worth viewing. Good written descriptions in front of each one.
Note especially the Chapel of the Trinity with paintings by El Greco.
The stained glass windows are spectacular.
Entry to the Cathedral, the Sacristy and the Museum was Euro 2.50 in September, 2009.
Entry is from the Gran Via.
Both the day before our our tour of the Alhambra and the afternoon we returned from it, we happened to walk past Granada's Cathedral. For some reason, I got the impression that was overshadowed by its more famous neighbour up the hill. Some maps just call it the 'Cathedral', others say it is the 'Catedral-Iglesia del Sagario-Capilla Real' or finally the 'Cathedral of Santa Maria de la Encarnacion'.
As we walked past while exploring the city near our hostal, I noticed that getting a decent photo of it would not be an easy task, it seemed to be hemmed in from all sides by the everyday working buildings of the city. Anyway, I gave it a couple of trys as seen here. Apparently, it took 180-years to build this Gothic-style structure (between the years 1523 and 1704) due to various hiccups, including financial problems and three great bubonic plagues that ravaged Spain (1596-1602, 1646-1652 and 1676-1685). In the end, it never did get the two massive towers that would have really made it stand out. Sue and her sister attempted to have a closer look on our sunny afternoon visit, but it was closed.
It's quite difficult to get a proper view of the Cathedral from outside as it is hemmed in by other buildings. You can however get a very good view of it from the Alcazaba at the Alhambra.
The space inside is huge, and remarkably light and airy with massive white columns set off by gold detail.
There is apparently no prohibition on photography, so when I was there it was full of snapping tourists, but fortunately it was large enough for them to be spread out and not ruin the atmosphere.
There was also a small museum displaying vestments and gold and silver chalices etc. in which photography was prohibited.
There is also a display of pages from a medieval hymnal - beautiful illuminated manuscripts if (like me) you like that sort of thing.
Open mornings 10.45-1.30, afternoons 4.00-7.30, admission €3.50
Granada's Cathedral is not a very obvious structure. When you arrive at its front portal, located on Plaza Pasiegas you will be surprised how hemmed in it seems. It seems as if they were trying to make it fade into the adjoining buildings. Same from the rear entrance on one of the main streets in Granada, just a small iron gate and you cannot see the Cathedral at all.
It only seems to come into perspective when you climb up to the Alhambra, from there you can see the size and scope of the Cathedral.
While admiring the outside of the Cathedral, either for its' vastness (try squeezing it all onto a photo!) or its' decorative architecture, You might miss this example of ancient graffitti!
It's 400 years old and was painted in honour of Juan Latino - the first Black Professor in Europe and the first known Black author of literature
Born in 1516, possibly in Ethiopia, he came to Cordoba aged 12 with his slave mother, who served the daughter of the eminant General Gonzalo Fernandez. Aged 14 he moved to Granada, where he attended the Duke of Sessa.
One of his duties was to carry this Latin scholars books. Later he took lessons with him. Juan showed an exceptional talent in Latin - hence his nickname, and he studied at the Catholic school, then the new University of Granada.
Juan soon became known as an expert in latin - he was now teaching his master!, and as a talented musician and poet.
He was also famed for his wit and graceful manners. Plays were written about him (Lope de Vega and La Famosa Comedia de Juan Latino) and Cervantes even mocked him in one of the prefacing poems of Don Quioxte.
He gained his BA in 1546 and 10 years later his MA, when he became professor of Grammar.
His students celebrated his achievement by writing these slogans and messages on the walls of the Cathedral. They used a mix of red clay, pepper, olive oil and bulls blood, to make their writing material. Probably a bit more environmentally friendly than aerosol paint spray!!
In 1565 he was bestowed the prestigious honour of giving the opening exercise of the Academic year in Latin.
Juan Latino was well regarded and respected, which is an achievement in a country that at the time was undergoing religious fanaticism and nationalist fervour.
He had also fallen in love with Dona Ana, the daughter of the Dukes Estate manager - they wed and had 4 children
I think this graffitti was on the wall to the right of the main facade on Plaza de las Pasiegas. I was too engrossed in the story of Juan Latino to take much notice.
The Cathedral of the Annunciation is Granada's stunning cathedral. It is in Reneissance style, with Baroque and Gothic elements, and it's a very imposing building. The plan was designed by Diego de Siloé. As the cathedral is nearly embedded within the neighbouring buildings, it's really hard to get a good picture of it.
I must admit that, inside, I did not find it as stunning as I would have thought. It is richly decorated and ornated, all by one hand, that of Alonso Cano - but, maybe because of the very dim light, I found it a bit cold and impersonal. Not very welcoming...
The Cathedral museum is located in the chapel and the sacristy halls of the Cathedral. Here you can you can find religious paintings, sculptures and manuscripts most of them donated by empress Elisabeth and Charles V
Los fondos del museo lo constituyen fundamentalmente el legado de los Reyes Católicos y otros del Emperador Carlos V y la Emperatriz Isabel, siendo objetos de muy diversa naturaleza: joyas, reliquias, ornamentos, libros, tapices y pinturas.
Its constrution began by gothic style in 1523 by Enrique Egas project, but he was relegated in 1528 by Diego de Siloé and he adapted the build to renacentist style became one of the most important cathedral of the Renaissance. The Cathedral was built on the site of the former Mosque and it was not completed until 1704, 180 years later.
Opening Time: Monday to Saturday: morning 10.45-13.30 evening 16.00-20.00
Sundays and bank holidays: 16.00-20.00
Fee: 3.50 Euros. Childrens under 10 are free.
Su construcción se inició en 1523 según el proyecto gótico de Enrique Egas, pero al hacerce cargo de las obras Diego de Siloé en 1528, éste adaptó la obra al gusto renacentista siendo una de las obras cumbres del renacimiento. La catedral se compone de cinco naves separadas por pilares con columnas clásicas y girola.
Horarios: Lunes a sábado: 10.45h-13.30 16h-20h
Domingos y festivos religiosos: 16h-20h
Tarifas: General: 3,50 €. Gratuita: menores de 10 años
after the defeat of the moors in 1492 the catholic monarchs began an aggressive church building program in granada. many of the churches in granada are on the sites of former mosques. located in the center of granada is the impresive cathedral. it was designed by enrique de egas in the gothic style in 1523. later diego de siloe added renaissance details such as the facade and the capilla mayor. i must see site when in granada.
On the outside of the Cathedral, near the entrance to the Royal Palace, look up at the walls, the filigree style stonework has the initials F and Y for Ferdinand and Ysobella (Isobella).
Ferdinand and Isobella were the first King and Queen of Spain. They are both buried, with other family members in the Royal Chapel.
The Cathedral is 'The' city landmark, but is overshadowed by the Alhambra. My guidebook devotes 3 pages to the Palace and a mere 18 lines on the Cathedral!
I was impressed by this building. In fact I was far more moved by the atmosphere and architecture, than I was by The Alhambra Palace - Please see my Tourist trap tips
I paid my entrance fee 2.5 Euros, and hired a 'taped guide' ( passport as deposit)
I did wish I had more hands - camera, notebook, audio guide, were enough to juggle, without needing one to lift my dropped jaw, as I stepped into the light, spacious, airy Cathedral ,with the afternoon sun streaming through the stained glass windows!
The Cathedrals plans were drawn up at the same time as the Royal Chapel.
This was to be the Symbolic monument of the Christian Conquest, built over the site of a previous Mosque and 5 times bigger!
Work commenced in 1523 by Enrique Egas and J G De Hontanon - who replicated their previous Gothic designs.
Charles (Carlos) V, honeymooning in Granada, saw this as the pantheon for his Dynasty - he extended his stay from 2 weeks to 3 months.
Things were shaken up when a young Diego de Siloe arrived in 1528, making radical changes to the plans. Architectural shape and ideological content were suited to his Renaissance style.
Carlos was unimpressed thinking this would conflict with designs for the Royal chapel. A determined Siloe convinced him that his plans were more appropiate for a man of Carlos's position. His flattery worked!
Siloe directed the work from 1528 til his death in 1563. Alonso Cano, who was a renowned painter, architect and sculptor of the Baroque school took on some of the work including the main facade on Plaza de las Pasiegas.
The Cathedral wasn't finished until the 18th century, partly delayed by the Plague, when 20,000 lives were lost. It had taken 183 years to complete.
Open 10.45 - 13.30 16.00 - 20.00 Mon - Sat and 16.00 - 20.00 Sun April - October
Nov - March the Cathedral closes one hour earlier at 19.00hrs.