Fin de Semana en Salamanca

Conocer Salamanca

The New Cathedral and the Old Cathedral

The New Cathedral and the Old Cathedral of Salamanca

The New Cathedral

Next to the Old Cathedral, the construction of this Cathedral began in 1513, called popularly “the new one”. The Cathedral’s chapter meeting of Salamanca was the promoter with the financing of Catholic Kings Isabel and Fernando, who were by then in the maximum religious cultural and political apogee. Spain was an exponent in World.

The works lasted nothing less than 250 years and many of the best architects directed these works.

Juan de Álava worked principally in Salamanca, where between 1520 and 1535 directed the works of this New Cathedral of Salamanca, and whose facade he decorated with varied renaissance-ish elements of medieval influence where saint’s statues in encrusted shelves were the most typical. They are built in famous Villamayor Stone; which its quarry is to the west of Salamanca, and which has been very prolific in our monuments.

Juan de Álava is considerated one of the most distinguished representatives of the Spanish plateresque for he was the one that best assimilated the decorative proper concept of the Italian Renaissance but adapting it to an authentic Spanish art. Between 1521 and 1525 he did many works by assignment of the Fonseca archbishop in Salamanca, and important works in Santiago de Compostela.

In 1705 Pantaleón del Pontón Setién, Master of stonework that had succeed his uncle as major master of works of the cathedral of Salamanca, designs the master lines of to remodel this Cathedral.

Later, he takes the colossal work Joaquín Churriguera, very well-known architect working also in Plaza Mayor of Salamanca.

Juan de Sagarbinaga was the main introducer of the languages of classicism and of the new technical that dominated the architecture by the years 1750 / 60; He was a great interpreter and connoisseur of the architecture of the refined classicism. He reconstructed the dome after the sinking due to the Lisbon earthquake of 1755, that affected numerous monuments such us as Clerecia or Anaya Palace.

The reconstruction was based on dismantling and rebuilding the plans of architect Fray Antonio de San José Pontones, Benedictine monk, engineer, and Spanish writer (1710- 1774).

Some examples without chronological order of some of the characters that here worked.


Juan de Badajoz "the elder”, architect and also author of the Portico of the Oviedo’s Cathedral.

Alonso de Covarrubias.

Alfonso Rodríguez.


Francisco de Colonia, was a gothic style sculptor and architect of the plateresque, Son of Simón de Colonia, major master of Cathedral of Burgos and grandson of Juan de Colonia, lineage of famous sculptors and Spanish architects.

Vasco de la Zarza, sculptor from renaissance dead in Ávila.

Manuel Churriguera, also an architect, nephew of famous Churriguera.

Gil de Ronza, Belgian sculptor that worked in the cathedral in 1509, master that mastered technical flamenco. In 1524, together with his son Diego, they constructed the frontal of three doorways of New Cathedral.


Juan de Álava.

Juan de Sagarbinaga.

Fray Antonio de San José Pontones.

Juan de Rasines, from Rasines (Cantabria) stonemason1490/1542

Enrique Egeas architect and Toledano master in charge of decoratation and masonry.

Rodrigo Gil de Hontañón.

Joaquín de Churriguera.

Manuel Churriguera.

Andrés García de Quiñones.

Jerónimo García de Quiñones.

Juan Gil de Hontañon.

Juan de Badajoz "The Elder”

Baltasar Devreton

Grand Masters

Juan de Nantes, born in Sacadura and deceased in Valladolid, son-in-law of the famous stonemason Juan de la Vega.

Enrique Egeas, Toledano master, who was called by Bernardino de Contreras to work in the Cathedral.

Juan de Ribero Rada, master in gothic style techniques, who is buried in the cathedral and who died in this city in the year 1600. He was under command of the architect Rodrigo Gil de Hontañon.

Manuel Churriguera architect and sculptor born in Salamanca, son of José of and Mariana Churriguera sister of famous architects such as Joaquín, Alberto and José.

Juan de Múgica (Masonry) highly skilled master of a singular perspective.

Andrés García de Quiñones, Jerónimo’s brother, Spanish architects that were deeply involved in numerous works in Salamanca such as Convento de las Úrsulas, altarpieces of La Clerecía, and many others.

Craftsmen of the organ

Luis Damián.

Pedro Echevarria.


Juan de Nantes.

Pantaleón of del Pontón Setién.

Juan de Rasines, of Rasines, Cantabria grayer 1490 / 1542.

Juan de Rascafria.

Domingo de Vidaña, Basque grayer of the first salmantinian Renaissance.

Juan Rodríguez, grayer that ornament Door of Rams.

Juan de Troas, son of Pedro and cousin of the painter also called Pedro Troas.

Antonio Paz, canon.

Juan Setién Güemes.

Innumerable Farm hands, stonemasons, sculptors, painters, masters, draftsmen, architects, canons, blacksmithes, goldsmithes, carpenters, cleaners, craftsmen of luminary and stained glass windows, specialists in masonries, locksmiths, water-carrier, vigilant and masters of all the officious to be arches, taxes collectors, raised helpers of camera, cooks, ordinances, jailers worked there.

All of them constructed 200 needles, 446 , 125 statuary and 88 pendants that represent Doctors. Evangelists or Holy, 40 pillars, 52 vaults, 170 medallions including the ones in the Cathedral, 90 windows, 37 botareles, thus as 202 statuary.

four central pillars are 38 meters tall.

The Cathedral was solemnly consecrated the 15 of august of 1733. The original design was gothic and even today it’s still defined as such, it’s a church with rectangular plant of three aisles, and surrounding the interior there are marvelous reliefs with eight scenes of Mother Mary

The principal facade

The main facade shows us images of the Birth of Jesus, and the Epiphany of the Lord that is celebrated on the sixth of January, a crucified Christ presides the scene between Saint Peter and Saint Paul, a great beauty carving by its impeccable finished, it’s another sample of the art in our City, Salamanca.

Frontispiece of Ramos

It shows us the triumphal entrance of Jesus in Nazareth rose, magnificent carves of great execution and beauty, by the expression and by its four arches.


They spent over 10 years in constructing the chorus, being ended approximately in 1740. We can see in it two sections: In the superior half, 57 chairs with images of Jesus and His apostles and in the inferior 41 assigned to Virgins and Saints. All these chairs are work of the great master Juan de Múgica; the ornamental top for closing the Chorus was made by a magnified grating.

Eighteen chapels surround New Cathedral and we’ll do a brief reference to them.

Major Chapel

Of rectangular ground, where its magnificent polychrome dome is supported, here could observe an image of Assumption from 1624 or so, whose author was Esteban de Rueda. Here is also buried Saint Juan de Sahagun (patron saint of Salamanca, more info in this website) thus other silver urns that contained Saint Tomás de Villanueva’s relics.

Golden Chapel

The principal altarpiece is presided by “The Calvary" a painting by Adisodado de Olivares.

The construction was carried on thanks to the Alba’s archdeacon, Francisco Sánchez de Palenzuela, back then in the beginning of the XV Century.

Saint Lawrence’s Chapel

This colorful and decorated chapel was founded by D. Lorenzo Sánchez de Acebes in 1630, being buried next to his wife in this Chapel. There is also an altarpiece of Saint Lawrence’s martyrdom. Decorated with ceramics of Talavera it’s connected somehow with Old Cathedral.

Virgen de Morales’s Chapel

Here we are able to see an altarpiece of Saint Bartholomew, assembled in 1627 by Antonio González Ramiro. We can see Saint Bartholomew, together to Saint Agustín, Saint Gregory, Mother Mary with Baby Jesus and Saint Johnny, work of Luis de Morales “El Divino”, born in Badajoz between 1509 and 1520. In the superior frieze other gravestones of the same author and sepulchers of Juan de Mogrovejo, the Aguilera bros., and other important people such as doctors, rectors and University professors.