New Cathedral of Salamanca

New Cathedral of Salamanca
New Cathedral of Salamanca

The New Cathedral of Salamanca is one of the two cathedrals that the famous charro city has, dedicated as its companion to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in it you can see an amalgam of stylistic elements ranging from the Gothic to Baroque forms, passing through a multitude of Renaissance elements.

Throughout the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the city of Salamanca had experienced a considerable increase in its population, the rise of the University was increasing and the city had to accommodate an increasing number of students. In this context, it was thought that the old Romanesque cathedral was too old and ancient to house the growing number of faithful, and what was more, to show the innovative and cosmopolitan spirit of the city. Due to this and with the approval of the monarch Fernando el Católico, the city undertook a new company, the construction of a great cathedral that would show the splendor of the charra city; in the year 1509 the design of the project began, which was commissioned by the monarch himself to the architects Antón Egas and Alonso Rodríguez.


The New Cathedral of Salamanca is emerging as one of the last Gothic cathedrals built on the Iberian Peninsula, the initial proposals correspond to the final Gothic, however the expansion of the work – the cathedral was not completed until the centuryXVIII, in the year 1725- he made the initial project be modified to adapt to the new prevailing stylistic forms.

A temple with five naves was proposed, the central nave being wider and taller than the lateral ones and flanking these two other naves with niche chapels that were completed in the 16th century by the architects Juan de Álava and Juan Gil de Hontañón. The head, which initially had to be configured through a large ambulatory, ended up being a flat headwall – following the same model that Juan de Herrera had proposed in the Cathedral of Valladolid – giving the entire building the appearance of a large hall floor.. After the intense activity of the 16th century, in the 17th century the works advanced slowly. From this time it is only the great dome with a baroque dome made by Joaquín de Churriguera.

Traditionally, cathedrals and churches begin their construction at the head so that this space can be used if necessary and it is always in this area where the best decoration and the most outstanding elements are appreciated, in the case of Salamanca is not like that. The works began at the foot of the Cathedral, let us remember that the presence of the other temple could cover the liturgical needs, and it is in this area where a greater decoration can be seen, both inside and outside, while, as we advance the decorative forms become more austere and simple.

In 1755 the Lisbon earthquake caused significant damage to the construction, the dome raised byChurriguera collapsed and had to be raised again, as well as the foot tower, which had to be reinforced.

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