Flavours of Spain
Guadix Cathedral - Some history
Cathedral is a splendid red sandstone building built above
the modern town centre and dominated by its tall bell
The west front with all its carving is particularly impressive.
The Cathedral is one of the oldest diocesan seats in Spain, founded by San Torcuato in the C1st AD. Guadix is considered the birthplace of Christianity in Spain. The first building was on the site of a Roman temple. During Moorish times, there was a mosque here. After the defeat of the Moors at the end of the C15th, the bishopric was re-established and a new cathedral, Iglesia de Santa María de la Encarnación, built. Some relics of San Torcuato, the patron Saint of Guadix, were given to the cathedral.
Building began in the mid C16th. The base of the of the walls and arches are Gothic. There was a break in building for 20 years when money ran out. The apse with its glorious dome, the crossing, and part of the sacristy were then completed in the Renaissance style. Work stopped again and didn’t begin again until the end of the C17th with finance provided by the King. The choir, high altar and pulpits are wonderful examples of Baroque architecture.
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