Llocs religiososGironaGironès

The Girona Cathedral

Clica per puntuar
(Vots: 0 Mitjana: 0)

Located at the highest point of the historical center of the city, known as the Barri Vell, the cathedral of Girona along with the Church of Saint Felix, forms the most iconic image of the city.
The Girona Cathedral
The Cathedral of Santa Maria, popularly known as the Girona Cathedral, is the result of the influence of different architectural styles and historical periods. Although its construction began in the 11th century, the monumental temple was not completed until the 18th century.

Its most unique element is probably the immense Baroque staircase; consisting of ninety steps, through which one reaches the main entrance; the latter, dating from the 17th century. Moreover, this and other locations in the city were chosen to film some scenes of the legendary series Game of Thrones.
The Girona Cathedral

In fact, the building has undergone various renovations, taking into account different moments in history, which has resulted in its current appearance. On one hand, it features a Gothic nave; the widest in the world, complemented by an imposing Baroque facade. On the other, the cloister and the Charlemagne tower, the latter in Romanesque style, complete the ensemble.

Originally, the cathedral served as the seat of the bishop of the diocese, and later, Bishop Pere Roger ordered the first renovation. In 1038 the new Romanesque cathedral was raised, of which the cloister, two wings of canonical dependencies, and the iconic bell tower remain. The latter has an octagonal plan, is six stories high, and at its highest point, there is a bronze angel.

Bell Tower Cathedral of Girona
Bell Tower Cathedral of Girona

In the 14th century, a new reform of the head was undertaken, and initially, it was proposed to build three naves. However, there were different opinions on the matter, as there was also the idea of building only one. This led to a debate that lasted almost half a century, and, finally, in 1417 the latter option was agreed upon, a single nave of 23 meters in height would be constructed.

The staircase leading to the access door of the temple, from the 17th century, is one of the most unique Baroque architectural elements in Europe.

Also notable are the lateral Gothic porticoes, known as the door of Saint Michael, and the door of the Apostles.

door of the Apostles
Door of the Apostles

The facade, from the 18th century, was designed by Pau Costa, and consists of three vertical bodies. Above the main frontispiece is the bell tower or Charlemagne tower, dated from the 12th century, which also serves as a buttress for the central nave.

Interestingly, from the tower protrudes the only human-shaped gargoyle of the ensemble, representing a legendary character: the witch of the cathedral. Legend has it that this was the divine punishment for a woman who blasphemed and threw stones at the temple.

witch of the cathedral
Witch of the cathedral

Once inside the cathedral, visitors feel utterly small, immersed in a space topped by a huge vault. Additionally, it houses thirty chapels, decorated with their respective images and altarpieces.

The main altar stands out, showcasing a lavish gilded altarpiece, adorned with stones and enamels, and the emblematic Charlemagne’s chair, made of marble.

At the northern end is the Romanesque cloister, built by the sculptor Arnau Cadell, featuring a unique double colonnade, and scenes from the Bible on the capitals.

Before leaving the temple, it is worth visiting the Cathedral Treasury, located in the Chapter Museum.

Finally, if you want to delve deeper into the history and symbolism of this unique work in the world, we recommend checking out the various options for guided tours offered by the Girona Art Museum.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button