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Country: SpainAddress: Arco de Palacio 2, Plaza del Ayuntamiento, Toledo
Website: Uploaded artworks: 11 Uploaded artist: 5
Unique in Spain and only smaller in size that that of Seville, the Cathedral of de Toledo is a spectacular example of Spanish art and architecture. Here we find traces of all the artistic styles predominant in the History of Spain. A Gothic structure in the construction, Moorish traces in the plasterwork and ceilings of the chapterhouse, Baroque influences in the âTransparenteâ, Neo-classicism in the Puerta Llana, etc.
To walk slowly around its naves, chapels and rooms is to travel through time and discover that the past still lives, praising and glorifying eternity.
The Cathedral of Toledo is perhaps the most representative of the city its appearance is due to the master builder MartĂn, who worked in Toledo from 1227 to 1234, its construction being continued by the master Petrus Petri.
The floor shape is of five naves, with a trefoil of lobed arches, and a modest but spacious transept with an ambulatory that opens on to many chapels. The ambulatory has a vaulted roof, with alternate rectangular and triangular stretches.
The walls feature large windows and rose windows with beautiful glasswork, the oldest of which dates from the 14th century.
The centre of the temple is occupied by the Chancel and the Choir, both separated by the transept. Noticeable in the chancel are the Renaissance tomb of Cardinal Mendoza and the royal tombs of Alfonso VII and Berenguela, on one side of the presbytery and those of Sancho and MarĂa de Molina on the other. The altarpiece, very interesting as a whole, was made at the beginning of the 16th century by Enrique Egas and Pedro Gumiel and the sculptures CopĂn de Holanda, SebastiĂĄn de Almonacid and Felipe Bigarry. The rail and the two pulpits at the ends are the work of Francisco de Villalpando. In 1732, behind the High Altar, Narciso TomĂ© constructed the âTransparenteâ, a scenographic composition of sculpture and painting that is one of the most representative works of the Spanish Baroque.
In the choir, built after some reforms to the cathedral, the double lines of choir stalls are outstanding. The lower choir stall is the work of Rodrigo AlemĂĄn and of special interest is the relief work on the upper part of the backs, which tell the story of the campaigns of the War of Granada and the conquest of cities such as Alhama, Alora, Ronda, etc. The upper choir stall was commissioned in 1539 from Alonso Berruguete and Felipe Bigarny, the first of whom also carved the archbishopâs throne and the group of the Transfiguration located over the retrochoir. Also worthy of mention in the choir are the Gothic image of the Virgen Blanca (14th century) and two lecterns with bronze reliefs by NicolĂĄs Vergara. Punctuating the walls that make up the choir are two pipe organs, the more remarkable of which is that known as âthe archbishopâsâ, built in 1756 by Pedro de Livorno.
There are many chapels and annexes in the cathedral and innumerable works of art are housed there. The Chapel of the Reyes Nuevos, built by Alonso de Covarrubias, serves as the pantheon of the TrastĂĄmara family, with outstanding walnut seating and the tombs, in Plateresque niches, of Juan I and his wife Leonor. The Chapel of St. James, or the Condestable is one of the great works of the Florid Gothic period and houses the tombs of various relatives of the Condestable in the walls, whilst in the centre lie those of Ălvaro de Luna and Juana Pimentel, finished in 1489 by the sculptor Pablo Ortiz. On the main altarpiece is an interesting colourist gilded sculpture of St. James on horseback. In the Chapel of San Ildefonso, to the right of the Chapel of St. James the tomb of the Archbishop Alonso Carrillo de Albornoz, made by the sculptor Vasco de la Zarza is noticeable; the railings are by the master Pablo and the sculptures by Juan Pascual de Mena and Manuel Ălvarez. Also worthy of mention are the tomb of Bishop Castillo, carved by Covarrubias, in the Chapel of Santa Eugenia; the altarpiece of Juan de BorgoĂ±a and that of Felipe Bigarny for the Chapel of the DescensiĂłn; The Chapel of El Sagrario started by NicolĂĄs Vergara and completed by Juan Bautista Monegro; the Mozarabic chapel, under the dome that should have been the second cathedral spire, with a splendid railing by Juan FrancĂ©s, and the Chapel of the Reyes Viejos or el EspĂritu Santo, with its Plateresque railings by Domingo de CĂ©spedes.
The chapter house was commissioned by Cardinal Cisneros from Enrique Egas and Pedro Gumiel. The wooden roof of the anteroom is especially attractive, made up of different coffers and fine Mudejar-style polychromy. The entry into the chapter house itself is through a door framed by beautiful Mudejar plasterwork, and within the house oneâs attention is called to the original crossed-coffer roof and especially the pictorial work of Juan de BorgoĂ±a on the upper part of the walls. The Sacristy, whose roof is decorated with a fresco by Lucas JordĂĄn, is a museum in which outstanding works of art such as El Expolio and El Apostolado by El Greco, El Prendimiento by Goya, and works by ZurbarĂĄn, Rubens, Rizzi, TristĂĄn, Titian etc. are displayed, together with valuable codices, such as the three books on the Bible by San Luis (1250). In adjoining rooms are a fine collection of chasubles and vestments from diverse periods.
In addition, there are numerous examples of gold and silverwork and jewellery held by the cathedral, outstanding amongst which is the monstrance by Enrique de Arfe which is amongst the treasures.
Completing the artistic interest of the cathedral are the cloisters (14th-15th centuries) and the Puerta del Reloj, its three archivolts, spandrel and colonette covered in figures; the three doors of the main faĂ§ade (Puerta del PerdĂłn, de la Torre and del Escribano) and the Puerta de los Leones, sculpted by, amongst others, HannequĂn Egas and Cueman (15th century).
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