Address: Fray Félix Square, s/n
Price: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 2€; Friday, Saturday and Sunday free admission.
Tuesday to Saturday from 09.30 to 12.30 and from 18.00 to 19:30.
Holidays closed (they only open for Mass)
Daily Mass: 8:00 p.m. Sundays and holidays: 11.00h
The Church of Santa Cruz or Old Cathedral is the temple with the longest history in the city next to the New Cathedral.
King Alfonso X of Castile the Wise, had a church built around 1262-1263, on the remains of an Arab mosque, in order to be buried in it.
The continuous threat of pirates, which more than once turned during the Middle Ages into tragic assaults and fires, as well as its excessive proximity to the gale sea, explain why almost nothing of that Alfonsina construction has survived to this day.
In the Gothic temple and on the coffered ceiling some reforms were made in the 15th and 16th centuries, until in 1596 it was burned by the Anglo-Dutch squadron commanded by Admiral Charles Howard and Robert Devereux, second Count of Essex, who attacked, invaded and looted Cádiz until, burned, abandoned it, leaving this temple almost destroyed. Only the entrance arch and ribbed vault of the baptismal chapel were saved.
After the destruction of the previous temple, it was rebuilt in the 17th century and is preserved so far.
In 1597 the reconstruction works were entrusted to the senior master of the bishopric Ginés Martín de Aranda, finally the construction was a project of the military engineer Cristóbal de Rojas that was completed in 1602. On June 15, 1602 The Church of Santa Cruz was consecrated and opened for worship on May 29, 1603.
The exterior of the Old Cathedral is very simple, reinforced this feeling for having been stripped of the monumental side portal whose elements were used in the decoration of the New Cathedral. The only decorative elements are three shields placed on the lintel with the emblems of the Catholic Monarchs, the cathedral and that of Bishop García de Haro. The tower, which is separated from the church and attached to the Accounting Building, has a rectangular plan topped with a polygonal capital covered with glazed ceramics.
Inside the church are noteworthy the exornos and iconography of the Genoese chapel, arranged on an altarpiece of colored marbles dated 1671 and on which the figures of San Lorenzo, San Jorge, San Bernardo and San Juan Bautista stand out. This chapel has a very remarkable wooden crucifix dated to the early seventeenth century.
In the following chapels it is worth mentioning the images of the brotherhoods of the Christ of Greater Pain and Forgiveness, as well as those of Solitude and the Holy Burial; all of them of great tradition in the city.
It is also noteworthy, before one of the original access openings to the chapel of the Tabernacle, a rococo altarpiece of gilded wood presided over by the image of San Antonio de Padua, polychrome wood carving by Luisa Roldán, the Roldana, from the end of the seventeenth century.
The Altar Altar Altar Altar Altarpiece is the work of the assembler Alejandro Saavedra, from 1647, the most important of the Baroque carvers who worked in this city, being the sculptures of Alonso Martínez.
The interior floor of the building has a single body divided into five streets by pilasters and ribbed columns. The central street is highlighted by Solomonic columns and is shaped like a hemicycle with twelve niches that house the apostles
Address: Cathedral Square, s/n, 11005 Cádiz
Type of ticket
– Single – 6€
– Pensioners and retirees – 5€
– Adult groups of +20 people – 4€
– Student groups of +20 people – 3€
– Students up to 25 years old – 4€
– Disabled up to 60% – 4€
– Disabled people with more than 60% – Free
– Children under 12 years old (accompanied by adult) – Free
Admission includes: Visit of the Cathedral, Crypt, Choir, Sacristy, Accounting House (Place where the treasures of the Cathedral are located), Clock Tower (Top of the Cathedral from where you can contemplate the best panoramic view of the city of Cádiz), Audio guides in several languages
Mass: Sundays and holidays at 12:00.
It is known as the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on the Sea or Santa Cruz on the Waters. However, the people of Cadiz call it the New Cathedral to distinguish it from the old cathedral, the Old Cathedral, which today fulfills the functions of a parish church.
The Cathedral of Cádiz is the episcopal seat of the diocese of Cádiz and Ceuta. It is located in the historic center of Cádiz almost by the sea. Its two towers and yellow dome are visible from almost anywhere in the city.
The Old Cathedral was built under the command of Alfonso X the Wise in the 13th century and was destroyed in the English pirate attack in the 16th century. After its reconstruction and several rehabilitations, it was decided in the 18th century to build a new, larger and majestic cathedral in line with the importance that Cadiz had at the time.
The works of the Cathedral began in 1722 according to the project of the architect Vicente Acero, who after having worked for five years in the Cathedral of Granada, shows in it the influence of the previous one and that of Guadix. Vicente Acero resigns and in 1739 takes over the works Gaspar Cayón, passing in 1757 to his nephew Torcuato Cayón. After his death in 1783, Miguel Olivares succeeded him until 1790, when Manuel Machuca directed them. Finally, from 1832 to 1838, when the works are completed, they are directed by Juan Daura.
In all this time 116 years have passed, through which you can see the change of style and the tastes of the different architects. The cathedral begins in Baroque style, like its Latin cross plan, three naves and ambulatory at the head and interior to the Rococo frieze and is finished in neoclassical style, in its facade, towers, domes and the second body of the interior, as well as most of the altarpieces and the main altar.
The temple has a Latin cross plan with three naves, ambulatory and side chapels. The naves are separated by elliptical pillars with Corinthian columns of fluted shaft at the ends. The main facade, framed by two large towers that increase its amplitude, is divided into three streets. The central street houses the main portal of white marble.
The towers, of octagonal plan, consist of three bodies, the first of them Baroque style and the other two made in neoclassical style. The dome, located above the transept, stands out for the yellow color provided by the glazed tiles, raising on its base the sculptures of the four evangelists.
The dome for which the Cathedral is best known is the beautiful dome covered on the outside with golden tiles that reflect the rays of the sun giving it enormous luminosity on sunny days. Among the materials used for its construction stands out the oyster stone so typical of Cádiz.
The Cathedral of Cádiz has a spectacular crypt under the presbytery that is below sea level. Its flat vault and the sound effect of its interior give it a very special atmosphere. In addition, on the days when the sea is scrambled you can hear the waves of the sea when they hit the boardwalk.
The Crypt was built between 1732 and 1730 made of oyster stone. Contrast the splendor of the marble at the top with the sobriety of this enclosure.
With the realization of this vault emptied, almost flat, the master Vicente Acero carried out his knowledge of architecture demonstrating that, with the appropriate calculations, the material could resist, thus sheltering one of the most emblematic spaces of the Cathedral of Cádiz.
It is a circular space endowed with magnificent sonority due to its proximity to the sea, when touching its walls you can feel the waves of the sea. In the chapel of the tombs of the Bishops, rest the prelates who have died in Cádiz since the consecration of the New Cathedral. The Christ of Aguiniga presides over the enclosure, brought from America at the beginning of the 17th century.
At the other end are preserved the incorrupt relics of the Roman martyr Santa Victoria, whose face is covered by a wax mask.
Worthy of review is the image of the Virgin of the Rosary, in Italian marble, the work of Alejandro Algardi.
In the crypt of the Cathedral of Cádiz are buried two illustrious sons of this city: the composer Manuel de Falla (1876-1946) and the poet and essayist José María Pemán (1898-1981).
It is striking the material with which the tomb of Falla, stone of Sierra Elvira, is made, which evokes its proximity to the city of the Alhambra and the inscription: Only To God Honor and Glory.
The tomb of Pemán, in white marble, is protected with bronze balusters that support a Golden Fleece.
A visit to the Cathedral of Cádiz is not complete without climbing the Clock Tower, one of the two twin towers of the cathedral. From the top of this tower, at 74 meters high, you have the best panoramic views of the city.
It highlights its structure so typical of the neoclassical influence fruit of the time in which it was built, coinciding with the golden period of Cadiz history and its urban resurgence as a result of the monopoly of trade with America, in the 18th century; the tower has witnessed the first order of the historical evolution of the city of Cádiz and is therefore protagonist, art and part
In the mid-19th century when the watch from which it takes its name was added, a watch made by the master José Miguel de Zugasti that, thanks to the efforts of the Cabildo and the invaluable collaboration of the University of Cádiz has been recently restored, being able to be seen by visitors the impressive monumentality of one of the oldest watches in Spain, appreciating the
Inside a total of 16 chapels open, among which San Sebastián stands out, the altar is presided over by a painting depicting the martyrdom of the Saint, the work of the Genoese Andrea Ansaldi, painted in 1621, before him an image of Ecce Homo, the work of the distinguished imager Luisa Roldán dated 1684; that of San Servando and San Germán, which has baroque carvings of the titular works of Luisa Roldán, the Roldana, dated 1687; the chapel of Santa Teresa that exposes the processional custody of Corpus Christi, made of silver between 1649 and 1664 on the design of Alejandro Saavedra and the Main Chapel, which presents a neoclassical temple of circular plan made of colored marbles and golden bronze, following the 1790 design of Manuel Machuca.
Address: Plaza San Juan de Dios, no 1
Daylight saving time: 8:30 p.m. Winter time: 7:30 pm.
Mass hours: working hours: 10:30, holidays: 10:30.
The Church of San Juan de Dios is attached to the Hospital of the same name, and located in the heart of the old town, in its primitive Barrio del Pópulo. The temple is located on the corner and presents the facade to the Plaza de San Juan de Dios, attached to the Town Hall building.
The hospital, where the church is located, today is very renovated, and develops around a courtyard.
The exterior is substantially renovated at the beginning of the 19th century. In it the facade has a neoclassical portal by the Portuguese architect Torcuato Benjumeda, and stands out a tower decorated with Ionic style columns with garlands and topped with a bulbous profile capital, belonging to the local architect Torcuato Cayón de la Vega, from 1768.
The building represents an unusual example of a church with a Greek cross plan that is inscribed in a square, dome on the transept and edge vaults on all four arms.
The main altarpiece is Baroque in style, dated 1688, and is made of gilded wood.
It presents neoclassical reforms on the central street that were the work of Torcuato Benjumeda in 1791. It is articulated by Solomonic columns and is presided over by the eighteenth-century image of the Virgin of Good Success, on whose sides are arranged the polychrome carvings of San Rafael and San Carlos Borromeo, while the attic of the altarpiece is occupied by the image of San Juan de Dios in Baroque style.
Also, inside there are different chapels that contain very colorful images that describe the life of the Saints, some made of tiles.
In one of the upper galleries is a Baroque oratory, known as the small domestic chapel of the Hospital, a good example of eighteenth-century architecture. Built around 1770, it is a small space that combines elements as valuable and varied as Italian marbles, Dutch Delf tiles and golden pebbles.
Address: Women’s Hospital Street, no 26
Price: Women’s Hospital – free
Chapel of Our Lady of Mount Carmel – €1.50
Hours: Monday to Friday from 08.00-13.00h and from 17:00 to 19:30
Saturdays, Sundays and holidays closed.
The Women’s Hospital of Cádiz emerged as an institution during the 17th century due to the medical needs of the population, especially women. At first it was located on current Columela Street, until the urban and population growth of the city led to insufficient facilities, and the construction of a new headquarters was proposed.
The initiative of the project was in charge of Bishop Lorenzo Armengual de la Mota, who after his death left an important legacy so that the works could begin.
The works were carried out between July 1736 and October 16, 1749, when the new Hospital is inaugurated; and the architect designated for the occasion was Don Pedro Luis Gutiérrez de San Martín, better known as “Maestro Afanador”. Although it is necessary to take into account that the building has undergone different remodelings until reaching its current state, such as the one carried out in 1909 after the sinking of part of the vaults of the chapel, the main hall and the facade, or the one undertaken in 2007 for the restoration of the chapel.
It has almost three hundred years of history during which it has welcomed thousands of sick people – especially during important and harsh events such as the epidemics of the 19th century, the African War, the disaster of ’98, or the Spanish Civil War – and remained open until 1963, when it is economically unfeasible and the then bishop Antonio Añoveros Ataún had to close it It currently functions as the headquarters of the Bishopric of Cádiz and Ceuta and the institution of Caritas.
The first element that attracts attention is the facade, which functions as a space for representation and relationship with the city. It consists of three floors with mezzanine floors and presents a baroque-popular composition typical of the architecture of the moment in the city of Cádiz. On the mezzanine floor cruciform windows open, unusual that bring a great personality to the building. The main body has wide openings flanked by two others like windows, crowned with broken pediments with ovals in their centers and supported by Atlanteans. A long balcony runs through and defends the front of the central openings.
The Women’s Hospital has two connected courtyards that give access to the Chapel and the rest of the rooms, and between which an imperial-style staircase is ascended. The plinths of both patios are decorated with Dutch tiles mixed with bricks and marble plates. In this part, the Way of the Cross of Sevillian tiles dating from 1749 stands out, whose scenes are based on Italian and Flemish engravings of the seventeenth century.
The staircase, a source of inspiration for later constructions, serves as an element of communication and ascension, which symbolically alludes to the ascent to heaven of the sick treated in the enclosure.
Around the main courtyard is placed the Way of the Cross that has been preserved complete and in perfect condition so far. It consists of pieces of 20×20 cms, each scene is approximately one meter high by 0.60 meters wide, not including the small inner medallion supported by angels that indicate the station number, nor the cross that crowns it. They are made of glazed terracotta, a technique relatively frequent in Sevillian workshops in the middle of that time. The scenes, starring elegantly stylized characters, take place in open spaces or between curious architectures that, with an eclectic character, evoke Sevillian buildings of the time.
Between the courtyard and the facade is the Chapel of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, with a living room plan and divided into three naves by Doric marble columns. It contains an interesting set of altarpieces, the one occupied by the main chapel is a neoclassical work, made of wood imitating marble, and houses a niche with the image of Our Lady of Carmen at the end of the 17th century. Among the profusion of works of art in the chapel, the canvas The Vision of San Francisco stands out, dated around 1601, the work of El Greco in full maturity with the mannerist forms so characteristic of his painting.
Address: Rosario Street, 10, 11004 Cádiz
Mass schedule: Monday to Saturday (except Wednesday): 7pm
Sundays and holidays: 11.30 a.m.
Temple Hours: Mornings: from 10:00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.
Afternoons: (except Wednesdays and Sundays): from 6.30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
The parish has its origin in a hermitage that existed in this place since 1567 and was called San Antonio de los portugueses.
From the mid-seventeenth century it housed the brotherhood of the Virgin of the Rosary of Blacks, from where it took its current name.
On the initiative of Bishop Antonio Zapata, these women moved in 1593 to what would be their new home, the convent of La Candelaria. After his move, the Brotherhood of the Morenos was established in its place, and the hermitage began to be called the hermitage of the Rosary.
The hermitage would have a layout parallel to the current Rosario street. Subsequently, the reforms changed its orientation, giving it a turn of ninety degrees and making it perpendicular to the street. Its first great reform of the temple was at the beginning of the 18th century, when it became a church with a nave, with greater importance than the hermitage it had been until then. Of that reform remains the portal of Genoese marbles.
The exterior of the church has a beautiful facade crowned by two beautiful towers and a Baroque portal from the late seventeenth century, a Genoese work. On the large cover, the marble sculptures of the Virgin of the Rosary, Saints Peter and Saint Paul. Perfectly integrated into the urban fabric, this church is a clear example of how many Cadiz temples are not created as unique buildings, but fit into their blocks placing their cornice at the general level.
At the end of the 18th century, Torcuato Benjumeda was in charge of a profound reform of the temple, adding two side naves, and being in charge, as an altarpiece architect, of an authentic program that contemplated the integral decoration of the church, between 1783 and 1823.
The parish of Our Lady of the Rosary included, within the scope of its parishioners, the main organs of American commerce such as the Contracting House, the Consulate Court and Customs. Thanks to its privileged location, this parish became a space where the religiosity of the Cadiz mercantile bourgeoisie developed, and in it several brotherhoods composed mostly of members of this social group were created.
Inside the Parish, three neoclassical side naves stand out, a Latin cross plan with a barrel vault supported by Tuscan columns. In the central nave we can see the marble pulpit and the finely carved wooden staircase in Baroque style.
Also, inside are the side altarpieces made of very colorful and colorful marbles.
The main altarpiece keeps the image of the Virgin of the Rosary of the eighteenth century made by masters from Genoa and on each side the images of San Servando and San Germán, patrons of the city highlighting a crucifix and various canvases representing different stages of the life of Jesus.
Several Cadiz who have had relevance within national politics were baptized here such as Mendizábal, Emilio Castelar or Sigismundo Moret, or as General George G. Meade from the United States.
Address: Rosario Street 10-A
Telephone: 956 222 262
The Oratory of the Holy Cave, with its two chapels, penitential and Eucharistic, is an extraordinary monument within the history of Spanish art and the masterpiece of Cadiz neoclassicism.
It is surprising, and few imagine, that behind its facade, with more civil than religious air, two overlapping spaces can be housed so different from each other. Everything provided in this: architecture, sculpture, painting, decorative arts and even music, respond perfectly, to the complex religious program devised by its founder, and everything has remained as it has been since its creation in the 18th century.
The history of the Holy Cave is linked to the brotherhood of the Ancient Mother, which had its origin in the meetings that every Thursday, at dusk, had a group of men to meditate on the Passion of the Lord. From 1730, the confreres settled in the parish of the Rosary, where in 1756 an underground was accidentally discovered in which, after adecent, they continued their exercises of piety, receiving the brotherhood since then the name of Brotherhood of the Holy Cave.
Its stage of maximum splendor begins in 1771, when the venerable priest Don José Sáenz de Santamaría takes over the spiritual direction of the brotherhood of the Old Mother and undertakes at his expense the construction of the Oratory of the Holy Cave.
Born in Vera Cruz (Mexico), Father Santamaría, the second son of the Marquis of Valde-Iñigo, completed his ecclesiastical studies at the Society of Jesus. In 1781, with the help of the Count of Reparaz, he decided to expand the primitive cave and reform the annexed church of the Rosary, entrusting the plans to the architect and academic Torcuato Cayón, master builder of the new cathedral of Cádiz. During the course of the works Cayón dies, taking care of them, his godchild and disciple Torcuato Benjumeda, opening the underground chapel in 1783.
In 1785 the Marquis of Valde-Iñigo dies, and soon his firstborn son also dies, so Father Santamaría, inheriting the noble title and the large family fortune, decided to add to the primitive building the high chapel, dedicated to the worship of the Blessed Sacrament, which was blessed in 1796 by the bishop of Cádiz Don Antonio Rodríguez de la Plaza.
The facade of the Holy Cave is organized by four pilasters of giant Tuscan order comprising three holes on the ground floor and three square windows on the first floor. Above the entablature open three windows on the second floor topped by a simple cornice and the roof parapet.
The Holy Cave is accessed through a small lobby that serves at the same time as a landing for the artistic staircase to ascend to the upper chapel, located above street level, and as a descent to the penitential chapel.
The upper chapel or the Blessed Sacrament, is oval in plan, is built on the underground church and, in contrast to the ascetic and penitential rigor of the previous one, stands out for the richness of its materials and for the excellence of its pictorial and sculptural decoration. The main altar of the whole set is arranged on the main axis of the ellipse, from where it presides over the splendid tabernacle, with six Corinthian columns of silver inside and jasper on the outside. The walls are organized by eight attached columns of Ionic order, also made of jasper. Above its enclosure, decorated with pairs of angels, stands the dome that was painted by the Italian Antonio Cavallini, who achieved the optical effect of plaster reliefs. In the central intercolumns of the chapel are high stucco reliefs, representing the communions of St. Louis de Gonzaga and St. Stanislaus of Kostka, works by Cosme Velázquez. Under the architrave, in the lunettes of the remaining intercolumns, five canvases are arranged, three of them by Francisco de Goya: “The multiplication of breads and fish”, “The royal treat”, and “The last supper”; and Zacarías González Velázquez and José Camarón: “The wedding of Cana” and “The dew of mana”, respectively.
As for the lighting of the ensemble, as another example of the strict subjection to the religious program, while in the gloomy chapel of the Passion the only light comes from the skylight that opens over the Crucified One, illuminating at night with two oil lamps carried by two angels, the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament is illuminated during the day by eight On the landings of the stairs you can also admire the sculptures of the Virgin of Solitude, Christ fallen under the cross, Christ tied to the column and the Good Shepherd, works by Manuel González the “Grenadian”; likewise, we can contemplate in the center of the upper chapel the portrait of Father Santamaría, and in the niche of the street “The Virgin As a finishing touch to the whole work, Father Santamaría wanted to enrich his Oratory with a piece of music that accompanies the preaching of the Seven Words on Good Friday morning. The Marquis of Merit and the Marquis of Ureña, who were musicians, intervened for the famous Austrian composer Hoseph Haydn to write his work “The Seven Last Words of Our Redeemer on the Cross”, which premiered in Cádiz on Good Friday 1783, becoming since then one of the peak moments of Holy Week in Cadiz for its beauty, depth and deep
We are, therefore, before the work of an intelligent and educated priest, who knew how to combine culture, art and faith with wise balance, and who moved by his deep devotion and sincere charity, used the immense fortune he inherited, in works of charity, apostolate and sacred art, while he lived with exemplary austerity. His mortal remains rest in the Peace of the Lord in the entrance hall to the upper chapel, next to the Good Shepherd, whom he so faithfully imitated in his priestly life. Not in vain to his death, in a reputation for holiness, the people spontaneously granted him the title of venerable Father Santamaría.
The Ministry of Culture, in 1981, declared the entire set a national historical-artistic monument.
Address: Alameda Marqués de Comillas, 3
Chapel hours: Monday to Friday: 09:00 – 19:30h, Saturdays and Sundays: 20:00h
Church hours: Sundays: 09:30 – 13:30h and 20:30h
Baroque construction, began six years after the arrival in the city of the Carmelite Order, in 1737, was directed by the alif José Bolaños and the work was completed in 1762.
Apart from its artistic importance, it has the historical importance of being the temple in which the solemn Te Deum was celebrated on March 19, 1812, in thanksgiving for the culmination of the Constitution of Cádiz, which was proclaimed in the afternoon that same day.
Inside the church has a Latin cross plan with three naves. The largest is divided into five sections, by Tuscan pilasters, with grandstands on the transept. Due to the location of the building, in front of the Bay of Cádiz, its interior space enjoys rich and abundant natural lighting.
The main altar stands out, which houses in its main body a central dressing room with the image of its holder, the Virgen del Carmen, the work of Gabriel de Arteaga from 1774.
It has important side altarpieces that were made under the same Baroque aesthetic current, which gives it a very interesting unitary style.
Externally, its facade is unmistakable, it belongs to the Cadiz Baroque style of the 18th century and is articulated in three streets, occupying the central one the portal, made of marble and composed of two bodies supported by Ionic columns. On the main cover, the image of Our Lady of Mount Carmel stands out. The side streets are articulated by an overlapping of semi-detached Tuscan pilasters and are crowned with two belfries of unusual decoration.
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