The Cathedral, Miguelete, and Holy Chalice

In the heart of the city’s old quarters is Valencia’s Cathedral, home to the Holy Chalice and a solemn bell tower, the Miguelete.

Valencia’s Cathedral, like numerous other buildings in the city, has many names. Its full name is Iglesia Catedral-Basílica Metropolitana de la Asunción de Nuestra Señora de Valencia (Metropolitan Cathedral–Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady of Valencia, in English), but nobody calls it that.

You’re much more likely to hear it being called St Mary’s Cathedral, or simply, and most commonly, la Seu. No matter the name, if you’re staying in Valencia you’re likely to hear it, as it is the most prominent religious building in the city and a major tourist sight.

The Seu was built on the site previously occupied by a Mosque, and a Visigothic cathedral before that. The structure we now see was erected between the second half of the 1200s and the 15th century. Thus, the style that is most strongly reflected in its architecture is Gothic.

However, the construction went on for hundreds of years, as was to be expected from such a large complex. As a consequence of this, in the Cathedral, you’ll find a mixture of artistic styles, including Romanesque, Valencian Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical.

Valencian Baroque and Gothic styles in Valencia Cathedral
In this picture, you can see the Baroque (left) and Gothic (right) doorways of the Cathedral.

In other words, this church too, like Saint Nicholas Church, bears the imprints of the time that passed since its first stone was laid. When walking its aisles, climbing its steps, or even just walking around its perimeter to look at its different faces, you’ll find many clues. These are the marks that witness the passage of centuries, styles, and kingdoms.

Together with the Seu, you’ll certainly hear the Holy Chalice being mentioned. The goblet, brought to the Cathedral in the 15th century, is believed by many, including the Roman Catholic Church, to be the true Holy Grail.

The Holy Chalice in Valencia Cathedral
The Holy Chalice, together with other minor relics, can be visited in the Cathedral's chapels and museum.

In addition to the Grail, the Cathedral’s Museum exhibits around 90 artworks of different styles: Gothic, Renaissance, and Mannerist. Its collection includes pieces by Spanish artists Maella , Goya , and Juan de Juanes .

Museum in Valencia Cathedral
The Cathedral’s Museum exhibits several artworks in different styles and dating back to different time periods.

Finally, if you want to enjoy a panoramic view of the city, you should consider going up the Miguelete. At the top of this bell tower, you’ll be able to see the whole of Valencia’s Old Town below you and, if you’re lucky, hear the tolling of the giant bells just a few feet above your head.

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