Cádiz Cathedral

Cádiz, Spain

Cádiz Cathedral built between 1722 and 1838. The Plaza de la Catedral houses both the Cathedral and the Baroque Santiago church, built in 1635.

The church was known as 'The Cathedral of The Americas' because it was built with money from the trade between Spain and America. The 18th century was a golden age for Cádiz, and the other cathedral that the city had got, Santa Cruz, was very small for this new moment of Cádiz. The new cathedral was built from 1722 to 1838. The first person who designed the church was architect Vicente Acero, who had also built the Granada Cathedral. Acero left the project and was succeeded by several other architects. As a result, this largely baroque-style cathedral was built over a period of 116 years, and, due to this drawn-out period of construction, the cathedral underwent several major changes to its original design. Though the cathedral was originally intended to be a baroque edifice, it contains rococo elements, and was finally completed in the neoclassical style. Its chapels have many paintings and relics from the old cathedral and monasteries from throughout Spain.

In the crypt are buried the composer Manuel de Falla and the poet and playwright José María Pemán, both born in Cádiz.

Levante Tower, one of the towers of Cádiz Cathedral, is open to the public and shows panoramas of the city from on high.

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Details

Founded: 1722-1838
Category: Religious sites in Spain

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Ronnie Lee (2 years ago)
There are restaurants around the cathedral and live performances; Spanish dancing, violinist, singing. Different days may have a different act in front if the cathedral. Also its around 6eu to go inside the cathedral. It's a beautiful site.
Felix Kruhøffer (2 years ago)
The experience was amazing! The architecture of the building has an insane 'Wow' factor inside and out
Alexandra Ciopei (2 years ago)
Cahriz is a beautiful place near the Atlantic Ocean that you must visit. The cathedral is very nice it can be visited but you have to pay. But the ocean the light house and the is an unforgettable image. You must visit this city by the ocean that will give you a stunning sunset.
Marta Rodenas (2 years ago)
Beautiful cathedral in the heart of old town. The entrance fee is worth the visit, you get to see the beautiful cathedral inside, go to the top of the tower (best part), and the entrance to a museum nearby (we didn’t have time to go). The view from the top of the tower is unbeatable and absolutely stunning. It’s not too hard to get to the top, there are no steps until you get to the end, it is just a ramp that goes up. Not sure on their wheelchair or stroller policy but you can make it almost to the top without steps.
Marlene McClelland (2 years ago)
Worship place. Impressive with excellent collection of antiquities. The crypt below is fascinating with lots of tombs. The entry fee (senior/pensioner discount available) to the Cathedral also includes a visit to Torre Poniente where the visitor come close to the huge bells of the Cathedral. The tower also gives an excellent view of Cadiz skyline.
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Quimper Cathedral

From 1239, Raynaud, the Bishop of Quimper, decided on the building of a new chancel destined to replace that of the Romanesque era. He therefore started, in the far west, the construction of a great Gothic cathedral which would inspire cathedral reconstructions in the Ile de France and would in turn become a place of experimentation from where would later appear ideas adopted by the whole of lower Brittany. The date of 1239 marks the Bishop’s decision and does not imply an immediate start to construction. Observation of the pillar profiles, their bases, the canopies, the fitting of the ribbed vaults of the ambulatory or the alignment of the bays leads us to believe, however, that the construction was spread out over time.

The four circular pillars mark the start of the building site, but the four following adopt a lozenge-shaped layout which could indicate a change of project manager. The clumsiness of the vaulted archways of the north ambulatory, the start of the ribbed vaults at the height of the south ambulatory or the choice of the vaults descending in spoke-form from the semi-circle which allows the connection of the axis chapel to the choir – despite the manifest problems of alignment – conveys the hesitancy and diverse influences in the first phase of works which spread out until the start of the 14th century.

At the same time as this facade was built (to which were added the north and south gates) the building of the nave started in the east and would finish by 1460. The nave is made up of six bays with one at the level of the facade towers and flanked by double aisles – one wide and one narrow (split into side chapels) – in an extension of the choir arrangements.

The choir presents four right-hand bays with ambulatory and side chapels. It is extended towards the east of 3-sided chevet which opens onto a semi-circle composed of five chapels and an apsidal chapel of two bays and a flat chevet consecrated to Our Lady.

The three-level elevation with arches, triforium and galleries seems more uniform and expresses anglo-Norman influence in the thickness of the walls (Norman passageway at the gallery level) or the decorative style (heavy mouldings, decorative frieze under the triforium). This building site would have to have been overseen in one shot. Undoubtedly interrupted by the war of Succession (1341-1364) it draws to a close with the building of the lierne vaults (1410) and the fitting of stained-glass windows. Bishop Bertrand de Rosmadec and Duke Jean V, whose coat of arms would decorate these vaults, finished the chancel before starting on the building of the facade and the nave.

Isolated from its environment in the 19th century, the cathedral was – on the contrary – originally very linked to its surroundings. Its site and the orientation of the facade determined traffic flow in the town. Its positioning close to the south walls resulted in particuliarities such as the transfer of the side gates on to the north and south facades of the towers: the southern portal of Saint Catherine served the bishop’s gate and the hospital located on the left bank (the current Préfecture) and the north gate was the baptismal porch – a true parish porch with its benches and alcoves for the Apostles’ statues turned towards the town, completed by an ossuary (1514).

The west porch finds its natural place between the two towers. The entire aesthetic of these three gates springs from the Flamboyant era: trefoil, curly kale, finials, large gables which cut into the mouldings and balustrades. Pinnacles and recesses embellish the buttresses whilst an entire bestiary appears: monsters, dogs, mysterious figures, gargoyles, and with them a whole imaginary world promoting a religious and political programme. Even though most of the saints statues have disappeared an armorial survives which makes the doors of the cathedral one of the most beautiful heraldic pages imaginable: ducal ermine, the Montfort lion, Duchess Jeanne of France’s coat of arms side by side with the arms of the Cornouaille barons with their helmets and crests. One can imagine the impact of this sculpted decor with the colour and gilding which originally completed it.

At the start of the 16th century the construction of the spires was being prepared when building was interrupted, undoubtedly for financial reasons. Small conical roofs were therefore placed on top of the towers. The following centuries were essentially devoted to putting furnishings in place (funeral monuments, altars, statues, organs, pulpit). Note the fire which destroyed the spire of the transept cross in 1620 as well as the ransacking of the cathedral in 1793 when nearly all the furnishings disappeared in a « bonfire of the saints ».

The 19th century would therefore inherit an almost finished but mutilated building and would devote itself to its renovation according to the tastes and theories of the day.