The cloisters are on the north side of the cathedral, upon the site of the old Jewish Commercial District. As I mentioned in the previous blog, the doors of the cathedral used to stand open during the day, and townspeople used the aisles between the doors as a thoroughfare to access the town beyond.
Apparently this mixing of commerce and devotion was not without its detractors. During the protracted negotiations between the merchants, shopkeepers and the then-Archbishop Pedro Tenorio over the acquisition of the land for the building of the cloisters, a “fortuitous” fire broke out and destroyed the entire market. Coincidence?? Many thought not…
Warmth and sunshine greeted us as we stepped out of the somewhat chilly interior of the cathedral into the cloisters.
The centre of the cloisters was an oasis of calm, an apparent contradiction to the earlier strife and aggravation in its construction.
Wrought iron fences surround the cloisters on all four sides.
Teddy, Gustus and Penny paused for a photo op.
A wagon used in the construction of the Cathedral graces one of the sides of the cloisters.
Stone steps leading into the central area.
The Chapel of St. Blaise beckons in one corner of the cloisters, with black and white steps leading up to his tomb.
Some of the carvings high in the walls of the cloisters.
A view through the chapel back out into the cloisters.
The interior of the Chapel of St. Blaise.
Isn’t the detail work on the ceiling exquisite?
One of the round windows high in the walls, allowing light into the chapel.
Restorers are hard at work on the frescoes.
We then returned to the Cathedral to view the Monstrance and take a closer look at the Quire.
The Monstrance is housed in the Chapel of the Treasure and stands over 10 feet tall. It’s a masterful work of silver, gold and precious gems from the early 16th century. It’s created as a gothic temple, depicting scenes from the life of Christ, and features over 260 statutes. Truly staggering in its detail.
As the Monstrance is kept inside a glass case, it was difficult to get close-ups without a lot of glare, but you get the idea.
From there we stepped into the Quire, with its two-tiered walnut wood choir stalls. The upper tier is white – that’s not just an effect of the light.
We then reluctantly began to make our departure. We took a final look round, trying to mentally capture every detail. It was impossible!
I love the proud, indulgent expression on the face of the Madonna, as the Christ child places a hand under her chin.
I almost forgot to mention the stained glass!
Back through the main chapel, we paused to take in the carving.
With a final wave to St. Christopher, patron saint of travellers, we resumed our journey southward.
I’m sharing this post with Between Naps on the Porch.