Catedral de Toledo de Santa Maria

Santa Iglesia Catedral Primada de Toledo, Calle Cardenal Cisneros, Toledo, Španija

Website of the Sanctuary

+ 00 34 925 222 241

Museum: Monday to Saturday: Opens at 10:00 - 18:00 and closes at 18:30. Sundays and designated days: Opens at 14:00 - 18:00 and closes at 18:30.

Besides its historical and artistic value, Catedral de Toledo has a theological meaning as a reference for the pastoral life of the diocese priests and loyal laypersons.

Cathedrals have been a place where our occidental and European culture has been forged and where the beginnings of our universities were created. They furthered social reform and were art workshops. Today, cathedrals are a witness of that culture and a message of significance and values for everyone.

Catedral de Toledo

The Catedral de Toledol is dedicated to Virgin Mary in her Ascension to the heavens. Its construction began in 1227 under order of the Archbishop Don Rodrigo Jiménez mandate. The site was situated over the foundations of the Visigoth Cathedral in the sixth century, which had been used as a Mosque.

Constructed in a Gothic style with a French influence, it measures 120 m long by 60 m wide and contains 5 naves supported by 88 pillars and 72 vaults. The side naves are extended behind the Main Chapel surrounding the presbytery and this creates an apse aisle with a double semicircular corridor. Its first architect was the French origin Master Martín, who made the outlines and began construction at the front of the temple.


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The side naves could not be finished until the fourteenth century, in the time of Archbishop Don Pedro Tenorio. Also in this century on the north side, the low cloister was built with its compartments, the most remarkable of which is Chapel of Saint Blaise which was used as his burial.

In the fifteenth century, Chapel of Saint Peter was erected close to the entrance of the cloister and subsequently, Chapel of Saint James. A private vault was built in front of it for the Luna family and at the end of this century, in 1493, Don Pedro González de Mendoza the Archbishop and adviser of Isabella the Catholic, sealed the final vault. From this moment on it can be said that this great construction was finished.

In the sixteenth century, the altarpiece and the upper part of the choir and grilles were built. In the first half of the century, all the stained glass windows were closed and some alterations were planned: the Capitulary Room, the Mozarabic Chapel with Cisneros and the Chapel of the New Monarchs (los Reyes Nuevos) with Fonseca.

The Catedral de Toledo is the Mother Church of diocese because it holds the chair or See of the Bishop, is the place where the Eucharist and the rest of the liturgical celebrations are held. Therefore, this Cathedral is like an evident symbol from the particular Church, a part of the Church of Jesus Christ; One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic.

Chapel of the Holy Sacrament

The Capilla del Santísimo houses an image of Our Lady, the Virgen del Sagrario, patron saint of Toledo. She owes her name to the fact that she is kept in the Sacrarium, the holy place, where the reliquaries of the saints worshipped in the Cathedral are kept.

The image of the Patron Saint of Toledo seated on a gold-plated silver throne, the work of Florentine Virgilio Fanelli in the second half of the 17th century, is a late 12th century statue made in wood. In 1465 the statue was coated in silver and its clothing was adorned with a gold hem encrusted with precious stones.

The Virgin is seated with the Child, likewise coated in silver, on her knees. Her right hand is raised in a sign of blessing and she holds a ball with a cross in her left hand.

Tradition has it that the image of the Virgen del Sagrario, which was hidden by the Muslims who had occupied Spain, was discovered after Toledo was conquered by the Christians in 1085, when she rose from the water in the Pozo de la Virgen (the Virgin’s Well) in the Cathedral’s cloister, holding a lighted candle in her hand.

THE MAIN CHAPEL

The current floor plan was made by Cardinal Cisneros, who ordered its reform whilst leaving some of the previous elements remaining.

Thanks to the move to one side of the Chapel of the Old Monarchs (los Reyes Viejos) he got an enlargement, while the king Alfonso VII on the left, his son Sancho the Desired or Sancho the Brave on the right, remains buried in their original sepulchres.

The Main Chapel has one of the most sumptuous craftsmanship grilles from the Spanish Renaissance, made by Francisco de Villalpando and it took more than 10 years to complete. The piece is divided into two panels and five rows and is finished with a magnificent Crucifix and Charles V coat of arms.

The Descension Chapel

The Descension Chapel was founded by Enrique II and is located between the two smaller naves and the second pillar at the base of the cathedral.

This is believed to be the real origin of the Cathedral, as the Main Altar of the Visigothic Basilica stood here. Tradition has it that it was here where Virgin Mary Descended to put the chasuble on Bishop Saint Ildephonsus.

CHAPEL OF THE NEW MONARCHS

This Chapel is so named to differentiate it from the Chapel of the Old Monarchs (los Reyes Viejos), found inside the Main Chapel. It was built between 1531 and 1534 over the old blacksmithing workshop in the cathedral and was intended as a funeral chapel for the Trastámara dynasty.

The great altarpiece from 1805 was funded by Charles IV and consists of a canvas by Maella. Two organs made in 1654 and 1721 complete this beautiful chapel.

CHAPEL OF SAINT JAMES

This funeral chapel was built between 1435 and 1440 by Hanequín de Bruselas and was financed by the Constable of Castile Don Álvaro de Luna, the favourite of Juan II until he was beheaded in 1453.

It takes up three quarters of the outside apse aisle and it was made in a Gothic Toledan style with a star shaped, arch ribbed vault. In the middle of the chapel there are the sepulchres of Don Álvaro de Luna and his wife Doña Juana Pimentel and it is only thanks to her, that the chapel could be finished.

Chapel of Saint Ildephonsus

This chapel was erected in it’s present form for the burial of the distinguished Cardinal Gil Carrillo de Albornoz (†1364), pontifical legate, minister of Alfonso XI and founder of the Spanish College of Bologna and it takes up the central part of the apse. It is octagonal shaped in a Gothic style, with tracery vaulting and golden lobes on the ribs. It also contains the coat of arms from Albornoz.

Chapel of Saint Blaise

The Chapel of Saint Blaise was built in 1397 in the north-eastern angle of the cloister by order of the Archbishop Don Pedro Tenorio for his burial. It is a space with a central plan covered by a vault split into eight pieces whose ribs lean on corbels.

Without doubt, the biggest artistic treasures that this chapel has to offer are the murals that were recently rescued from the damp and restored to their former glory. The ones over the cornice show the different passages of the Creed.

They start on the west side with the representation of the evangelists Saint John and Saint Lucas writing. Following the minute hand the Annunciation (west wall), the Adoration of the Shepherds, Jesus in the presence of Caifas, the Crucifixion, the Saint Funeral (lost), the Descension to the Limbo (lost), the Ascension of Christ (east wall), the Son seated at the Father’s right, the Final Judgment, Pentecost, the Resurrection of the Body (south wall) and the Transfiguration in Mount Tabor (west wall).

Besides its historical and artistic value, this Cathedral has a theological meaning as a reference for the pastoral life of the diocese priests and loyal laypersons.

The Holy Church Cathedral is dedicated to Virgin Mary in her Ascension to the heavens. 

Constructed in a Gothic style with a French influence, it measures 120 m long by 60 m wide and contains 5 naves supported by 88 pillars and 72 vaults.

When you buy a ticket-donation, you are contributing to the maintenance of the Cathedral and its Museums, and to the Church’s works of charity. Tickets are only valid for the day they are issued.

Museums

  • Sacristy
  • Treasure
  • Arfe’s Monstrance
  • Chapter House
  • Choir
  • Transparente
  • Gallery

Complete Tour, (12,50 €) enables you to visit:

• The Primate Temple
• Museums: The Choir, Chapter House, Treasury and Sacristy
• Capilla de Reyes (Royal Chapel)
• The Cloister, the Bayeu paintings and the Chapel of St. Blas
• Bell Tower. Visit the Campana Gorda (Big Bell) and do not miss the splendid panoramic views of Toledo.

• Colegio Infantes Museum

Museums, (10 €) enables you to visit:
• The Primate Temple
• Museums: The Choir, Chapter House, Treasury and Sacristy
• Capilla de Reyes (Royal Chapel)
• The Cloister and the Bayeu paintings
• The Chapel of St. Blas
• Colegio Infantes Museum

RULES

You are not allowed to enter the Cathedral and its Museums with food and refreshments.

Works of art

It is forbidden to touch the works of art.
Laser pointers are forbidden.
All the works of art and the Museums are protected by alarms.
There is a CCTV (closed circuit TV) system

Microphones

Microphone amplifiers are forbidden.

Clothing

Visitors must enter the Cathedral and Museums with appropriate dress and decorum.

Photos

Photography and filming is forbidden inside the Cathedral and Museums.

Mobile phones

Mobile phones are not permitted. Please turn them off before entering the Temple.

From the RENFE train station

To Plaza de Zocodover square: City buses, Line 5.

From the bus station

To Plaza de Zocodover square: City buses, Line 5.

Taxi

Taxi ranks at the RENFE train station and the bus station.

Car parks

Next to Plaza de Zocodover square.
Next to the Alcázar fortress.

Weekdays:

  • 8:00 h
  • 8:30 h (from October to June)
  • 9:00 h Misa Coral y Mass Hispano-Mozárabic
  • 10:00 h
  • 10:30 h
  • 17:30 h (from October to June)
  • 18:30 h

Sundays and feasts:

  • 8:00 h.
  • 9:00 h.
  • 9:45 h. Misa Coral and Mass Hispano-Mozárabic
  • 11:00 h.
  • 12:00 h.
  • 13:00 h.
  • 17:30 h.
  • 18:30 h.

Chapel of the Holy Sacrament

The Capilla del Santísimo houses an image of Our Lady, the Virgen del Sagrario, patron saint of Toledo. She owes her name to the fact that she is kept in the Sacrarium, the holy place, where the reliquaries of the saints worshipped in the Cathedral are kept.

The image of the Patron Saint of Toledo seated on a gold-plated silver throne, the work of Florentine Virgilio Fanelli in the second half of the 17th century, is a late 12th century statue made in wood. In 1465 the statue was coated in silver and its clothing was adorned with a gold hem encrusted with precious stones.

The Virgin is seated with the Child, likewise coated in silver, on her knees. Her right hand is raised in a sign of blessing and she holds a ball with a cross in her left hand.

Tradition has it that the image of the Virgen del Sagrario, which was hidden by the Muslims who had occupied Spain, was discovered after Toledo was conquered by the Christians in 1085, when she rose from the water in the Pozo de la Virgen (the Virgin’s Well) in the Cathedral’s cloister, holding a lighted candle in her hand.

THE MAIN CHAPEL

The current floor plan was made by Cardinal Cisneros, who ordered its reform whilst leaving some of the previous elements remaining.

Thanks to the move to one side of the Chapel of the Old Monarchs (los Reyes Viejos) he got an enlargement, while the king Alfonso VII on the left, his son Sancho the Desired or Sancho the Brave on the right, remains buried in their original sepulchres.

The majestic altarpiece made of polychrome and golden wood, was designed by Petit Jean, under the orders of Enrique Egas and Pedro de Gumiel. Its construction lasted six years (1498-1504) and great sculptors such as Felipe de Bigarny, Diego Copín and Sebastián Almonacid have all worked on it and Francisco de Amberes and Juan de Borgoña gilded and polychromed it.

The altarpiece is three panels in width and five rows high, staggered with two narrower panels at the end, and seated at the base is a great predella. In the centre in the lower part of the altarpiece, is the Tabernacle. A great filigree work of art made on golden wood.

The atrium of the altarpiece is finished off with a huge Calvary surrounded by a starred sky. On the left side of the chapel we find the Cardinal Mendoza sepulchre (†1495), one of the earliest works of art from the Spanish Renaissance, attributed to Doménico Fancelli.

The Main Chapel has one of the most sumptuous craftsmanship grilles from the Spanish Renaissance, made by Francisco de Villalpando and it took more than 10 years to complete. The piece is divided into two panels and five rows and is finished with a magnificent Crucifix and Charles V coat of arms.

The Descension Chapel

The Descension Chapel was founded by Enrique II and is located between the two smaller naves and the second pillar at the base of the cathedral.

This is believed to be the real origin of the Cathedral, as the Main Altar of the Visigothic Basilica stood here. Tradition has it that it was here where Virgin Mary Descended to put the chasuble on Bishop Saint Ildephonsus.

The altarpiece was drawn and signed by Felipe Bigarny and it was finished by his son Gregorio Pardo. This piece depicts the Descension in the centre, the four Fathers of the Church on the sides, the Assumption in the attic, and small reliefs of the Life of the Virgin, the Appearance of Saint Leocadia and the Preaching of Saint Ildephonsus on the predella.

Here we find the sepulchre of Cardinal Moscoso (†1655) created by Fanelli and Salinas in 1668.

CHAPEL OF THE NEW MONARCHS

This Chapel is so named to differentiate it from the Chapel of the Old Monarchs (los Reyes Viejos), found inside the Main Chapel. It was built between 1531 and 1534 over the old blacksmithing workshop in the cathedral and was intended as a funeral chapel for the Trastámara dynasty.

The plans were shown by Covarrubias to the emperor Charles V, who approved them immediately. The grille at the entrance, as with the one inside, was made by Domingo de Céspedes in 1532. On either side we can see the Monarchs sepulchres: Enrique II (†1379) and his wife Juana (†1381) on the right, and on the left Don Enrique III, nicknamed “the Sufferer” (†1407) and his wife Catalina de Lancaster (†1418).

Close to the presbytery we find sepulchres with orant statues of Juan I and his wife Leonor de Aragón. Also observe the Neoclassic altarpieces which are made from marble and bronze by Ventura Rodríguez in 1772 and paintings by Maella are inserted all around the chapel.

The great altarpiece from 1805 was funded by Charles IV and consists of a canvas by Maella. Two organs made in 1654 and 1721 complete this beautiful chapel.

CHAPEL OF SAINT JAMES

This funeral chapel was built between 1435 and 1440 by Hanequín de Bruselas and was financed by the Constable of Castile Don Álvaro de Luna, the favourite of Juan II until he was beheaded in 1453.

It takes up three quarters of the outside apse aisle and it was made in a Gothic Toledan style with a star shaped, arch ribbed vault. In the middle of the chapel there are the sepulchres of Don Álvaro de Luna and his wife Doña Juana Pimentel and it is only thanks to her, that the chapel could be finished.

Other important family burials are placed at the sides (from left to right) Juan de Cerezuela (†1442) and Pedro de Luna (†1404), Toledo’s archbishops, and Don Juan de Luna and Don Álvaro, (Constable’s son and father respectively). The Gothic altarpiece that stands at the rear was ordered by Doña María de Luna in 1488 and was made to the plans of Pedro Gumiel.

The predella and sculptures were designed by Juan de Segovia and the paintings are from the Master of Saint Ildephonsus and Sancho de Zamora. In the angles of the chapel there are several saints sculpted by Mariano Salvatierra in 1791.

Chapel of Saint Ildephonsus

This chapel was erected in it’s present form for the burial of the distinguished Cardinal Gil Carrillo de Albornoz (†1364), pontifical legate, minister of Alfonso XI and founder of the Spanish College of Bologna and it takes up the central part of the apse. It is octagonal shaped in a Gothic style, with tracery vaulting and golden lobes on the ribs. It also contains the coat of arms from Albornoz.

In the middle of the chapel we can find the founder’s sepulchre. Cardinal Marcelo González Martín (†2004) was recently buried between the grilles and the sepulchre of Albornoz.

The central altarpiece at the back was built in 1780 by Ventura Rodríguez and shows the Descension of the Holy Virgin to put the chasuble on Bishop Saint Ildephonsus. At the right of the altar we find the sepulchre of the Bishop of Ávila, Don Alonso Carrillo de Albornoz.

It was made in a Plateresque style by Vasco de Zarza in 1515. As early as the times of Archbishop Jiménez de Rada (1215), the chapel was already dedicated to Saint Ildephonsus.

Chapel of Saint Blaise

The Chapel of Saint Blaise was built in 1397 in the north-eastern angle of the cloister by order of the Archbishop Don Pedro Tenorio for his burial. It is a space with a central plan covered by a vault split into eight pieces whose ribs lean on corbels.

The access is through an arched Gothic entrance with archivolts decorated with vegetable motifs; over it there is a sculptural group about the Annunciation by the artist Ferrán González, author as well of the sepulchres of Pedro Tenorio and his loyal adviser Don Vicente Arias, Bishop of Plasencia, situated in the middle of the chapel.

Without doubt, the biggest artistic treasures that this chapel has to offer are the murals that were recently rescued from the damp and restored to their former glory. The ones over the cornice show the different passages of the Creed.

They start on the west side with the representation of the evangelists Saint John and Saint Lucas writing. Following the minute hand the Annunciation (west wall), the Adoration of the Shepherds, Jesus in the presence of Caifas, the Crucifixion, the Saint Funeral (lost), the Descension to the Limbo (lost), the Ascension of Christ (east wall), the Son seated at the Father’s right, the Final Judgment, Pentecost, the Resurrection of the Body (south wall) and the Transfiguration in Mount Tabor (west wall).

Preserved underneath the cornice there are some fragments from the Final Judgment (west), the history of Saint Anthony (north) and the life of Saint Blaise (east). Painted over the arched entrance of the chapel are scenes displaying the life and miracles of Saint Peter.

All the authors agree on highlighting the Italian influence in these paintings. These paintings show the best giottesca tradition, being close to the art of some Florentine masters that worked in the Peninsula at the end of the Trecento.

This is the case of Gerardo Starnina and Nicolás de Antonio, whose presence in Valencia and Toledo in this period is documented (altarpiece of Saint Eugene, cathedral of Toledo).

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