Royal Chapel of St. Anthony of La Florida
|Royal Chapel of St. Anthony of La Florida|
Native name |
Spanish: Ermita de San Antonio de la Florida
|Official name: Ermita de San Antonio de la Florida|
The Royal Chapel of St. Anthony of La Florida (Spanish: Real Ermita de San Antonio de la Florida) is a Neoclassical chapel in central Madrid. The chapel is 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.
The structure was declared a national monument in 1905. 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.
On every June 13, the chapel becomes the site of a lively pilgrimage in which young unwed women come to pray to Saint Anthony and to ask for a partner.
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.
- "Una ermita con historia". San Antonio de la Florida (in Spanish). Ayuntamiento de Madrid. Retrieved June 13, 2011.
- Carlos, Fuentes (1992). "The Buried Mirror: Reflections on Spain and the New World. London". Andre Deutsch Ltd ISBN 978-02339-79953 p.230.
- "San Antonio de la Florida: One of Goya's Masterpieces". Buildings and Monuments. E.M. Promoción Madrid. Retrieved June 13, 2011.
- "La devoción a San Antonio en la ribera del Manzanares". San Antonio de la Florida (in Spanish). Ayuntamiento de Madrid. Retrieved June 13, 2011.
- "Marisa Cancela, University of Zaragoza".
Media related to San Antonio de la Florida Hermitage at Wikimedia Commons