Tag Archives: Catedral

A Day in Salamanca 

May 13 – No rain today!  After our yogurt and strawberries breakfast, we set out for the old city to see the sights.  It’s still cold, and we are wearing all our layers of clothes.

Salamanca has two cathedrals side by side – the Catedral Vieja (old) built in the twelfth century, and the Catedral Nueva built in the 1500 – 1700s (not really all that new).  They are connected inside.  Here is a funny story.  The Cathedrals sustained a lot of earthquake damage, and were being repaired in the 1990s.  A stone mason got permission to add some modern touches to the decorations surrounding the door. 

So now crowds huddle around the big red door, looking for the astronaut:

…and the gargoyle eating an ice cream cone:

The astronaut has spawned all manner of internet fake news about ancient aliens visiting Spain in the Middle Ages – there is even an entry about it on Snopes.com.

We toured the new Cathedral first.  Why is it that sculptors have no trouble with Mary, but have such a hard time with Jesus?

This is the crucifix believed to belong to El Cid:

The Golden Chapel, containing a famous image of Death:

And some frescoes that were discovered when the walls were being cleaned:

In the Old Cathedral, there is a famous painting of Jesus separating the good from the wicked on Judgement Day (evidently the wicked don’t get to keep their clothes), atop a huge golden altarpiece showing 53 scenes of the life of Christ:

Lots of the rich and famous are buried in the cathedral.  I like the image of dying with a book in my hands.

Famous statue of the Virgin Mary of the See – she is curvy and natural, while little Jesus is stilted and stiff:

…and the Virgin of the Milk:

This is the Adoration of the Magi – I am amused by the expression on the baby Jesus face (Myrrh?  Really?):

Then we climbed the Ieronimus Tower for a view of the city:

To be continued…

The Catedral de Sevilla

Apr 8 – the center of the Old City is the Catedral, which is the the third largest church in the world, and the largest Gothic cathedral in the world.  Completed in 1506, it is said that the builders declared, “Let us build a church so beautiful and so grand that those who see it finished will think we are mad“. It is way too large to capture in one photo.

Inside are the bones of Christopher Columbus (at least some of them).

The main altar is gloriously gilded:

As compared to the Altar de Plata, which shimmers in silver:

We climbed the Giraldo Tower, which predates the cathedral, as it was part of the mosque that previously stood on this site.  Instead of flights of steps, you climb the tower in a series of ramps.  It was built this way to make it easier to ascend on horseback.

The views of the city from the top were spectacular:

While we were up in the tower, one of the bells pealed the quarter hour.  I may recover my hearing someday!

The cathedral is flanked by a garden of orange trees.  I heard a tour guide tell his group that the water used to wash people’s feet in the cathedral drains out to water the orange trees. As we didn’t see any foot washing going on, I question this assertion.

For some reason, there is a stuffed crocodile hanging outside the garden.  I believe it was a gift.

There were many little chapels around the sides of the cathedral.  The Capilla de San Antonio held a baptismal font large enough to swim in, and a famous painting of the Vision of St. Anthony.

Here is a vision of Jim and me, amid the silver and gold!