|Metropolitan Cathedral of the Incarnation
Santa Iglesia Catedral Metropolitana de la Encarnación
Facade of the Cathedral
|District||Archdiocese of Granada|
|Ecclesiastical or organizational status||Cathedral|
|Architectural style||Renaissance, Baroque|
Granada Cathedral, or the Cathedral of the Incarnation (Spanish: Catedral de Granada, Santa Iglesia Catedral Metropolitana de la Encarnación de Granada) is a Roman Catholic church in the city of Granada, capital of the province of the same name in the Autonomous Region of Andalusia, Spain. The cathedral is the seat of the Archdiocese of Granada.
Unlike most cathedrals in Spain, construction of this one was not begun until the sixteenth century, as it had to await the acquisition of the Nasrid kingdom of Granada from its Muslim rulers in 1492. While its earliest plans had Gothic designs, such as are evident in the Royal Chapel of Granada by Enrique Egas, the construction of the church in the main occurred at a time when Spanish Renaissance designs were supplanting the Gothic regnant in Spanish architecture of prior centuries. Foundations for the church were laid by the architect Egas starting from 1518 to 1523 atop the site of the city's main mosque; by 1529, Egas was replaced by Diego de Siloé who labored for nearly four decades on the structure from ground to cornice, planning the triforium and five naves instead of the usual three. Most unusually, he created a circular capilla mayor (principal chapel) rather than a semicircular apse, perhaps inspired by Italian ideas for circular 'perfect buildings' (e.g., in Alberti's works). Within its structure the cathedral combines other orders of architecture.
Subsequent architects included Juan de Maena (1563–1571), followed by Juan de Orea (1571–1590), and Ambrosio de Vico (1590–?). In 1667 Alonso Cano, working with Gaspar de la Peña, altered the initial plan for the main façade, introducing Baroque elements. The cathedral took 181 years to build. Its magnificence would be even greater had the two 81-meter towers included in the plans been built; however, the project remained incomplete for various reasons, among them financial.
The main chapel contains two kneeling effigies of the Catholic King and Queen, Isabel and Ferdinand by Pedro de Mena y Medrano. The busts of Adam and Eve were made by Alonso Cano. The Chapel of the Trinity has a marvelous retablo with paintings by El Greco, Jusepe de Ribera and Alonso Cano.
Granada's cathedral has a rectangular base due to its five naves that completely cover the cross, which doesn't stand out over the floor-plan. All of the five naves are staggered in height, the central one being bigger. At the foot of the cathedral there are located two towers. The left one, called the tower of San Miguel, being a buttress which replaced the planned tower on that side.
The facade consists of a framed structure in the form of a triumphal arch with portals and canvas. It consists of three pillars crowned by semicircular arches supported on pilasters, similar to San Andrés de Mantua of Leon Battista Alberti. The pilasters don't have capitals but projections sculptured in the walls, as well as attached marble medallions. Above the main door is located a marble tondo from "José Laughing on the Annunciation". Additionally, there is a vase with lilies at the top, alluding to the virgin and pure nature of the mother of God.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cathedral of Granada.|
- Website of Granada Cathedral with relevant information
- Guide to monuments of Granada: the Cathedral (in Spanish)
- Information about Granada Cathedral on a website devoted monuments of Granada, Spain
- Del arte árabe en España A nook By Rafael Contreras y Muñoz dealing with Arabs and Spanish art and architecture, pages 1–7.
- Information on the Cathedrals of Granada on the Spain.info website.
- History of the monuments of Granada in English
- Detailed maps of Granada
- Information on the Cathedrals of Granada on a Nicaraguan website
- Tourist Guide to Granada Cathedral and other places of tourist interest in Spain.
- Guide to Granada Cathedral and the city of Granada