About Murcia Cathedral
Murcia Cathedral (Iglesia Catedral de Santa Maria en Murcia) is a picturesque Roman Catholic cathedral in Spain dating back to the 14th century.
Murcia Cathedral history
Known as the Cathedral Church of Saint Mary, Murcia Cathedral was constructed from 1394 on what had been the site of a mosque.
The first stone of the current church was laid when Fernando de Pedrosa was Bishop. Prior to that, work had been completed on the construction of the cloister, which now houses the Cathedral museum. In 1467, work on the Cathedral was completed, it was consecrated and dedicated to Saint Mary during the episcopate of Lope de Rivas.
Although construction work ended, the truth is that work has never stopped on the church: extensions, repairs and new chapels have resulted in a cathedral that is full of artistic contrasts, encompassing everything from the understated Mediterranean Gothic of the 15th century to the historicism of the 19th century.
The Cathedral has a plethora of exquisite detail, both inside and out, with elements of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture, each part with its own unique personality. The magnificent Torre-campanario, the bell tower, is 90 metres tall and houses 24 bells. Dating from the 17th and 18th centuries, the bells are individually named and served not only to call Murcians to prayer but also to ring out warnings of wars, of floods, as well as messages of peace and celebration.
Murcia Cathedral today
With an intricate Baroque façade, dramatic Gothic interior and Renaissance influences, Murcia Cathedral is a stunning mix of styles, a legacy gained from the long period over which it was built. The bell tower took around two centuries to complete.
On 6 April 1957, the museum was opened for the first time to the public in the cloister of the old Cathedral and annexed premises, and this work was managed and promoted by the Cathedral chapter.
The Gothic cloister of the Cathedral is the oldest part of the church that is still preserved. Visitors can walk through one of its galleries, admire the frescoes that decorate its walls, visit the chapels it houses, the oldest in the Cathedral, and observe the foundations of the great mosque through a glass floor.
The museum houses the treasures of the Cathedral, with important works of painting and sculpture, as well as textiles and objects from the Cathedral´s liturgical collection.
Visitors have the option to visit the bell tower or book guided tours of the cathedral.
Getting to Murcia Cathedral
The cathedral is located at Plaza del Cardenal Belluga, 30001 Murcia. The nearest parking is the Glorieta underground car park which is a few minutes walk away.