Capilla del Santo Cáliz

Architecture & Buildings

Europe, Spain, Provincia de Valencia / València

The Metropolitan Cathedral-Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady of Valencia (Spanish: Iglesia Catedral-Basílica Metropolitana de la Asunción de Nuestra Señora de Valencia), alternatively known as Saint Mary's Cathedral or Valencia Cathedral, is a church in Valencia, Spain. It was consecrated in 1238 by the first bishop of Valencia after the Reconquista, Pere d'Albalat, Archbishop of Tarragona, and was dedicated by order of James I the Conqueror to Saint Mary. It was built over the site of the former Visigothic cathedral, which under the Moors had been turned into a mosque. Gothic architecture, in its Catalan or Mediterranean version, is the predominant style of this cathedral, although it also contains Romanesque, French Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Neo-Classical elements. One of the supposed Holy Chalices in the world is revered in one of this cathedral's chapels; this chalice has been defended as the true Holy Grail; indeed, most Christian historians all over the world declare that all their evidence points to this Valencian chalice as the most likely candidate for being the authentic cup used at the Last Supper. It was the official papal chalice for many popes, and has been used by many others, most recently by Pope Benedict XVI, on July 9, 2006. This chalice dates from the 1st century, and was given to the cathedral by king Alfons el Magnànim in 1436. The cathedral contains numerous 15th century paintings, some by local artists (such as Jacomart), others by artists from Rome engaged by the Valencian Pope Alexander VI who, when still a cardinal, made the request to elevate the Valencian See to the rank of metropolitan see, a category granted by Pope Innocent VIII in 1492.