The Cathedral of Murcia, its full name is Catedral de Santa María (Iglesia Catedral de Santa María en Murcia), was built between the 13th and the 15th century.
Its bell tower is 95 m high. After the bell tower – La Giralda in Seville, it is the second highest in Spain. The bell tower has five levels, with 25 bells in the top level.
The facade was built on the initiative of the administrative body, the so-called Cabildo with the support of Cardinal Belluga. Jaime Bort built the cathedral on the foundations of the great mosque of the Moors, that once stood on this site.
In 1263, James I of Aragon decided on a campaign against the Moors after they rebelled against the Castilian rule to support his son-in-law Alfonso X of Castile.
After the conquest the city, he had the Moorish mosque converted into a Christian cathedral and consecrated. Then he handed the city over to his son-in-law.
Alfonso X united Murcia with Castile. In 1282, he wanted to divide the empire for the benefit of his grandchildren. Resulting in that he was formally deprived of power but was allowed to retain his royal title. He spent the rest of his life as a lonely refugee in Seville.
In his will he ordered that one keeps his heart and his entrails in the Cathedral of Murcia. They are in a sarcophagus on the side of the main altar. The other mortal remains are buried in the Cathedral of Seville.
The construction of the Cathedral of Murcia started in 1385. It was not finished until 1467.
The interior is mainly Gothic, while the facade is Baroque. 23 chapels surround the three-nave main room.
These are the last resting places of the dignitaries, bishops, and noblemen, who participated in the construction of the cathedral.
Under the organ, you see the impressive chairs of the choir, dating from the 16th century, a donation of Queen Isabel II. The Plateresque chairs were originally in the Monastery of Santa Maria de Valdeiglesias.
A special feature is the Chapel of Los Vélez.
We have already written about it in our article First Steps in Murcia.
After the Cathedral, we visit the Real Casino Murcia.
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