Inside the cathedral of Granada – top highlights
The interior of the cathedral of Granada is 390 feet. long and 225 feet. wide, with a nave and four aisles and mighty compound pillars. The Capilla Mayor is 158 feet high with a dome and contains much fine art. In 1929 the coro in the middle was removed and now there is an unusual through the view.
In the Capilla Mayor 12 pillars form a rotunda with a diameter of 74 feet., which opens into the ambulatory. There are 14 very beautiful 16th-century Flemish glass windows with scenes from the Passion. Other windows were made to the designs of Diego de Siloam.
Two praying figures of the Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella by artist O Padzo de Mena 1675-77. The 12 gilded statues of the Apostles are by Alonso de Mena and Martín de Aranda (1614). Alonso Cano is responsible for the monumental busts of Adam and Eve in niches (painted by Juan Vélez de Ulloa), as well as the large paintings from the life of the Virgin Mary in the upper storey.
Above the arcades, there are paintings by Juan de Sevilla and Bocanegra. The altar paintings are the ‘Milagro de San Benito’, by Juan de Sevilla, ‘St.Bernard’s
Vision of Christ’, and the ‘Martyrdom of St.Cecilia’, by Bocanegra. In the choir there is an 18C baroque organ. The Altar de Santiago has a statue of St. James (1640) by Alonso de Mena and the painting of the Virgen de los Perdones, which was given to Isabella the Catholic by Pope Innocent VIII in 1491.
Chapel of Nuestra señora de las Angustias
On the left side we find the Capilla de Nuestra Señora de las Angustias has a 15th century Statue of the Virgin and a Churrigueresque altar. The treasury (the former chapter-house) has Flemish tapestries, items in gold, a silver monstrance given by Queen Isabella and two sculptures by Alonso Cano, the ‘Virgen de Belén’ and ‘St.Paul.
Chapel of Nuestra Señora del carmen
The Capilla de Nuestra Señora del Carmen contains ‘St.Mary the Carmelite’ by José de Mora. On the right side: there is the entrance to the Sagrario which was added in the 18C. Now a parish church, it was built on the site of an old mosque; Italian marble font (1522).
The Capilla de la Trinidad
This chapel has an altar triptych by Alonso Cano. The Altar de Jesús Nazareno has paintings by Alonso Cano (St. Augustine’, ‘Virgin Mary’, ‘Christ’ and the ‘Stations of the Cross’) and by Ribera (‘Martyrdom of St. Lawrence’, ‘St. Mary Magdalene’, ‘St. Anthony’s Vision of the enfant Christ’ and “St.Anthony the Hermit’.
Capilla Real, the Royal Chapel
The royal funerary chapel was built between 1504 and 1521 in late Gothic Flamboyant style by Enrique de Egas. Work started 12 years after the capture of Granada. This means the construction of this chapel was initiated before the construction of the cathedral. Today both buildings are together. The former entrance is from the cathedral; however, the main entrance is the Plateresque portal in the later completed façade on the Plazuela de la Lonja.
The portal of the Capilla Real is a fine late Gothic work by Enrique de Egas, c. 1500. A beautiful door made by Diego de Siloam in 1534 leads into the sacristy. In the sacristy, three pieces stand out: the Assumption of Mary’, the ‘Immaculate Conception and also a wooden crucifix by Montañés.
The initials Y and F (for Isabella and Ferdinand) can be seen everywhere.
The interior is single-aisled with a splendid reja (1518) by Master Bartolomé de Jaen, which is probably the most beautiful in Spain. The gilded and painted wrought-iron grille is divided into three parts; the upper part is the most beautiful with scenes from the life of Christ and the Crucifixion. The Carrara marble tomb of the Catholic Monarchs (Isabella of Castile died in 1504, Ferdinand of Aragon in 1516) was made by the Italian craftsman Domenico Fancelli, while the tomb of Philip the Handsome and Juana ‘the Mad’, daughter of the Catholic kings, made by Bartolomé Ordóñez (commissioned in 1519 by the future King Charles V).
The high altar has excellent carvings on historical episodes (c. 1520) by Felipe de Borgoñia, including in particular paintings of the compulsory conversion of the Moors (1502) and scenes from the capture of the city of Granada. The praying figures of the Catholic Monarchs on both sides of the altar are hy Diego de Siloam. Two relicarios or side altars of 1632 in the transepts are by Alonso de Mena. Also in the left transept, there is a triptych by D. Bouts.
The sacristy: has fine paintings: Christ on the Mount of Olives’ by Botticelli, ‘Birth of Christ’ and ‘Pietà’ by Rogier van der Weyden, ‘Madonna and Child’ by D. Bouts, ‘Descent from the Cross, ‘Birth of Christ’ and “The Holy Women at the Sepulchre’, by Hans Memling as well as other paintings from the Flemish school. There are also the sword of King Ferdinand and the crown and sceptre of Queen Isabella. The crypt has the simply maintained sarcophagi of the Royal Family.