Pamplona Cathedral

Pamplona, Spain

The site of the Pamplona Cathedral (Santa María la Real) is the oldest part of the Roman Pompaelo. Archaeological excavations have revealed streets and buildings from the 1st century BC. The oldest cathedral was demolished in 924 during the invasion of Abd-al-Rahman III, Caliph of Cordoba. During the reign of Sancho III (1004–1035) the church was reconstructed. That church was demolished from 1083 to 1097, and the Romanesque cathedral was built from 1100 to 1127. It collapsed in 1391, with only the façade remaining. The building of the current Gothic church began in 1394 and lasted to 1501. The floorplan is cruciform with ambulatory, a central nave and four shorter aisles, all covered by partially polycromed rib vault. The style is very influenced by French models.

The sculpture of the interior includes the sepulchre of Charles III of Navarre and spouse Eleanor of Castile, by Jehan Lome de Tournai (1419), and the image of Royal Saint Mary, a Romanesque woodcarved silverplated sculpture. The choir, with its Renaissance choir stalls (1541), is separated from the nave by a Gothic iron grating (1517). There was a Renaissance retable (1598) in the presbytery, now in the church of Saint Michael in Pamplona. In the lateral chapels there are two Gothic, one Italian Renaissance, one late Renaissance and five Baroque retables.

Probably, the most outstanding element of the cathedral is its 13th century cloister. As the temple, the style followed the French Gothic architecture, and the sculptural decoration is very rich. The door that gives access from the temple shows the Dormition of the Virgin, and at the mullion stands a 15th-century sculpture of the Virgin Mary. The Barbazan chapel, named after Arnaldo de Barbazán (the Pamplonese bishop buried there), is covered by a Gothic eight-rib vault. The so-called 'Precious Door' gives access to the ancient canons' dormitory and shows a complete sculptural story of the Virgin Mary's life. There are several notable burials: Bishop Miguel Sánchez de Asiáin's (14th century), Viceroy of Navarre Count of Gages' (Baroque, 18th century) and guerrilla fighter Francisco Espoz y Mina's (Neo-classical, 19th century). The lavatory is closed by a grid whose iron is said to be from the battle of Navas de Tolosa. Another decorated Gothic door gives access to the old kitchen and the refectory.

Diocesan Museum

The former canons' rooms house the Diocesan Museum. The main room is a 14th-century rib-vault covered refectory. The adjacent kitchen is covered by a pyramidal stone-built chimney. This museum exhibits pieces of religious art from the cathedral and from many other Navarrese churches, many of them abandoned today: Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque sculpture, Gothic and Baroque painting, and 13th to 18th centuries goldsmith and silversmith.

The most outstanding silversmith pieces are the Gothic Holy Sepulcher reliquary, made in 13th century Paris; the 14th century Lignum Crucis reliquary and the Renaissance 16th century processional monstrance.

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Details

Founded: 1394-1501
Category: Religious sites in Spain

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

S Vegi (9 months ago)
I didn't read anything about this place before entering. Wow, impressive! While beautiful on the inside, it's not like the cathedrals in Segovia or Toledo, but the entire facility along with the museum makes it well worth the price of admission.
Karl (10 months ago)
little surprised by the 5 euros to access ... but very quickly the architectural quality associated with a renovation takes you from chapel to chapel to the cloister and the museum with a very beautiful thread. Pay without hesitation.
Motorhome Quest (11 months ago)
Well worth the entrance fee which was €5 each. Plenty to see and just in the church part. There is a whole maze of exhibitions to work your way through. It is very well done and interesting so give yourself a decent amount of time. Please check opening times between 6 and 14 July.
Alfonso Madrid (12 months ago)
Very nice cathedral. The guided tour (5 euros) is worth. The guide was very professional. Due the covid restrictions the guided groups are smaller what allowed us to visit some places inside the cathedral that were not posible to see before covid.
Juancho (12 months ago)
Excellent piece of history, love the way they Leesburg the archeological excavations, it was one of my best paid museum ticket ever paid.
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