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Cathedral of Jerez de la Frontera

Jerez Cathedral  © Michelle Chaplow
Jerez Cathedral

Cathedral of Jerez de la Frontera

Catedral de Nuestro Señor San Salvador is a Catholic church located in Jerez de la Frontera. It is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Asidonia-Jerez. It was built in the 17th century and is a mix of Gothic, Baroque and Neoclassical style. It was elevated to the rank of cathedral in 1980 and it was declared Bien de Interés Cultural in 1931.

The cathedral is on a central plan with a nave and four aisles of uneven height. The building is supported externally by normal and flying buttresses and crossing the transept is a dome. The interior houses a Virgin Mary by Francisco Zurbarán, and a late 15th-century Gothic Crucifix (named Cristo de la Viga).

History

The current cathedral stands on the remains of the Great Mosque of Jerez which was replaced after the reconquest with the Church of El Salvador demolished in 1695, only the tower remains.

On May 9, 1695, the 'Cabildo Colegial' (church council) undertook the work of a building a new new church which was entrusted to the master builder of Jerez, Diego Moreno Meléndez. The work took for more than eighty years and the first worship was on June 16, 1756 and the church completed in December 1778.

Jerez Cathedral was a Collegiate Church and elevated to cathedral on March 3, 1980.

Construction

The cathedral is a Gothic structure, with five naves of unequal height that are supported externally flying buttresses. There is a transverse nave with a octagonal dome at 40 meters elevation. Each edges of the octagon are decorated by stone statues representing saints. Saint Augustine, Saint Ambrose, Saint Gregory the Great, Saint Jerome, Saint Athanasius, Saint John Crosostom, Saint Basil the Great and Saint Gregory Nazianzen. The central nave and the transept have a height of 20 meters, the collateral naves 13 meters and the outer naves 8 meters.

Decorations

Paintings in the cathedral are 'Cristo de la Viga' from the end of the fifteenth century and the Virgin Girl by Francisco de Zurbarán. There is a silver processional thrrone from 1951 by Aurelio Gómez Millán. There are also sculptures of the apostles by José de Arce.

Belltower

The belltower is Gothic-Mudejar in its lower part and Baroque in its upper part. Its construction was probably carried out over the minaret of the old mosque of the city from the Muslim era. The dome is decorated with coloured tiles and topped with a cross-shaped weather vane.

There are three bell rooms in the tower connected by a iron spiral staircase. In the tower are eight bells; four fixed and another four swinging plus two small bells for communication. Each bells has a name inscribed on it as well as its year of casting and a legend or prayer. in the lowest room are La Gorda (1566), San Salvador (1682), San Miguel Menor (1752), San Miguel Mayor (1797). At the next level are Salvadora (1885), San José (1885) and Sagrado Corazón (1928), which are the highest pitched bells. On the highest level are Santa Águeda (1510), the oldest piece and the fixed bell of the clock. The largest of them all is La Gorda, with a diameter of 137 cm and a weight of 1489 kg.

A unique instrument best described a rattle is also located here. It is a wooden box in the shape of a bell, with various metal handles, which are hit by pieces of iron fixed to a wooden support. The playing of this instrument only takes place between Easter Thursday and Saturday, since tradition prohibited the ringing of the bells during these time.

Open

Cultural Visits
Monday to Saturday 10.00 to 18.00 hrs
Sunday 13.00 to 18.00 hrs
Last admission 40m before closing

Admission

Cathedral: General admision 6€
Seniors 5€
Students 4€
Visit includes audio guide available in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Russian
Children under 12 free

Tower: General admision 4€
Seniors 4€
Students 4€
Children under 12 free

Discount for purchase of cathedral and tower together

Contact

Tel: 956 16 9059

Location

Plaza Encarnación, s/n, Jerez de la Frontera

Destinations

See and Do