Granada Cathedral and Royal Chapel

The Cathedral in Granada was started in 1523 and the first architect was Enrique Egas. The site was where the old mezquita was located. The architect Diego de Siloe took over the direction in 1528 and worked on the project until his death in 1563. The plan of the church is in the Gothic style, but the façade and many structures in the church are in the Renaissance style. This was the first Spanish cathedral in the Renaissance style. The Cathedral is very large, measuring 115 meters long by 67 meters wide. There is one tower that is 57 meters high. A second tower was never constructed. The Cathedral was finished in 1704. The interior has a beautiful gold and white finish and it has plenty of light.

Diego de Siloe designed the Capilla Mayor (main chapel), which has a 45m high dome, with a diameter of 22m. The main chapel is circular in shape and is a masterpiece. At the very top are stained glass windows that were designed by Siloe and painted by Jan Campen. The level below has are fourteen Flemish stained glass windows that were made in Flanders by Theodor de Holanda in 1550. Below these are paintings by Alonso Cano depicting the life of the Virgin Mary. Other paintings were done by Jose Risueño, Pedro Atanasio, and Juan de Sevilla. There are five naves in the church. The principal nave has two huge Baroque organs.

Alonso Cano designed the beautiful main facade of two stories in 1667. It has the shape of a triumphal arch and was a sign of the victory of the Christians over the Moors. There are two other entrances. One on the north facade is called the Puerta del Perdon, and was designed by Diego de Siloe in a Plateresque style. This beautiful door has sculptures by Diego de Siloe. The other door is called San Jeronimo and was also designed by Siloe and Juan de Maeda.

In the most southern chapel one can find the equestrian statue of Santiago, created by the sculptor Alonso de Mena. He is shown on a white horse and triumphant over a defeated Moor. Another interesting chapel is that of Nuestra Señora de las Angustias that was made by Jose de Bada. Another chapel is that of Nuestra Señora de la Antigua, which contains the 15th century statue of this Virgin, and that was brought to the city by the Catholic Kings. The whole chapel is gilded. The sacristy has a beautiful statue ( 50 cm high) of La Inmaculada done by Alonso Cano.

Behind the cathedral is the Capilla Real (Royal Chapel) in the Plateresque style and where Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand are buried. The entrance to this building is separate from the entrance to the Cathedral. The building was started in 1504 and finished in 1521, designed by Enrique de Egas. The chapel has the Latin cross plan with four lateral chapels. The main facade was designed by Juan Garcia de Pradas in 1527. Above the doorway are the statues of Mary with the Infant Jesus and on the sides are John the Baptist and John the Evangelist. There is also the coat of arms of the Catholic Kings. The main chapel uses the Isabelline style and the walls have the arms of the Catholic Kings, who conquered Granada.

There is a chancel that has the mausoleums of Isabella and Ferdinand, as well as those of their daughter Juana La Loca and her husband Philip the Handsome. There are marble sculptures of the four. The tombs of the Catholic Kings were made by the Florentine sculptor Domenico Fancelli in 1517. The tombs of Juana La Loca and Philip the Handsome were made by the sculptor Bartolome Ordoñez in 1520.

The main altar in the Royal Chapel is the work of Felipe de Borgoña and is one of the first altars in the Renaissance style in Spain. It is dedicated to John the Evangelist and John the Baptist. There are sculptures of both men in the altarpiece in different compartments. Beside the altar are kneeling statues of the Catholic Kings, made by Diego de Siloe. The choir is separated by a wrought iron railing gilded in gold, which is considered as one of the most beautiful in Spain. It was made by Bartolome de Jaen in 1518. This railing is decorated with the royal coat of arms, figures of saints, and medallions.

There is a very good art collection that was owned by Queen Isabella. Some of the Flemish and Italian artists represented are Boticelli, Roger van der Weyden and Memling. On display are Ferdinand’s sword and Isabella‘s crown and scepter. There is also a copy of the painting where the last Moorish king Boabdil is surrendering to Isabella.

Website of Catedral de Granada

Website of the Capilla Real

Cathedral Hours:

Monday to Saturday: 10:45 to 13:30, 16:00 to 18:45h.

Sundays and holidays: 16:00 to 18:45h.





Capilla Real Hours:


Monday to Saturday: 10:15 to 13:30, 15:30 to 18:30h.


Sundays and holidays: 11:00 to 13:30, 15:30 to 18:30h.