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Main Chapel, Transept and Choir

The complexity of this monumental space is a true feat of engineering. Not only does it provide us with a beautiful dialogue between Gothic, Renaissance and Mannerism art, but it also creates a perfect combination with the Caliphate legacy.

Bishop Alonso de Manrique decided to build a Main Chapel in the immensity of the forest of columns. The project was begun in 1523 by Hernán Ruiz I. This architect, who always showed a particular sensitivity towards the architecture of the former Muslim chapel, focused his efforts on building the Gothic vaults on the south side of the choir.

Subsequently, his son Hernán Ruiz II was responsible for raising the transept walls and reinforcing them with eight buttresses. He also built the Gothic style vaults of the arms of the transept and the Main Chapel. This enclave would be covered by a ribbed vault with an interesting iconographic series that used the Assumption of Our Lady as a reference. Along with this is the presence of musical angels, saints, apostles and even the representation of Emperor Carlos V. The consoles, meanwhile, are home to a long litany dedicated to the Virgin.

It was under the episcopate of Francisco Reinoso that the architect Juan de Ochoa, adopting a new mannerist approach, finalised the areas of the choir and transept by giving them magnificent ceilings. Thus, in the case of the transept, he opted for an oval vault over pendatives decorated with the four evangelists. The figures of the eight Fathers of the Church and the Holy Trinity were added to these to form a counter-reformist iconographic series. Meanwhile, covering the choir we have a lowered barrel vault structured in lunettes. While the central area is occupied by the representations of the Assumption and Saint Acisclus and Saint Victoria, the spandrels depict the themes of David, Solomon, Daniel and Samuel, accompanied by the theological virtues appearing on the corners.

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