Royal Chapel of St. Anthony of La Florida

Madrid, Spain

The Royal Chapel of St. Anthony of La Florida is a Neoclassical chapel, best known for its ceiling and dome frescoes by Francisco Goya. It is also his former burial place.

The chapel was built in the general location of two prior chapels built in the 1730s, which were on the land of a farm called La Florida. The present structure was built by Felipe Fontana from 1792 to 1798 on the orders of King Carlos IV, who also commissioned the frescoes by Goya and his assistant Asensio Juliá.

In 1919 Goya's remains were transferred here from Bordeaux, where he had died in 1828. Famously, the skull was missing, a detail the Spanish consul had immediately advised to his superiors in Madrid, who wired back, 'Send Goya, with or without head.' In 1928 an identical chapel was built alongside the original, in order to allow the original to be converted into a museum, and the headless remains were moved again.

The frescoes by Goya were completed over a six-month period in 1798. The frescoes portray miracles by Saint Anthony of Padua. On the main cupola of the chapel Goya depicted Saint Anthony raising a man from the dead and exculpating his father, who had been falsely accused of his murder. Instead of portraying the scene as occurring in thirteenth-century Lisbon, Goya relocated the miracle to contemporary Madrid.

 

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Founded: 1792-1798
Category: Religious sites in Spain

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Giuseppe Di Silva (3 years ago)
One of the great treasures of Spain, some of Goya's greatest art. Nearly all visitors are Spanish tourists.
Matthieu Mbock (3 years ago)
A little chapelle with beautiful frescoes to visit for free
Magnus S (3 years ago)
Maybe my expectations where all wrong, but this place was a lot smaller then I expected. -nice frescoes though and still worth a visit if you are in the neighborhood.
Christophe Dupuis (3 years ago)
Stunning ceiling. A bit away from the city centre but worth the visit
Alvaro Cervera (3 years ago)
Impressive al fresco paintings of Goya, who is buried in this place. There is a very nice video explaining the history of the church and the paintings although it is in Spanish, so it's worth it to read some info before. There are some mirrors that help to have a better look at the paintings.
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