Cathedral : Michelin's recommendations
Begun in 1262, the Cathedral dates mainly from the 14C and 15C. It leans on the Miguelete or Micalet Tower, the bell of which was blessed on Saint Michael's Day. The main façade was remodelled in the 18C following the plans of a German architect inspired by Italian baroque. The Assumption on the pediment is the work of Ignacio Vergara and d'Estève. On the north side, the Doorway of the Apostles still has its Gothic contours and sculptures. Despite the low vaults, the nave is light. The brightness comes mostly through the alabaster panes of the windows in the lantern tower, at the crossing of the transept. Alabaster is used elsewhere. It can be found in the ambulatory, in a Resurrection (1510, translucent alabaster) and the Virgin del Coro (15C, many-coloured alabaster) and in the Holy Chalice Chapel, with twelve bas-reliefs by the Florentine Poggibonsi (called in Valencia Julian Fiorentino). This chapel has been a sacred place since the 15C. It is said that the cornelian cup occupying a place of honour behind the altar may be the legendary Holy Grail. It is said to have been brought to the Monastery of San Juan de la Peña in the third century, before being given to the Cathedral by the Kings of Aragon. From this room, you can go into the museum, in which notable items include two canvases by Goya portraying Saint Francis Borgia. On leaving, if you have not already done so, linger in front of the altarpiece at the high altar. It was painted in the 16C by Fernando de Llanos and Yáñez de la Almedina, the first in Spain to be inspired by Leonardo da Vinci.
Opening hours :
- mid Mar-end Oct: 10am-6pm (8.30pm in summer), Sun 2pm-5.30pm; rest of year: closed Sun and Bank Hols
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