CATHEDRAL, Interior - Nave And Choir

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As soon as you enter the Cathedral, you're in a large, single space that is both fascinating and quite solemn. The large church is divided into three naves of the same length, although the middle one is much wider than the side naves. Strong clustered columns support crossed vaults. You'll notice the extreme simplicity of the interior compared to the façade's decorations, with light filtered by the 15th-century stained glass windows.

Various chapels open up from the side naves, which are all closed by opulent fences and rich in artwork and monumental tombs: together they offer a beautiful example of Catalan painting and sculpture. The first chapel on the right is from the 15th century: it is very large and once held the canons. The altar depicts Sant Crist de Lepant, the wooden Crucifix that dominated the bow of the Spanish flagship at the battle of Lepanto in 1571. If you look closely, you'll note that Jesus is in a curved position: according to the ancient tale, he moved over slightly to dodge a cannonball! I'd also like to point out Bishop St. Olegario's tomb that was built at the beginning of the 1400s by the sculptor Pere Ça Anglada, to whom we owe the Cathedral's best decorations.

Going along the central nave, stop to admire the beautiful wooden choir that was started in the late 1300s and completed in the following century by Catalan and German sculptors. The pulpit is also from the same era. The 61 seats are arranged in two rows and depict scenes from the Passion and Death of Christ. You can see coats of arms on the seats, which are from the Order of the Golden Fleece; in fact, members of the sacred brotherhood gathered right here in 1519 in the presence of the newly elected Emperor, Charles V. The Bishop's chair in the center is from the 1300s, and is surmounted by a tower with a dome that illuminates the Cathedral's interior.

The gate surrounding the choir is an elegant Italian-inspired Renaissance work created by a Spaniard who followed Michelangelo: its bas-reliefs depict scenes from the life of Saint Eulalia.


FUN FACT: go look at the beautiful 15th-century baptistry in white Carrara marble  on the left, near the Cathedral's entrance. According to tradition, the first Indians from the Americas were baptized here after Christopher Columbus' discovery.


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