Pamplona Cathedral

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Pamplona Cathedral

The Cathedral of Santa Maria la Real de Pamplona is the spiritual center of the Spanish Archdiocese of Pamplona .


The current Gothic church had a Romanesque predecessor, which was built between 1100 and 1127 (the construction of the associated monastery lasted until 1137). Some of the capitals of the portal and the monastery are still preserved from him and are exhibited in the Museum of the Comunidad Foral de Navarra. In 1280 the construction of a new monastery began. Construction work lasted until 1375, including the outbuildings such as the refectory , kitchen and Barbazàn chapel. In 1391 the main nave of the 11th century Romanesque cathedral collapsed. Only the facade, the head end and the monastery escaped the disaster. From 1392 King Charles III. of Navarre (1387–1425) erect the Gothic successor building on the same site, to which the recently built monastery was retained. The construction work lasted until 1501. The main facade was redesigned in 1783 by Ventura Rodríguez in the classical style and built by Santos Ángel de Ochandátegui until 1800 . This essentially followed Rodríguez's design, of which only a drawing of the facade and a floor plan were available. However, when connecting the facade to the Gothic nave, he intervened less in the existing architecture than Rodríguez had planned.

inner space

The main nave of the three-nave church has only two floors with large arcades and windows. The strict objectivity of the unadorned surfaces correspond to the Navarre Gothic. A transept, a polygonal apse and a ambulatory complete the construction plan.

A forged lattice by Guillermo de Evernat from 1517 closes the chancel , in which there is also a Romanesque statue of the Virgin Mary made of silver-plated wood under a neo-Gothic canopy. The Renaissance style choir stalls were made by several artists from Navarre between 1531 and 1541.

Before the altar standing Alabaster - sarcophagus of the founder Charles III. and his wife Eleanor of Castile, by Janin (or Jehan) Lomme from Tournai between 1411 and 1420 in the workshops of the Royal Palace of Olite and then transported to Pamplona. The lower area of ​​the sarcophagus is adorned on all four sides with mourning figures made of alabaster, whose feelings are impressively expressed through facial expressions and gestures, but also partly through hoods pulled over the head.

In the pentagonal chapel of the right ambulatory is a Flemish-Spanish altarpiece from the 15th century. The two hexagonal chapels in the middle are decorated with retables by Fermín de Larrainzar from 1713. The wall of the pentagonal chapel in the left ambulatory was broken through to make room for a chapel in honor of Bishop Prudencio de Sandoval , which was designed between 1632 and 1634 by Pedro de Zaballa and Luca Pinedo in the purist style of the early Baroque. In 1651 an altar with an image of Saint Benedict, attributed to Juan Andrés Ricci , was added.


The Ampora gate from the years 1318 to 1355 under a tympanum of the Virgin Mary provided direct access from the Gothic cloister to the cathedral . Today you enter the monastery area through a spiral staircase from the 17th century with a handrail in the flamboyant style, which leads to the upper floor of the cloister, and an entrance hall.

In the southwest corner of the cloister there is a pool of water, which is surrounded by a grate in memory of the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa , which is said to be forged from the chains that surrounded the tent of the hostile Almohad caliph Muhammad an-Nasir . In the refectory opposite , the Gothic retable Navas de Tolosa , which was made from wood with multi-colored decoration between 1440 and 1450, shows a representation of the Pietà surrounded by the twelve apostles. Next to the repertory is the access to the medieval kitchen, of which the four chimneys have been preserved.

The so-called Magnificent Gate (Puerta Preciosa) with a tympanum from the period between 1350 and 1360 depicting the death of the Virgin Mary leads to the dormitory. The Barbarzán Chapel, the construction of which began in 1335, takes the place of the capitular hall in other monasteries. Bishop Arnaldo de Barbarzán is buried there under a star-shaped vault from 1355 . The capitals are painted in color and show animal figures.


Five of the eleven bells after the restoration

In the two east towers of the cathedral hang eleven bells of bronze , eight in the south tower and three in the north tower. In 2001 all bells were cleaned and the historic wooden yokes were restored. La de Párvulos (3) and La de Plata (4) received new wooden yokes.

The bells can be divided into two groups: Four bells, La de las horas (B), La de oraciones (7), La Juana (6) and La de las nueve (5) , are in what is known as a Roman rib (campanas romanas) cast, a very compressed and kettle-like shape. The four smallest bells and La Gabriela (8) are called bells (esquilas) , with their sweeping, slender tulip shape . It is also the oldest bell that rings and bears a three-line inscription with verses from the Holy Scriptures , several medallions, stylized lily flowers , two groups of crucifixions and the Archangel Gabriel , in whose honor the bell rings.

In the north tower hangs next to two bells for the clock strike La María (9) , the largest bell in the ensemble and at the same time the largest functioning bell in Spain. Due to its size, it cannot be turned around. Instead, the clapper, which weighs around 300 kilograms, is swung from one side of the wall to the other. La María is rung on the following feast days: Our Lady of God (1.1.), Epiphany (6.1.), St. Blaise (3.2.), St. Joseph (19.3.), Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday, church dedication ( 29.4.), Ascension Day, Pentecost, Trinity, Corpus Christi Vigil and on the day, Johannis (24.6.), Peter and Paul (29.6.), St. Firminus Vigil (6.7.) And on the day (7.7.), St. James (25.7.), Assumption Vigil (14.8.) And on the day (15.8.), Mary's Birth (8.9.), Mary Sacrifice (20.9.), St. Firminus Aldapa (27.9.), Rosary devotions in October, All Saints' Day (1.11 .), All Souls' Day (2.11.), Christ the King (23.11.), Mary's Conception Vigil (7.12.) And on the day (8.12.), Christmas mass (24.12.), Christmas Day (25.12.) And the Holy Family (28.12.).

La de las Nueve once gave the first chime for the canons to the laudes at 9 o'clock, while the cimbalilla (1) gave an omen for the ringing of the other bells. The ringing rope led to the bell ringer's room, who could watch the liturgy through a window. La de plata and La de Párvulos were rung together when a child died. The prayer times on workdays , Sundays and smaller festive days were struck with the Oraciones bell . Santa Bárbara (2) was rung as a weather bell.

No. Name, dedication Casting year Caster diameter Weight tower suspension
1 La cimbalilla, el signo, Maria 1609 Villanueva 50 cm 63 kg south rotatable
2 La cimbala o de tormentos, Santa Bárbara 1836 anonymous 51 cm 73 kg south rotatable
3 La de Párvulos, Maria 1792 José Marcout 73 cm 204 kg south rotatable
4th La de plata, Maria 1792 José Marcout 82 cm 294 kg south rotatable
5 La de las nueve, Maria 1609 Villanueva 122 cm 598 kg south rotatable
6th La Juana , St. cross 1792 José Marcout 130 cm 844 kg south rotatable
7th La de oraciones 1802 Bernado de Mendoza 152 cm 1,128 kg south rotatable
8th La Gabriela , Christ 1519 anonymous 167 cm 2,480 kg south rotatable
9 La María , Trinity 1584 Petrus de Villanueva 259 cm ≈10,060 kg North immobile
A. La de los cuartos 1592 anonymous 91 cm 407 kg North (rotatable)
B. La de las horas or de relox 1576 anonymous 162 cm 1,695 kg North (rotatable)


The following were buried in the cathedral from the family of the kings of Navarre :

Web links

Commons : Pamplona Cathedral  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Dietrich Höllhuber, Werner Schänke: The Spanish Way of St. James. Ostfildern, DuMont Reiseverlag 2008. p. 86 The sign in the cathedral limits the period to the years 1413 to 1419.
  2. Vídeo 906. In: Retrieved August 28, 2016 .
  3. The approximate weight was calculated using the following formula: (diameter in meters) 3 x 579
  4. The hammers make clock bells A and B practically immobile.

Coordinates: 42 ° 49 ′ 10.9 "  N , 1 ° 38 ′ 27.6"  W.