Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Concatedral Santa Maria Caceres: Ancient Center of Faith (Medieval Caceres Series 7)

Concatedral Santa Maria Caceres 
Ancient Center of Faith
Medieval Caceres Series 7

Located at the Plaza Sta. Maria and right 
infront of Palacio Episcopal de Cáceres is 
the Santa Iglesia Concatedral Santa María. 


Built in the 13th century and completed in the15th 
 century it is one the oldest structures and considered
as the most important Christian temple in Cáceres.

We were completely awed with the 
Romanesque transition to Gothic 
interiors of sinuous arched ceilings,



…and antique church fixtures.



It is the concathedral of the diocese of Coria-Cáceres,
and was declared an Artistic Historical Monument 
the cathedral also presently functions as museum.



Inside the church museum are
some of the oldest church relics,

…archaic paintings,

…and very old, historic sculptures,

Several smaller chapels are found inside the church-
like the gold-laden Capilla del Santísimo Sacramento. 


Another one is the Chapel of the Blázquez or the 
Santísimo Cristo, that contains the 14th  century
Gothic crucifix of the Cristo Negro de Cáceres.


Other smaller yet beautiful chapels include 
the Capilla de San Miguel Arcanghel,  
with an artistic grille decorated with noble
coats of arms and a baroque altarpiece,

…the stunning Capilla Virgen de los Dolores, 


...Capilla de la Virgen Milagrosa, 


…and the Capilla Cristo de las Batallas, 

All these grand chapels made the cathedral
appear that there were individual several
small churches, hosting different saints.


The cathedral seemed to have been like designed
to provide the Catholic faithful a place to worship
whoever they want  to pray to answer their prayers.

It’s a spiritual smorgasbord.

The exquisite ancient sacristy also
stands out as it was made in 1527 . 


Concatedral Santa Maria Caceres’ main attraction 
is the massive Extremaduran style wooden altarpiece.
This masterpiece was carved from Flanders pine and
cedar by Guillén Ferrant and Roque Balduque in 1547.


In it are figures of the apostles,   


…the motifs related to the Virgin,



... and to the childhood,


...and passion of Jesus.



The central most figure in the alter
is The Assumption of the Virgin. 


The church has a Renaissance
period bell tower, built in 1554,


…which could be accessed
by a narrow winding stairway.


It houses the ancient giant bell
that is still perfectly working,


...and provides and breathtaking view,



…of the ancient city in all angles.


The tower is crowned by four flameros that
serves as a favorite nesting place for storks;


The church floor is made of ancient tombstones marking the
resting place of a past generation of prominent citizens of
 the medieval  era Caceres buried on this sacred ground.



While the old church organ serves as a silent witness
of everything that took place in this awesome cathedral. 


The Concatedral Santa Maria Caceresis the ancient
center of faith during the medieval period in Caceres,



…and still serves as the most important
religious center in Extremaduara Spain.

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