Granada Cathedral of Incarnation is one of my favorite churches in Europe. It's not as grand as St. Peter's Basilica but its interiors is a standout.
It’s regarded as the masterpiece of Spanish Renaissance style and became the model for Renaissance churches in Spain and Latin America.
The façade doesn’t look impressive at first glance, but once you enter the cathedral, you’ll get a peek of its elaborate design.
What I liked about Santa Iglesia Catedral Metropolitana de la Encarnación de Granada is that the entrance fee includes a very helpful audioguide that explains a lot about the cathedral’s history, art, and architecture.
Here are some of the interesting tidbits that I remembered from my solo tour:
1. Granada Cathedral is the 4th largest cathedral in the world.
2. It’s style is Renaissance but its foundations is actually Gothic, making it a very “uniquely mixed” cathedral.
3. It has many chapels of different designs and ages.
4. It took 181 years for the cathedral to be built.
5. 7 architects designed the cathedral before it was finally finished.
6. It was first intended to become the royal mausoleum by Charles I of Spain. But Philip II decided to move the site for his father to El Escorial (in Madrid).
7. You can find numerous paintings and sculptures by the artist Alonso Cano here.
8. Its dome is breathtakingly beautiful. Also designed by Alonso Cano, its intricate decorations are amazing. It's like marveling at art pieces in a museum with Cano's different paintings.
9. The grand altar is just grand!
10. Its intricately decorated capilla mayor is circular rather than the usual semicircular.
11. Granada Cathedral's doors are also striking with their sizes and details.
12. There is a Royal Chapel adjacent to the cathedral. You can find the resting place of Queen Isabella I of Castile, King Ferdinand II of Aragon, and other members of the royal family here. The line going inside is usually long and picture taking is not allowed.
13. Inside the Royal Chapel, you can also find the Sacristy Museum. It has numerous interesting paintings and artifacts from the Spanish royal family. Be sure to check out the library of Queen Isabella I.
14. Aside from the cathedral and Royal Chapel, you can also enter the museum that is connected to the cathedral. There are several interesting paintings, church artifacts and art pieces that you can enjoy here.
Whether you're religious or not, touring the Granada Cathedral is enjoyable for it enriches your knowledge about history, art, and architecture. If you're planning to go here solo, fear not! My experience here was fun (thanks to my very reliable audioguide).
General admission: 5 euros (with audioguide included)
Address: Gran Vía de Colon 5, 18001
How to Go to Granada Cathedral By Bus: bus stop GRAN VIA 1 through city buses LAC, C1, C2, SN1 and SN4
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