Monday, 8 June 2015

Cadiz Cathedral

I visited Cadiz a few months back and had the chance to visit lots of pretty places (I wrote about our visit to the museum here).

One of the magnificent places that I was able to visit was the cathedral, known as Catedral de Santa Cruz de Cadiz.

The cathedral took over a century to build because, much like all the other impressive cathedrals around Europe, no one ever had enough money. Construction began in 1722 and was completed in 1838. It is currently the seat of the diocese of both Cadiz and Ceuta, one of the two Spanish autonomous communities in northern Africa. Its importance to heritage has been acknowledged by a heritage register in Spain known as the Bien de Interes Cultural, meaning Heritage of Cultural Interest. You can visit the cathedral for a small price and it is well worth the money. It is situated on the aptly named Plaza del Catedral and there is a blue print of the building itself on the space in front of it. My friend tried to point it out for me but unfortunately it was hidden by the setting up of the stages for their festival over Easter!

You are offered an audio guide which comes in a handful of languages. We picked some up although listening to it all would take you hours.

The Baroque exterior. It has a look of almost every single other Spanish church or cathedral I have seen from the period. They loved a Borromini style recess and protrusion coupled with a bright and cheerful render. I think that is perhaps the most pronounced element of Spanish Baroque, the facades are airy and maximise the power of the Mediterranean sun. The effect of light on these buildings produce a sense of awe much akin to the mission of the baroque style: to impress and intimidate. The cupola's either side of the hilariously magnified pedestal on which the equally as funny tiny pediment sits remind me of Wren's St Paul's. The style is not solely baroque though, although most certainly a large quantity of it is(the exaggerated-ness of it definitely gives the building an overwhelming sense of the baroque), it also has elements of the rococo and neoclassical.
The architect responsible for the design was Vicente Acero, who also produced the designs for the cathedral in Granada. The designs were drafted almost two whole centuries after the 13th century cathedral that originally stood there had been burnt down. Like Granada's cathedral the outcome strayed slightly from the original design due to the time scale in which it was completed. This accounts for the neoclassical and rococo elements.

The cathedral contains much of its past within it, in the form of relics and such. Not only that, it also represents churches in the area, with parts of their collection having been amassed over the years from their neighbouring places of worship.

If you recall me mentioning rococo, here it is. Serpentine columns and an abundance of different materials, textures and colours used at the same time.

Two very different pulpits. The first is the kind you find in the larger, more important cathedrals and the bottom is more of a modest one that you might find in your local parish church.


The beautiful neoclassical dome strung out on pendentives. You can kind of see the netting beneath it. This netting covered almost all of the roof and if you looked close enough you could see big chunks of plaster caught in them. Really sad that its so delicate, it obviously needs a lot of attention.


The entrance into the crypt.

The photos below are of the crypt where important figures from Cadiz have been buried. Most notably Manuel de Falla, a famous composer.

Looked Dali-ish to me

Very purrdy
Will have to visit again


No comments:

Post a Comment