Santo Domingo de la Calzada Things to Do

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    Cathedral of El Salvador

    by Oleg_D. Written Aug 1, 2014

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    Construction of the cathedral of El Salvador (The Savior) started in1158 and was mostly accomplished by the beginning of XV century. Just several chapels were added during XV century. That’s why you can see there Romanesque apse, high altar, columns, Gothic chapels and some baroques in the choirs built in XVI century. That cathedral is very famous because the tomb of real Saint is situated there. This Saint was born 1019 in small Castilian village Viloria de Rioja. His name was Domingo Garcia. Being a young man he tried to become the cloistered monk but twice he was expelled from the monasteries because he failed to learn Latin and couldn’t read fluently. He was big and very strong man who loved God that’s why at last he become the hermit wiled forests near modern city of Santo Domingo de la Calzada. There he prayed for all Pilgrims walking to Santiago de Compostela and collected money to help pilgrims. He personally together with his assistants built the bridge over the River Oja and built the road from Najera to Redecilla del Camino and shortened the Pilgrim’s was. He was also constricting chapels and hospitals along that Pilgrims way. When he died in 1109 he was buried at the middle of Pilgrim’s road in the grave he prepared personally, in advance. Step by step small village appeared around the grave of Domingo Garcia who became Santo Domingo de la Calzada (Saint Dominique of the Way). And at last that village became a city named after Saint. Step by step his grave became a part of the cathedral. To my mind Domingo Garcia is the real Saint.
    And the newest part of cathedral is its southern wall, its decorative elements were added in XVIII century.
    Visitors are allowed to take noncommercial photos without flash light and tripod.
    Admission is 4 Euros (including belfry and cathedral)
    Open from November 4 through March 31:
    From Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 19:30 hrs.
    Saturdays from 10:00 to 19:10 hrs. Sundays from 10:00 to 12:20 h. and from 13:45 to 19:10 h.
    From April 1 through November 3:
    From Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 20:30 hrs.
    Saturdays from 9:00 to 19:10 hrs. Sundays from 9:00 to 12:20 hrs. and from 13:45 to 19:10 hrs.

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    Cathedral/Interiors

    by Oleg_D. Written Jul 30, 2014

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    Interiors of the cathedral mostly preserved all elements built between 1158 and 1527. Only very small part of interiors was built in XVII and XVIII centuries. So, high altar and ambulatory were built in XII century, naves in XIV century. Several chapels were accomplished in XV century.
    Visitors are allowed to take noncommercial photos without flash light and tripod.
    Admission is 4 Euros (including belfry and cathedral)
    Open from November 4 through March 31:
    From Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 19:30 hrs.
    Saturdays from 10:00 to 19:10 hrs. Sundays from 10:00 to 12:20 h. and from 13:45 to 19:10 h.
    From April 1 through November 3:
    From Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 20:30 hrs.
    Saturdays from 9:00 to 19:10 hrs. Sundays from 9:00 to 12:20 hrs. and from 13:45 to 19:10 hrs.

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    Cathedral/Romanesque columns

    by Oleg_D. Written Jul 30, 2014

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    In the Ambulatory of the Cathedral behind the High altar we can see the Romanesque columns made between 1158 and 1200. Some of these columns are decorated with the bas-relieves with the devotion to Holy Trinity and figure of the King David.
    Visitors are allowed to take noncommercial photos without flash light and tripod.
    Admission is 4 Euros (including belfry and cathedral)
    Open from November 4 through March 31:
    From Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 19:30 hrs.
    Saturdays from 10:00 to 19:10 hrs. Sundays from 10:00 to 12:20 h. and from 13:45 to 19:10 h.
    From April 1 through November 3:
    From Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 20:30 hrs.
    Saturdays from 9:00 to 19:10 hrs. Sundays from 9:00 to 12:20 hrs. and from 13:45 to 19:10 hrs.

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    Cathedral/Choirs

    by Oleg_D. Written Jul 30, 2014

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    Choirs of cathedral of El Salvador were built in XVI century and as you can see they are expressively baroque. As many typical Spanish choirs, in many Spanish Cathedrals, present choirs are situated in the central part of central nave and separated but the wall from other interiors. Chairs in the choirs are real masterpiece of Spanish woodcarvers. And external wall richly decorated by the panels with painted icons and decorative elements.
    Visitors are allowed to take noncommercial photos without flash light and tripod.
    Admission is 4 Euros (including belfry and cathedral)
    Open from November 4 through March 31:
    From Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 19:30 hrs.
    Saturdays from 10:00 to 19:10 hrs. Sundays from 10:00 to 12:20 h. and from 13:45 to 19:10 h.
    From April 1 through November 3:
    From Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 20:30 hrs.
    Saturdays from 9:00 to 19:10 hrs. Sundays from 9:00 to 12:20 hrs. and from 13:45 to 19:10 hrs.

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    Cathedral/Altarpieces

    by Oleg_D. Written Jul 30, 2014

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    Although interiors of El Salvador Cathedral were mostly built up by the beginning of XIV century you will no see any Romanesque or Gothic altarpieces there. Instead you will see main altarpiece made by famous Valencian sculptor and carver Damian Forment in baroque style. He started his work at 1537 and still hasn’t finished his work in 1540 when he died. His apprentices finished his work. This altarpiece devoted to El Salvador (The Savior) and The Assumption.
    All other altarpieces are also baroque.
    Visitors are allowed to take noncommercial photos without flash light and tripod.
    Admission is 4 Euros (including belfry and cathedral)
    Open from November 4 through March 31:
    From Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 19:30 hrs.
    Saturdays from 10:00 to 19:10 hrs. Sundays from 10:00 to 12:20 h. and from 13:45 to 19:10 h.
    From April 1 through November 3:
    From Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 20:30 hrs.
    Saturdays from 9:00 to 19:10 hrs. Sundays from 9:00 to 12:20 hrs. and from 13:45 to 19:10 hrs.

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    Cathedral/Crypt and Tomb of Santo Domingo

    by Oleg_D. Updated Jul 25, 2014

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    Santo Domingo or Domingo Garcia (1019 – 1109) prepared his own sepulcher in advance in the middle of the road he himself constructed outside the church. Many years later with the building of the new cathedral the tomb became part of the interior of the Cathedral, in the south transept to be precise. So, to visit his tomb and venerate the relics of this really Saint Hermit you should enter the southern transept of cathedral. Keep your back toward the henhouse and your face toward the luxurious gothic cenotaph. Near the cenotaph you will see the steps leading you down to the crypt. These steps will lead to extremely modest crypt, with extremely simple decoration where you will see the tomb of that Saint who spent all his life to help other people building hospitals, roads and bridges to make the way to Santiago de Compostela easier for millions of pilgrims. This place is really worth to visit, to kneel and to say “Rest with Peace! Saint Man!”
    Visitors are allowed to take noncommercial photos without flash light and tripod.
    Admission is 4 Euros (including belfry and cathedral)
    Open from November 4 through March 31:
    From Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 19:30 hrs.
    Saturdays from 10:00 to 19:10 hrs. Sundays from 10:00 to 12:20 h. and from 13:45 to 19:10 h.
    From April 1 through November 3:
    From Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 20:30 hrs.
    Saturdays from 9:00 to 19:10 hrs. Sundays from 9:00 to 12:20 hrs. and from 13:45 to 19:10 hrs.

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    Cathedral/Henhouse

    by Oleg_D. Written Jul 25, 2014

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    Animals are not allowed to enter temples according to general rules of all Christian churches. But we know that some exemptions always exist. Here, in the southern transept you will see the henhouse where live one rooster and one hen. That henhouse was built in XV century and renovated in XVII th. Both animals are living here because it was allowed by special Bull issued by the Pope Clement VI in 1350. Why Holy Father did that? Legend tells us about German Pilgrim called Hugonell who was walking to Santiago de Compostela with his parents. When they decided to rest at an inn in Santo Domingo de la Calzada, the inn owner’s daughter immediately fell in love with Hugonell however her feelings were not reciprocated, so this girl, angered, placed a silver cup into his luggage and accused the boy of theft. Thieves at that time were punished by hanging and this was the fate of Hugonell. His parents, saddened by his death continued the pilgrimage and upon arriving in Santiago de Compostela began their return journey to visit the grave of their dead son. When they arrived in Santo Domingo however, they found their son still hanging in the gallows but miraculously alive. Hugonell, excited, said to them: “Santo Domingo brought back me to life, please go to the Mayor’s house and ask him to take me down”. Quickly, the parents arrived at the Mayor’s house and told him about the miracle. The incredulous Mayor, who was preparing to have dinner with friends, responded: “That boy is as alive as these two roast chickens we are about to eat,” and suddenly, the chickens came to life, sprouted feathers and beaks and began to crow, and so, to this day there is a saying about the town which goes: “Santo Domingo of the Way, where the roosters crow after being roasted”. To memories of this miracle hen and rooster live in cathedral. Since it is not human to keep these animals in the henhouse for all their life, they live there only for one month waiting for the relieve by other pair. Over the henhouse you can see a piece of gallows where Hugonell was hanged. I love such medieval miracles!
    Visitors are allowed to take noncommercial photos without flash light and tripod.
    Admission is 4 Euros (including belfry and cathedral)
    Open from November 4 through March 31:
    From Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 19:30 hrs.
    Saturdays from 10:00 to 19:10 hrs. Sundays from 10:00 to 12:20 h. and from 13:45 to 19:10 h.
    From April 1 through November 3:
    From Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 20:30 hrs.
    Saturdays from 9:00 to 19:10 hrs. Sundays from 9:00 to 12:20 hrs. and from 13:45 to 19:10 hrs.

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    Cathedral/Cenotaph of Santo Domingo

    by Oleg_D. Written Jul 25, 2014

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    In the southern transept of the cathedral of El Salvador you will see splendid gothic cenotaph built in second part of XV century. This cenotaph is real masterpiece of the Gothic stone carving. Majority of visitors who are not in the guided tour think that this is symbolic place where Santo Domingo de la Calzada (1019 – 1109) was buried. In fact his tomb is situated in the crypt under this cenotaph. That’s why after you took your time to enjoy this masterpiece, don’t forget to visit the crypt under the cenotaph.
    Visitors are allowed to take noncommercial photos without flash light and tripod.
    Admission is 4 Euros (including belfry and cathedral)
    Open from November 4 through March 31:
    From Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 19:30 hrs.
    Saturdays from 10:00 to 19:10 hrs. Sundays from 10:00 to 12:20 h. and from 13:45 to 19:10 h.
    From April 1 through November 3:
    From Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 20:30 hrs.
    Saturdays from 9:00 to 19:10 hrs. Sundays from 9:00 to 12:20 hrs. and from 13:45 to 19:10 hrs.

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    Cathedral/Chapel of San Juan

    by Oleg_D. Written Jul 23, 2014

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    Chapel of San Juan Batista was built in XV century and speaking honestly this is my favorite chapel in Cathedral of El Salvador in Santo Domingo de la Calzada because there, in that chapel, I could see the tombs of three guys in excellent armors. Thirst such tomb belongs to Pedro Suarez Lord of Cuzcurrita who died in 1419. Since he is in gothic armor typical for second part of XV century we can suggest that this tomb was built only in second part of XV century. Then we can see the tomb of Don Pedro Gonzales de Santo Domingo the Governor of Vizcaya and Dona Juana Fernandes. Over the effigies of these persons you can see the fresco showing San Miguel in excellent armor killing the devil. Under another arch are buried Don Francisco Samaniego de Estrada, we can see his effigy in excellent gothic full suit of plate armor and Dona Ana de Valderrama. There is one more tomb of unknown to me gentleman in armor and lady, as I can judge we can date that tomb around mid of XVI century.
    Visitors are allowed to take noncommercial photos without flash light and tripod.
    Admission is 4 Euros (including belfry and cathedral)
    Open from November 4 through March 31:
    From Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 19:30 hrs.
    Saturdays from 10:00 to 19:10 hrs. Sundays from 10:00 to 12:20 h. and from 13:45 to 19:10 h.
    From April 1 through November 3:
    From Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 20:30 hrs.
    Saturdays from 9:00 to 19:10 hrs. Sundays from 9:00 to 12:20 hrs. and from 13:45 to 19:10 hrs.

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    Cathedral/Tombs of De Valenca family

    by Oleg_D. Written Jul 23, 2014

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    Two representatives of aristocratic family of De Valenca were buried in the chapel of this cathedral. First was Fernando Alonso De Valenca who died in 1522. His sepulcher with beautiful arcosolium was built in 1527 by the Dutch master Guillen de Hollanda. Fernando Alonso De Valenca’s nephew Juan Rodrigo de Valenca died in 1581 but his sepulcher was made in advance by Flemish master Arnao de Bruselas in 1560. Both these gentlemen were the canons of this cathedral. Here we can see the changes of aesthetic tests between 1527 and 1560. That’s why these sepulchers are so valuable for the researchers of history and material culture.
    Visitors are allowed to take noncommercial photos without flash light and tripod.
    Admission is 4 Euros (including belfry and cathedral)
    Open from November 4 through March 31:
    From Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 19:30 hrs.
    Saturdays from 10:00 to 19:10 hrs. Sundays from 10:00 to 12:20 h. and from 13:45 to 19:10 h.
    From April 1 through November 3:
    From Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 20:30 hrs.
    Saturdays from 9:00 to 19:10 hrs. Sundays from 9:00 to 12:20 hrs. and from 13:45 to 19:10 hrs.

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    Cathedral/Tomb of Pedro de Carranza

    by Oleg_D. Written Jul 22, 2014

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    Chapel where Pedro de Caranza was buried in 1517 is situated in the northern nave of the Cathedral. Chapel itself was built in XIII century but the sepulcher in beginning of XVI and it was made by one of the most famous wood and stone carver of united Spain Felipe de Bigarny. He designed and built that sepulcher in so-called perpendicular style and decorated with the scene of Annunciation made in late gothic style and the image of Heavenly Father in the tympanum. And under the scene of Annunciation we can see the figure of Pedro de Caranza dressed in long robe of gown with a dog at his feet. That chapel and tomb are the real masterpieces of the first quarter of XIII and first quarter of XVI centuries.
    Visitors are allowed to take noncommercial photos without flash light and tripod.
    Admission is 4 Euros (including belfry and cathedral)
    Open from November 4 through March 31:
    From Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 19:30 hrs.
    Saturdays from 10:00 to 19:10 hrs. Sundays from 10:00 to 12:20 h. and from 13:45 to 19:10 h.
    From April 1 through November 3:
    From Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 20:30 hrs.
    Saturdays from 9:00 to 19:10 hrs. Sundays from 9:00 to 12:20 hrs. and from 13:45 to 19:10 hrs.

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    Cathedral/Museum

    by Oleg_D. Updated Jul 22, 2014

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    Museum of sacred arts and cathedral is situated in the galleries of the Cathedral’s cloister. You will be able to see there excellent altarpieces, icons, statues, reliquaries, chapels and tombs and ever original knightly shield with the coat of arms of Castile and Leon. This shield belonged to the King of Castile and Leon Henry II the founder of new dynasty of Trastamara. He died here in Santo Domingo de la Calzada and his viscera are buried here. If you are in Santo Domingo de la Calzada then this museum is number one must see place.
    Visitors are allowed to take noncommercial photos without flash light and tripod.
    Admission is 4 Euros (including belfry and cathedral)
    Open from November 4 through March 31:
    From Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 19:30 hrs.
    Saturdays from 10:00 to 19:10 hrs. Sundays from 10:00 to 12:20 h. and from 13:45 to 19:10 h.
    From April 1 through November 3:
    From Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 20:30 hrs.
    Saturdays from 9:00 to 19:10 hrs. Sundays from 9:00 to 12:20 hrs. and from 13:45 to 19:10 hrs.

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    Cathedral/Cloister

    by Oleg_D. Written Jul 22, 2014

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    Construction of present cloister was started around 1340 in the Mudejar style according the order of Juan del Pino the Bishop of Calahorra and la Calzada. Cloister adjoins the northern wall of Cathedral. Cloister was reconstructed in XVI century and some renovations were made in the galleries to place there the museum.
    Visitors are allowed to take noncommercial photos without flash light and tripod.
    Admission is 4 Euros (including belfry and cathedral)
    Open from November 4 through March 31:
    From Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 19:30 hrs.
    Saturdays from 10:00 to 19:10 hrs. Sundays from 10:00 to 12:20 h. and from 13:45 to 19:10 h.
    From April 1 through November 3:
    From Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 20:30 hrs.
    Saturdays from 9:00 to 19:10 hrs. Sundays from 9:00 to 12:20 hrs. and from 13:45 to 19:10 hrs.

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    Cathedral/Belfry

    by Oleg_D. Updated Jul 20, 2014

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    The separate standing belfry is the fourth tower built for that cathedral at the same place. First belfry was built in 1450 but it was destroyed by the lightning. Second one was accomplished by 1560 but it collapsed in XVIII century. At last, present tower was built in 1762-1765. This belfry is sixty nine meters tall and is divided in three parts. The first two floors are square, and the upper part has an octagonal form. Since this belfry was built by Martin de Beratua, this tower looks like as the twin of other belfries built by this architect in la Rioja. One hundred and thirty two steps take visitors up to the bells. The clock was installed in 1780 by the blacksmith Martin Pasco. That clock is still working without any repair of its original mechanism till nowadays.
    Admission is 4 Euros (including museum and cathedral)
    Open from November 4 through March 31:
    From Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 19:30 hrs.
    Saturdays from 10:00 to 19:10 hrs. Sundays from 10:00 to 12:20 h. and from 13:45 to 19:10 h.
    From April 1 through November 3:
    From Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 20:30 hrs.
    Saturdays from 9:00 to 19:10 hrs. Sundays from 9:00 to 12:20 hrs. and from 13:45 to 19:10 hrs.

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    Ermita de la Virgen de la Plaza

    by Oleg_D. Written Jul 15, 2014

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    Baroque facade of this XVI century late gothic building was added in XVIII century. Beneath the belfry gable there is a niche holding a late XVI century image of Virgin Mary. Inside you will be able to see the neo-gothic altarpiece made in XX century presided by the statue of the city’s patroness Our Lady Virgin Mary of the Square with baby Christ. This statue made in XIV century was restored in XVI century.
    You will easily find that chapel at the corner of Calle Mayor and Calle Hilario Perez just in front of the southern wall of the cathedral.

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