Visit to Cathedral of San Salvador Zaragoza, Spain
UNESCO Heritage sites charm me. And since I am focused on those monuments itinerary gets skewed and drives get meandered along those routes which are populated heavily with heritage monuments. The road trip Madrid to Barcelona was maneuvered via Zaragoza. This post focuses on Cathedral of San Salvador, which is completing 900 years of existence in this century.
History of Cathedral of San Salvador Zaragoza
…the same repetitive constructions…
History of this cathedral is similar to many other cathedrals in Spain. Modern town Zaragoza was initially known as Saragossa. Before this cathedral came up here, it was the site of a mosque Aljama of Saraqusta which was built in 8th century. And it is also claimed that this mosque came up on the ruins of Roman forum though there is no archaeological proof for it. Roman forum existed in the 1st century BC, known during the Visigoth period as the church of San Vicente.
Cathedral del Salvador Zaragoza, today commonly called as La Seo, was built on this site between 12th and 16th centuries. The construction has never stopped. Since then, the cathedral is being rebuilt, reformed, improved and widened over the centuries. Today the Cathedral has Romanesque, Mudéjar, Gothic, Baroque architectural styles, the influence of several styles that existed in those centuries. Parts of its facade are a proof of that.
UNESCO Heritage Site Status
In December 2001, Cathedral of San Salvador (La Seo), in Zaragoza got the status of UNESCO World Heritage site. It is considered as one of the most representative Mudéjar architecture of Aragón. Over the past so many years it has become the final resting place for many archbishops and special people. Kings of Argon were crowned in elaborate ceremony from the 13-15th centuries. The last King to be crown in this church was Charles I.
What to see in Cathedral of San Salvador
There are several interesting things to see in this Cathedral of San Salvador Zaragoza. The main nave is a magnificent Gothic altarpiece. It is a masterpiece of alabaster (a translucent form of gypsum or calcite, typically white, often carved into ornaments.) and is considered to be the best of Europe. Work on this began in 1434 and took about 50 years to complete.
Also noteworthy here is the choir stalls. The choir section is formed by 117 oaken seats built by three monks. It is enclosed by a bronze grating accented with sculptures of gilded wood by Juan Ramírez. You can see it in the foreground of the picture.
Make it a point to look up. Don’t miss the beautiful dome. And look down too the marble patterns in the floor are a sight to behold. Perfection defined all over, from ceiling to floor! The grandeur, the nooks, the paintings, the floor, the roof every part has an aura around it.
Wiki has names of 16 chapels inside the cathedral. Of these Saint Bruno and Virgen Blanca(white virgin) chapels are stunning.
Exteriors of Cathedral of San Salvador Zaragoza too have a personality. You can head to the north side of the church to view the elaborate Mudéjar brick and ceramic work that make up the north wall of the Cathedral. This is one of the remains from 11th century.
Location of La Seo Cathedral Zaragoza
The cathedral is located in Plaza de la Seo.
When is Cathedral of San Salvador open?
Tuesday to Friday – 10am-2pm, 6-6.30pm,
Saturday – 10am-12.30pm &4-6.30pm,
Sunday – 10am-noon & 4-6.30pm.
Tickets to Cathedral Zaragoza
Adults – 4euros. Children – free.