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The Cathedral Church

The Cathedral Church, where is the Archbishop's cathedra, is sign for his teaching, his pastoral ministry and the unity of the believers in the faith he spreads.

The Cathedral Church is symbol and home for the diocesan community presided by the Bishop whose cathedra is in it... where we discover Christ teaching us along the time through his apostolic succession...

John Paul in Madrid, 15 June 1993

click here to enlarge this imageAs a consequence, The Cathedral Church must be considered as the centre of the liturgical life of the Diocese, being revered by all the diocesans and as the place to celebrate those ceremonies, which reflect the life of the Church of Valencia.

The Building

Some vestiges of the first Cathedral from the Roman-Visigoth period are found in the apse, the baptistery and a 6th century crypt chapel. In the 8th century the major mosque of Balansiya was built and in 1262 the first stone was laid for the present gothic-style cathedral, starting from the Almoina door (late roman period) and the ambulatory.

click here to enlarge this imageThe ground of the Cathedral has a Latin cross shape with an ambulatory and a dome over the crossing. The naves have a modest height (being 16 metres the central one) and narrow windows suiting the basilical style of the Italian churches of the mendicant orders. The dome is almost 40 metres in height. In that way, it could be possible to get a spacious area with 90 metres in length. The first builder was Arnau Vidal.

click here to enlarge this imageIn the 14th century, the gothic door of the apostles was built (started in 1300) as well as the dome, the Chapter hall (Holy Chalice Chapel, started in 1356) and the bell tower called “Micalet” (1381) both works were carried out under the direction of Andreu Juli. In the next century, the nave was extended till these constructions by the architect Pere Compte.

click here to enlarge this imageThe Renaissance style had many early manifestations, like the redecoration of the Great Chapel by Paolo da San Leocadio and Francesco Pagano (since 1472). The main silver altarpiece with its doors and the “Lonja de los canónigos” by Miguel Porcar, keeping the aim to conceal the gothic style in the Baroque period (choir and the “iron door” designed by Konrad Rudolf at the start of the 18th century) left good evidence in this temple that was redecorated in the neoclassical style during the 18th century, as can be appreciated in the ambulatory and the side chapels in accordance with Antonio Gilabert’s design.

click here to enlarge this imageAfter the Civil War (1936-1939), the choir was placed in the apse and the high altar in the centre of the transept. It was after 1974 that the gothic style was recreated in the naves of the temple under the direction of Juan Segura de Lago, Fernando Chueca y Luis Gay. This cathedral excels in the quality of its paintings, whose artists are Hernando (Yañez de la Almedina y de Llanos) Vicente Macip, Vergara, Camarón, Planes, Maella and Goya (Borgia Chapel) From the 13th to the 21st century all the styles have left marks in this church.

click here to enlarge this imageIn the Museum of the cathedral, we can see the authentic images of the Apostles Door, 15th and 16th century panel paintings (Maral de Sas, Jacomart, San Leocadio, Vicente Macip and Juan de Juanes, among others), canvases by Vergara and Lopez and the monumental monstrance of the Corpus Christi ceremony.

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