Toledo Cathedral

Sunday, 15 October 2023 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
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Toledo Cathedral from Plaza del Ayuntamiento © Nikthestunned/cc-by-sa-3.0

Toledo Cathedral from Plaza del Ayuntamiento © Nikthestunned/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Primatial Cathedral of Saint Mary of Toledo (Spanish: Catedral Primada Santa María de Toledo), otherwise known as Toledo Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic church in Toledo, Spain. It is the seat of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Toledo.

The cathedral of Toledo is one of the three 13th-century High Gothic cathedrals in Spain and is considered, in the opinion of some authorities, to be the magnum opus of the Gothic style in Spain. It was begun in 1226 under the rule of Ferdinand III, and the last Gothic contributions were made in the 15th century when, in 1493, the vaults of the central nave were finished during the time of the Catholic Monarchs. It was modeled after the Bourges Cathedral, although its five naves plan is a consequence of the constructors’ intention to cover all of the sacred space of the former city mosque with the cathedral, and of the former sahn with the cloister. It also combines some characteristics of the Mudéjar style, mainly in the cloister, with the presence of multifoiled arches in the triforium. The spectacular incorporation of light and the structural achievements of the ambulatory vaults are some of its more remarkable aspects. It is built with white limestone from the quarries of Olihuelas, near Toledo.

It is popularly known as Dives Toletana (meaning The Rich Toledan in Latin). The Mozarabic Chapel in the Cathedral of Toledo still uses the Hispano-Mozarabic Rite and music.

Retable of the Cathedral © Divot/cc-by-sa-3.0 Stained glass windows © Fmanzanal Toledo Cathedral from Plaza del Ayuntamiento © Nikthestunned/cc-by-sa-3.0 Chapterhouse © Daderot © Choniron/cc-by-sa-3.0-es Cloister © flickr.com - J Cuervas/cc-by-sa-2.0
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Toledo Cathedral from Plaza del Ayuntamiento © Nikthestunned/cc-by-sa-3.0
The structure of the building is greatly influenced by the French Gothic style of the 13th century, but adapted to Spanish taste. It measures 120 metres (390 ft) in length by 59 metres (194 ft) in width and 44.5 metres (146 ft) high. It consists of five naves with transept and double ambulatory. The outer naves present an odd anomaly in being a little wider than the other two. The oldest part of the building is the sanctuary, which maintains in its architecture the original triforia that extended along the length of the naves and were removed in one of the many alterations that the cathedral underwent. Still in the Gothic period, these triforia were replaced with large stained-glass windows. Those triforia that survive in the sanctuary are of Mudéjar influence. The lowest section is made of cusped arches that rest on paired columns and the upper section presents interlaced arches typical of Mudéjar. It is not known if these Mudéjar themes existed in the previous mosque and were copied as a reminder or if they were added in one of the improvements of the stonework, as something original and tasteful.

In the sanctuary, one encounters the double ambulatory, which is doubled as would correspond to a ground plan of five naves. This double ambulatory is of grand proportions and is enriched with architectural elements and an original vaulting. The new sections of the chapels were resolved with alternate plans of rectangles and triangles, which allowed for each chapel to be of a different size, rectangular plans being larger and triangular plans smaller. This method of distributing the sanctuary can be seen in the French cathedrals of Paris, Bourges and Le Mans, the last cathedral being the most similar in appearance, although the three are more slender in aspect than the Spanish cathedral. The various reforms that were made over time altered the arrangement of some of the chapels; for example, in one case just one chapel was reconstructed in the former space of three.

The vaults of the naves are quadripartite except for those of the transept and the chancel which are reinforced with tiercerons.

Read more on Catedral Primada Santa María de Toledo, spain.info – Toledo Cathedral and Wikipedia Toledo Cathedral (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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