The Cathedral of Sigüenza is dedicated to Santa María la Mayor, patroness of the city of Sigüenza.
It originated in January 1124, when Bishop Bernardo de Agén (1080-1152) reconquered the city from the Muslims, during the reign of Doña Urraca, daughter of Alfonso VI.
He was appointed bishop in 1121 (before the conquest of the place), by the archbishop of Toledo, Bernardo de Sedirac, of the order of Cluny, continuing the influence of this monastic order introduced in the Kingdom of Castile by Alfonso VI and Alfonso I de Aragon, husband of the Castilian queen.
This bishop obtained from Alfonso VII (1126-1157) privileges and donations with which to increase the new population, unifying the two settlements: the superior around the castle and the inferior, the Mozarab, around the bed of the Henares.
The works of the cathedral passed during the centuries later by different bishops, who were built in styles of each era to the central nave realized in Gothic in the XV century, which covered the vaults of the cruise as bishop the future cardinal Mendoza.
The ornamental part was extended until the XVIII century.
Especially in the interior it emphasizes its gothic aspect, since in a reforms of century XVI the lateral absidiolas románicas were destroyed to construct the girola.
The two outer towers of the main façade with merlons give an aspect of military fortress to the cathedral, as in other religious buildings of the same period, for the temple-fortress functions that they were to assume.
The one of Siguenza was named as the fortis seguntina.
The archbishop of Toledo Bernardo de Sedirac had Bernardo de Agén come to his diocese of Toledo to promote him as bishop of Sigüenza.
Both were of French origin and belonged to the order of Cluny.
The year 1121 named bishop of Sigüenza, although the city still was under the dominion of the Almorávides.
Bernardo de Agén spent some time accompanying the king consort of Castile Alfonso, husband of Queen Urraca I of Castile, in military campaigns for La Alcarria.
In 1123 or 1124, Bernardo de Agén was in charge of reconquering Sigüenza and reorganizing radically the old Visigothic episcopal seat; Two documents of the sixteenth century, which are preserved in the cathedral, give the date of the reconquest on January 22, but the year is missing. Instead, the year appears in another document, in a letter from Queen Urraca dated February 1, 1124 which reads:
“Quae impietate sarracenorum peccatis exigentibus quadragintis annis et and the amplius destructa atque desolata funditus estiteram. (“For four hundred years it was destroyed and desolate.”)”
The document recognizes the lack and destruction of the city; In addition, grants the church and its bishop the tithe of Atienza and Medinaceli.
The text also names the recent possession of Siguenza, but it is almost impossible to give as good as it was in the same year. At that time, in ten days – between January 22 and February 1 – it was not enough time for the queen to have news of the reconquest and to respond so quickly.
Bernard of Agen followed the reform of Pope Gregory VII. In restoring the bishopric he established the “Roman rite” and suppressed the “Mozarabic rite.”
During his long term, in his thirties, he received donations from King Alfonso VII, as well as the city’s lordship, since the city was divided into two nuclei: the “Lower Segontia” and, at about seven hundred meters, “Segontia higher”.
After the reconquest, the superior Segontia happened to belong to the king who gave to the bishop the inferior one.
A few years later the king decided to unite both parts and to form a unique city that happened to the cathedral Cabildo.
During all this time the bishop suffered numerous attacks of the Muslims.
There is no evidence that he was the one who started the construction of the cathedral and it is not known with certainty which building fulfilled provisionally with this function.
He died on the battlefield in 1152, succeeding him in the bishopric his nephew Pedro de Leucate.
Stages and bishops builders
The location and construction of the original cathedral is controversial and difficult to prove.
Different theories prevail: one of them is based on a document dated September 16, 1138, in which King Alfonso VII grants a “donation” of the land where the Episcopal Church “has been founded.”
In 1899, Pérez Villamil, relying on this document, left written that for the rebuilding of a previous church did not need a donation of the king, because it was already “sacred ground”.
For this reason, he defended the fact that the cathedral was of a new plant, in the land where it is in the present one, although of smaller proportions.
According to a document of 1144, Bernardo de Agén is said to be rebuilding “with a double wall and tower” a primitive cathedral, possibly on the remains of an old Visigoth or Mozarabic church: Santa María Antiquíssima.
This hypothesis is defended Múñoz Párraga believing that this rebuilding was done in the same place where the current cathedral is.
Severiano Sardina explains that Bernardo de Agén had two small churches built in the upper Sigüenza and rebuilt another, which was used as a cathedral.
This first cathedral could be built where today stands the church of Our Lady of the Orchards (the Poor Clares), located in the Alameda de Sigüenza.9
The Romanesque temple had a plant of three naves and a headboard with five apses staggered from the sides to the much larger central one.
On both sides of the facade were two towers of defense.
The second bishop, Pedro de Leucate (1154-1156) – also of French origin and nephew of the previous one – is with whom the works of the new cathedral really begin with projects by Languedoc masters who followed the guidelines of the order of Cluny, already introduced in the country. Construction began at the head, the foundations of the walls and the towers.
During the years of the mandate of the next bishop Cerebruno (1156-1167), born in Poitiers, a great impulse was given to the works, closing the ships of the cruise.
With the fourth bishop Joscelmo (1168-1177), when the construction arrived to the transept and its transverse nave, the 19 of June of 1169 was open to the cult; Of this a skull is believed in the tympanum of the door of the tower of the rooster, that indicates that the works would have arrived at this part of the transepto.
The five altars of the apses were already consecrated at the end of the twelfth century, to continue with the rule of the time that at least five canongs could say mass individually.
In the time of the bishop Arderico (1178-1184) the cathedral chapter moved to the habitable dependencies of the cloister. Fray Martin de Finojosa (1185-1192), Cistercian monk and abbot of the monastery of Santa Maria de Huerta, logically influenced the style of the building, changing the Romanesque style by the protogótico.
During the thirteenth century, Bishop Rodrigo (1192-1221) built the wall of the main façade and the lower bodies of the towers.
The three Romanesque doors of the facade were realized that correspond to the three ships of the building and the windows with archivolts and columns of capitels with vegetal ornamentation.
The rosette on the southern side of the cruise is made with arches and circles and is the work of the XIII century.
The central nave dates back to the 14th century and is now in Gothic style and the rosette of the main facade of the 15th century is surrounded by various moldings in degradation, with a valance in the outermost part of “diamond tips”.
In this century XV was the cardinal Mendoza that took charge of the works, covering the vaults of the cruise and reforming those of the presbytery.
In the following century XVI, the most important work was the girola, that for its accomplishment it was necessary to demolish a part of the Romanesque head, with which the absidiolas disappeared.
During the Spanish Civil War, the cathedral suffered serious damage in 1936, so years later reforms were carried out with a major transformation of the building, as a large cimborio was built in the part of the cruise.
From 1943 to 1949, Segovian sculptor Florentino Trapero carried out, as a sculptor-chief, the restoration of all the damaged sculptures.
West facade and atrium
The main facade is located on the west side, is Romanesque, but with neoclassical and baroque later additions.
It forms three bodies, with their respective doors corresponding to the three naves of the building, divided by two strong buttresses.
On both sides of the main façade, two sandstone towers, four bodies, are joined together by a stone balustrade built in 1725.
The atrium was built in 1536, after destroying the wall, which was located in front of the Cathedral.
It consists of twenty-one columns of limestone, topped by lions chiseled by Francisco de Baeza (1503-1542) and measuring 48 x 24 meters.
On the north side of the atrium, there is the Contador of the Cabildo, with three plateresque windows.
In 1783 the bars and the two forge doors where the shield of the bishop Francisco Delgado and Venegas were inscribed with the inscription “M. Sanchez en fecit an. 1783” and a crowning cross.
The three doors are similar in style and Romanesque, the center called the “Gate of Forgiveness”, had a mainel that divided the entrance, where was placed an image of the Virgin Mary It is built with a half-point arch And archivolts supported on columns with capitals of vegetal motifs, only adornments are appreciated in the first archivolt of geometric interlacings.
The leaves of wood or leaves are of 1625. Above it there is a pediment with a medallion in baroque bas-relief that represents the scene of the imposition of the chasuble to San Ildefonso and a magnificent Romanesque rosette of twelve radios of century XIII with drawings of Tracery to illuminate the central nave.
On both sides, on the side doors, also formed with semicircular arches and archivolts, two Romanesque windows, with semicircular arches.
On these windows and on the rosette, three pointed arches, ogival, that indicate the height of the ships and show the transition to the Gothic of the work.
The best preserved door is the side of the gospel, where you can see ornamentations in its archivolts, mostly vegetables with large leaves and interlaced oviodes as well as jammed bands held on columns with capitals also carved.
Towers of the main façade
These towers, which were initially isolated, were built with defensive sights and later joined the wall.
On both sides of the main facade, the two towers of sandstone, square plan have three lower bodies with small Romanesque windows – one per side – and in the fourth body double windows with arches of semicircular point, this is finished body with merlons and some stone spheres.
The tower of the right, called “Las Campanas”, has a height of 40.5 meters, with an inner staircase of 140 steps, its last body was added in the fourteenth century by Bishop Pedro Gómez Barroso (1348-1358 ), which also made the masonry stone and the shields of the bishop and King Pedro I placed on the wall of the fourth floor, with masonry stone.
The tower on the left, called Don Fadrique, has a height of 41.7 meters and was completed in the sixteenth century, has the date of 1533 inscribed and the coat of arms of Bishop Fadrique.
South facade or the market
Turning by the tower of “the bells” is the south façade, corresponding to one of the ends of the cruise of the cathedral.
In the central nave (higher), you can see the gothic ogival windows, separated by buttresses, with eaves, leaning on canecillos, with animal shapes, alternating with metopas decorated with vegetal motifs.
The windows of the lateral (lower) nave show the Roman-ogival transition, with eaves and cornice of blind arches.
More towards the east, we find the Market Gate, formerly “La Cadena”, which overlooks the 12th-century Romanesque Plaza Mayor; This door is covered by a closed portico, neoclassical style, built in 1797 by the architect Bernasconi on behalf of the bishop Juan Diaz de la Guerra.
On the cover, a transitional Romanesque rosette, from the 13th century, with a very original tracery design.
Torre del Gallo
The so-called “Gallo” tower dates from the beginning of the 14th century, around 1300, and was originally a military watchtower, to transmit signals that could be seen from the castle of Sigüenza.
It has undergone several restorations over the years. On the central nave, the cimborrio, of the time of the Spanish post-war period.
It is analogous to that of the opposite side, with a different rosette; On this façade, the tower is on the sacristy of Santa Librada, on the northern arm of the transept; The height of this tower is that of the central nave, and remains unfinished.
In this façade, corresponding to the head of the temple, it stands out powerfully the presence of the turn that replaced, to the five chapels absidiales, Romanesque, that had in origin.
The lantern and the high Gothic windows, correspond to the presbytery.
The cathedral, is currently composed of a plant of Latin cross, with three naves, wide transept and head with a great apse, that contains the greater chapel, surrounded by the girola or ambulatory.
It is 80 meters long by 31 meters wide, from one end of the cruiser to the other, and 28 meters long, in the other ships. The central nave, of more than 10 meters wide, is 28 m high, the sides 21 m.
The ships are separated, by huge pillars, which are each composed of twenty pillared columns with vegetable-themed capitals, where the arches fajones and formeros arches rest.
From the capitals, the stony nerves, which form the ribbed eyebrows, are usually simple ribbed with two diagonal nerves, although there are two six-pointed vaults on the sides of the transept or even octopartite in the dome.
Three of the four pillars that frame the choir, are different from the rest of the building, are constituted by large cylindrical columns with Romanesque ornamentation in the inferior part and gothic in the superior one.
Left Evangelic Nave
The plant of the temple changed with time, since in origin they did not appear side chapels and so it still happens in the ship of the Epistle that only has some altar and some sepulcher attached to the wall of the choir, instead in the ship of the Gospel Chapels were built to reach the adjacent wall of the cloister.
St. Peter’s Parish
The first chapel on the left side at the foot of the cathedral, is known as the parish of St. Peter.
It is situated, in the place where there were former monastic buildings, in the west gallery of the cloister with entrance by the cathedral, is a work of the fifteenth century, built in 1455 by order of Bishop Fernando Luján (1449-1465) and dedicated to Corpus Christi.
Its cover is plateresca, realized by Francisco de Baeza, where the shield of the bishop principal is shown.
The grating is Gothic-Plateresque of Juan Francés realized in 1533.
At the end of this same century the transfer of the parish of San Pedro took place, that was in the right of the greater chapel and since then it has been known by this name.
It was greatly transformed and enlarged by the bishop Pedro de Godoy in 1675, which added three sections to the vault with the same Gothic style of starry cross, despite corresponding the work at the end of the seventeenth century.
The altar is presided over by an image of St. Peter, and under this statue is the Holy Trinity by the sculptor Mariano Bellver and Collazos of 1861, it is carved in wood and polychrome.
It is represented by an iconography inspired by the models of the Spanish Baroque: God the Father seated, holding in his left hand globe, beside him also seated Jesus Christ who carries a cross and among them the Holy Spirit in the shape of a dove.
The group is situated on a cloud in which two angels contemplate the scene surrounded by cherubs.
The plant is rectangular rather elongated because it occupies the entire western part of the cloister.
In the wall of this chapel is the tomb of the first founding bishop Fernando Luján of the XV century, it is gothic with scenes in three reliefs of the life of saint Catherine of Alexandria placed on top of the figure lying, this sculpture of the bishop is on a Arch that gives way to the baptistery and in front position to the viewer, was probably moved from its original place during the works of the seventeenth century, you can read an inscription that says: “Mr. Bishop Lujan. Year MCCCCLXV. Last elected by the town council.”
Puerta de San Valero
It shows a mixture of styles such as Renaissance pilasters, Mudejar arabesques and gothic style arches, although it is from the early 16th century, was built by Domingo Hergueta.
This door leads to the cloister, where is the chapel of San Valero, the oldest of the cathedral, with a Romanesque structure and a Gothic fence.
Chapel of the Annunciation or of the Immaculate
Founded in 1515 by the provisor Fernando Montemayor, its magnificent cover is decorated in the “Cisneros style”, consists of a lower part of Plateresque pilasters where small niches are housed that house the images of San Miguel and Santiago, in the arch the ornamentation Consists of geometric elements of Moorish cross lines, forming figures of starry and polygonal laceration between which are found shields of the founder of the chapel and in the frieze that follows also of lacería is the shield of the cathedral cabildo with a scene of The Annunciation under Gothic arches, topped by a cornice, very decorated of Arab type, with a figure of lion, at each end, the crowning of the cover is constituted by arches in Gothic style with the representation of a Calvary in the central point.
The fence is Gothic, by Juan Francés, with twisted bars and Renaissance ornamental themes.
The interior of the chapel is covered with a Gothic vault and on its left wall is the tomb of Fernando Montemayor, made in plateresque style and polychrome, is the sepulcher with the statue lying inside a semicircular arcosolio, at the bottom of which Is also a polychrome relief with the Eternal Father in the center and two angels in prayer.
In front of this tomb is that of Bishop Eustaquio Nieto y Martín.
St. Mark’s Chapel
The facade is Gothic, the intradós, shows a great plateresque Gothic decoration.
The principal of this chapel was Juan Ruiz de Pelegrina who has his burial inside the chapel.
There is an altarpiece with six 16th century paintings by Francisco del Rincón.
Tomb of Juan González Monjua and Antón González
In the tomb, which some authors attribute to two brothers, but who, in fact, were uncle and nephew, it is striking how the figures of both are placed, the one that represents Juan González Monjua is located on the Sarcophagus and forming an angle against the wall, is that of his nephew Anton Gonzalez, the two have very similar robes and cover their heads with bonnets.
At the front of the tomb there is a shield engraved in the center, supported by two angels, with the inscription:
“AQUÍ ESTAN SEPULTADOS LOS REVER. SRES. D. ANTON GONZALEZ E D. JUAN GONZALEZ MAESTRESCUELAS.” (HERE ARE REVERED. MR. D. ANTON GONZALEZ AND D. JUAN GONZALEZ MAESTRESCUELAS.)
Juan González Monjua served as ambassador of Juan II of Castile before Alfonso the Magnanimous, in the conflicts that this monarch had with the kingdom of Castile during the “War of the Infants of Aragon”, while, its nephew Antón González founded a An institution dedicated to helping the poor, called the “Ark of Mercy”.
It finishes this ship of the Gospel with the altars, of San Juan Bautista formed with a plateresque arc realized by Francisco de Baeza in 1530 and with a baroque altarpiece of century XVIII. In front of the choir wall is the altar dedicated to St. Michael of the 17th century.
It has a length of more than 36 meters and the same height as the central nave. After the civil war of 1936, during the works of restoration of the cathedral was constructed in the center of the cruise a dome.
In the Romanesque period the cruise was without any altars or altarpieces, in the early sixteenth century and in plateresque style were those of Santa Librada and Fadrique de Portugal to the north side and on the south side has the door that gives The main square of the city with a Romanesque rosette, the Doncel chapel and the altar of Our Lady of the Milk.
It is covered with ribbed vaults, the dome of the dome is square with eight partitions and eight ogival windows that give way to natural light, the sides of the transept, are covered by six-meter vaults.
Modern Sacristy or Santa Librada
It is located in the northern part of the transept.
It has a plateresque cover of Francisco de Baeza, flat pilasters, on pedestals, with jambs and lintel with carved vegetal adornments.
It has a great frieze and fronton, with the arms of Bishop Fadrique of Portugal.
Porphyry and Jasper Gate
Next to the front cover is the one of the beginning of the XVI century, its decoration is of plateresque style, with smooth pilasters and a series of friezes.
It gives way to the cloister, where in that part is the Door of Jaspe of 1507, in yellow and red marble; Is the oldest renaissance part of the cathedral.
Altarpiece of Santa Librada
It was normal for the cathedrals of the Middle Ages to be placed under the protection of the relics of a martyr, and for this purpose Bishop Bernardo de Agén brought to Sigiienza those of the fourth-century holy martyr Librada from Aquitaine.
The altarpiece is at the northern end of the transept and was commissioned by Bishop Fadrique of Portugal.
Executed as a great mausoleum in limestone, it is dedicated to Santa Librada.
It shows the perfect combination of architecture, sculpture and painting that is characteristic of the art of rebirth-Plateresque.
Architecturally it takes the form of an arch of triumph of three bodies, traced by Alonso de Covarrubias in 1518 and realized by Francisco de Baeza, with a vault of arch of half point with casetones and in both sides niches with images of the evangelists and the Parents of the Church, as well as scenes of the Virgin Mary and saints, all between columns on pedestals.
In the middle part of the great altarpiece is a silver urn with the relics of the saint, protected by a fence of Juan Francés. In the attic is a high relief of the Virgin Mary surrounded by angels.
In the lower part, behind the altar and inside the arch of half a point, is where the altarpiece proper, formed by two bodies and three streets, the central one more wide and high than the lateral ones, with six paintings on table of Juan Soreda made between 1525 and 1528.
The central table of the upper body represents the Deesis and the five remaining scenes of the life of the martyr: Librada and her sisters in front of Catelio; Librada and her sisters deliberate on their fate; Librada comforts one of her sisters; Decapitation of Santa Librada and Santa Librada enthroned, the latter in the central street of the lower body.
The image of Santa Librada enthroned is inspired by the engraving by Marcantonio Raimondi of the Virgin of the Clouds by Rafael Sanzio.
The martyr is seated with a book in her hand and the palm of martyrdom in the other.
In the frieze painted in the building of classical architecture that shelters the throne of the saint, are represented four works of Hercules, with a symbolic meaning in relation to the virtues of the martyr, who preferred death rather than yield to earthly pleasures, just as Hercules had to fight with wild beasts-as allegories of vices-to gain immortality.
It was the moralizing message of the rebirth to present the exemplary life of Saint Librada and her sisters, as Santiago Sebastián says:
“… to express that he was as virtuous and strong as Hercules himself.”
Portico of Art and Humanism, Santiago Sebastián (1981) p.199
Mausoleum of Fadrique of Portugal
The mausoleum of Fadrique of Portugal is of plateresque style and carried out by mandate of the mentioned bishop under the design of Alonso de Covarrubias while the altarpiece of Santa Librada was constructed, with which it makes corner in the north part of the cruise of the cathedral, therefore was made about 1520.
The execution of the altarpiece was carried out by Francisco de Baeza and his collaborators Sebastián de Almonacid and Juan de Talavera, finalizing the project for the year 1539, date of the death of the bishop in Barcelona, from where it was transferred and buried in this place.
It contains the altarpiece of three bodies plus bench and attic with three streets.
In the bank is a card that alludes to the bishop and several ornaments of grotesque and vegetal motives, in the first body in the central part is a great shield with the arms of the bishop and two niches on both sides with the images of San Andres And San Francisco, the second body inside a niche is the image of Bishop Fadrique kneeling in the company of two clerics, with two other images in the side streets also inside niches of St. Peter and St. Paul, on this body there is a relief of a mercy and on both sides the patron’s shields and to finish in the attic a polychrome Calvary.
This chapel is located on the south side of the transept, also called “chapel of St. John and St. Catherine” and formerly part of one of the apse chapels of the Romanesque cathedral dedicated to St. Thomas of Canterbury.
The entrance to the chapel is realized through a grid executed by Juan Francés between 1526 to 1532, the cover is of Plateresque style and Francisco de Baeza built it.
In the interior there are several burials, emphasizing in the center of the pantheon the mausoleum, of Renaissance style, of the parents of Doncel, Fernando de Arce and Catalina de Sosa, supported by lions and with statues lying of both, the head of her on a cushion, his on laurels, indicating that he died warring.
Also on the wall is the Plateresque tomb of Fernando Vázquez de Arce, bishop of the Canaries, advisor to Ferdinand the Catholic and brother of the Doncel, who acquired the chapel of the family of La Cerda – former owners since the 14th century – in order to serve as a funeral chapel for him and his relatives, signing the decree by which they acquired the right of burial on January 9, 1487.
But the masterpiece of this chapel and perhaps of the cathedral is the burial of Martín Vázquez de Arce, the Doncel of Sigüenza: … one of the masterpieces of funerary sculpture.
The sepulcher placed on three lions is under a niche in a semicircular arch, with the statue of the Doncel in alabaster, is dressed in armor and with the cross of Santiago in the chest, you can appreciate the fist of a sword and a small dagger in the head is covered with a bonnet that adapts completely, but what stands out is that it is not a lying figure, asleep, if not lying down, with one leg over the other and supports the half arm incorporated, in an attitude of reading a book that he holds open in his hands, in the front of the tomb two pages hold the coat of arms and is ornamented with delicate carvings in candilieri.
The whole work is polychrome. The date of completion of this funeral set is between 1486, year of the death of the Doncel and 1504 in which it is mentioned in the testament of his father as already realized in the chapel of the cathedral.
The lower part of the hornacina contains the following inscription:
“Here lies Martín Vasques de Arce – a knight of the Order of Sanctiago – who killed the Moors helping – the very illustrious lord Duke of the Infantadgo his lord – to certain people from Jahén to the Acequia – Gorda in the valley of Granada – collected in the hour His body Fernando de Arce his father – and buried him in this chapel – year MCCCCLXXXVI. This year they took the city of Lora. – The villages of Illora, Moclin and Monte Cold – by fences in which father and son were found.”
Altarpiece of San Juan and Santa Catalina
This altarpiece is in the transept, next to the chapel of the Doncel and comes from the sacristy of the aforementioned chapel.
It is composed of several of the tables made around 1440, commissioned by the Cerda family.
The tables are painted in an Italianate Gothic style and in the central table the Crucifixion is represented while in the others they are scenes of the life of Saint John and Saint Catherine, the predella is conserved also where several painted images of the prophets are observed.
Of this same altarpiece are several tables saved in the Museum of the Prado.
Altarpiece of Our Lady of the Milk
This altarpiece is attached, to the front pillar of the side of the Epistle of the choir, the image is of alabaster, of 1514, work of Miguel de Aleas; The altarpiece, made in a plateresque style is Francisco de Baeza, the columns, which frame the half dome avenerada, are also of the same material, ending with a frieze and a pediment, with the coat of arms of the Cathedral Cabildo.
At the end of the 16th century, it was built, abandoning the previous typology with the demolition of the old apsidal Romanesque head with five chapels and replacing it with an ambulatory that revolved around the greater apse.
This roundabout features half-barrel vaults with circular cross-sectional arches of the nave, one of the chapels that existed in the 12th century, that of Saint John the Baptist, and which had been closed by the mausoleum of Bishop Fadrique.
Converted into the smaller sacristy or the Mercenaries, being made accessible by the turn on the side of the Gospel, has a Baroque cover of 1688.
Next is the white marble tomb of Bishop Bernardo de Agén under an archosolium and performed In 1449 by Martín de Lande and that was placed in this place in 1598, next to him is the greater sacristy or “chapel of the heads” and the chapel of the Holy Spirit.
The tour was constructed and placed in it five altars as the work progressed in its construction: that of San Ildefonso and that of San Felipe Neri in 1565, that of Our Lady of the Rosary in 1639, that of San Roque in 1662 and The one of San Pedro Arbués the 1667.
On this side there is a door of access to the chapel and sacristy of the Christ of the Misericordia.
The masterminds of the tour during these years were the so-called “five Juanes”, to coincide with his first name; Juan Vélez, Sánchez del Pozo, Gutierrez de Buega, and Ballesteros who finished Juan Ramos.
Sacristía mayor or Las Cabezas
Located in the northern part of the turn, its access is made through a stone cover in plateresque style realized in 1573 by the master of works of the cathedral Juan Sánchez del Pozo, presents / displays inside niches diverse images of apostles and the Doors are walnut carved by Martin de Vandoma with fourteen reliefs of holy martyrs.
In 1532, Alonso de Covarrubias made the design, drawing the plans until in 1534 was appointed master of works of the cathedral of Toledo reason why it left Sigüenza, the construction of the sacristy continued in charge of the architect Nicholas of Durango until its death in 1554.
It was then that the cabildo of the cathedral hired Martín de Vandoma to replace him, four years later the works were stopped when Vandoma was dismissed in 1559, without the reason being known.
Before various complaints by Vandoma, the cabildo agreed to admit it again.
And to continue the work of the sacristy, according to a Chapter Act of March 18, 1560, thereafter he continued for eighteen more years working on various works of the cathedral until his death in 1578.
The interior of the chapel, is of rectangular plant with arches of half a point attached to its walls, where is placed the own furniture of sacristy, from these arcs there is a cornice where the vault of half cannon, completmaente covered with casetones, in those that are sculpted more than 300 heads representing all kinds of personages of the time from bishops to monks, from warriors to kings, from peasants to nobles.
At the angles of the quadrants where the reliefs of the heads are there are smaller ones of cherubim and other quadrants, alternating with the previous ones, with roses. The walnut-crate furniture that was also made by Martin de Vandoma with plateresque ornaments.
Chapel of the Holy Spirit
From the Sacristy of the Heads, one enters the chapel of Plateresque invoice, by means of a very ornate cover and a wrought iron plateresque grid, work of Hernando de Arenas, of 1561, according to a design of Esteban Jamete and supported by the Bishop Fernando Niño de Guevara (1546-1552) around 1561.
The bishop’s coat of arms is in it and is one of the best bars in the cathedral.
In the contract of the grid it is stipulated that Hernando de Arenas would charge a thousand ducats and that would be realized in Cuenca, but the gold would be made in Sigüenza by Pedro de Villanueva.
The chapel was traced by Esteban Jamete with a square plant and Plateresque ornamentation.
It is covered with a semispherical dome on pendants, which support a majestic lantern with the image of the Eternal Father, the work of Martin de Vandoma.
It shows in its walls an Annunciation, where the Virgin and the Archangel are in opposite walls.
On the altar, there are busts of saints that contain relics and, among others, a cypress carving of the bishop san Martin de Hinojosa.
Chapel of the Christ of Mercy
In the turn, but already on the side of the Epistle is this chapel that was old tabernacle or greater sacristy, with a plateresque doorway, a half-point arch and a renaissance pediment, very recharged, built in 1498 by Miguel de Aleas and Fernando Of Quejigas.
The frieze was carved by Domingo Zialceta in the year 1649. In the interior, it has a late gothic vault of the XV century, a baroque altarpiece of the XVII century and a crucifix, carved in wood, called Christ of the Misericordia dating from the XVI century, this Chapel also has its corresponding sacristy.
The initial part of the presbytery, is of square plan and covered with a dome sexpartite, leaves room for four windows of ogival style, in the facades north and south.
It is located on the side of the Gospel next to the entrance of the main chapel.
This pulpit was built at the end of the 16th century, it is an important work of Plateresque style of octagonal plan and scenes of the Passion of Christ.
It is supported on a cylindrical column of fluted shaft with Ionian-Corinthian capital, was constructed by the artist Martín de Vandoma the year 1572.
Pulpit of the Epistle
It is a pulpit that is in the side of the Epistle to the entrance of the greater chapel.
Made in white marble, it is Gothic style, commissioned and donated by Cardinal Mendoza.
It presents in its reliefs subjects allusive to the cardinal-bishop; Was made by Rodrigo Alemán in 1495-1496, is located on an octagonal column with capital of Corinthian order.
Located in what was the major apse of Romanesque construction, it has a vaulted roof divided into nine parts, with seven windows of pointed arches.
It had the primitive choir of alabaster attached to its walls and presided by the chair of the bishop, until in the sixteenth century moved to the center of the main ship after the cruise and in 1491 Cardinal Mendoza had a new wooden one built.
It was at the time of this bishop when the chapel was restored and raised the walls and the vault of the apse.
This enclosure is accessed between two pulpits, a Gothic and a Plateresque, and a plateresque wrought-iron fence, made by Domingo de Zialceta in 1633, ending with a calvary in its upper part carried out by Rodríguez Liberal.
In its interior on both sides are located several tombs. On the right wall of the Epistle, on the door leading to the turn, there is the Gothic-Burgundian burial of Bishop Alonso Carrillo de Albornoz, Cardinal of St. Eustace (1424-1434); Was built by his nephew Bishop Alonso Carrillo de Acuña, the recumbent figure is treated with great realism, and is taken as an example of 15th century Gothic Castilian funerary sculpture, next to it are the statues of St. Peter and St. Paul and Above these pinnacles ending in a row of blind arches the tomb is within a conopial arch.
Among others is also the tomb of Bishop Pedro de Leucate, the first builder of the cathedral, although the recumbent image was made, later, at the order of Cardinal Mendoza, with a pontifical garment, mitra and pastoral staff, thus wearing vestments after his death.
The altarpiece for the main chapel was commissioned by the Franciscan Bishop fray Mateo de Burgos to the sculptors Pompeo Leoni and Giraldo de Merlo, who signed the contract for its execution on September 24, 1608.
On the occasion of the death that same year Of Pompeo Leoni, took charge of its realization Giraldo de Merlo.
The traces were made, according to the desire of the bishop, occupying the maximum of the possible space but leaving free the upper part where they had to place stained glass, also donated by the same bishop.
It was built between 1609 and 1613 in Mannerist style and the polychrome was made by the painters Diego de Baeza and Mateo Paredes.
It consists of predella with three bodies of different orders, Ionic, Corinthian and composite, and a superior crown.
In the predella are four reliefs with scenes of the Passion of Christ.
In the first body, in the central street there is a tabernacle of three floors with the images of San Pedro and San Pablo, the Last supper and in the last floor the Savior.
In the side streets with the separation made with Ionic columns, the figures of St Andrew and St Francis of Assisi are found on the ends, in the right side street the Transfiguration of Christ and on the left side the Immaculate Conception.
In the second body the order of the columns is Corinthian, in the central street is the Assumption, in the right side a great relief of the Adoration of the Kings, in the conspicuous Nativity and in the ends the images of Santa Ana and Santa librada In the third body in the central part there is a Calvary: Christ on the cross with Mary and John the Baptist and on its sides the reliefs of Pentecost and the Ascension of Christ with two figures exempt of saints at each end.
The final crowning of the altarpiece was carried out with a large shield of the bishop, commended by two angels and two representations of the virtues.
Located in the center of the main nave, it was built on the initiative of Cardinal Pedro Gonzalez de Mendoza (1467-1495), replacing the previous one made in alabaster and placed first in the main chapel and later transferred to the central nave.
The floor of the room is rectangular, and the choir is composed of eighty-four seats, placed in two rows, the second highest, the ashlar masonry, with the backs, with Gothic style ornamentation of lattices that are not repeated and Bishop’s shields; On the seats of the high ashlar, there is a canopy in flowery Gothic.
In the center of this ashlar is the episcopal chair of carved back with condos and the shield of Cardinal Mendoza, is covered with a large canopy with pinnacle made in the same style.
There were several carver sculptors who worked in the choir stalls under the direction of Martin Sánchez, also participated the neighbor of Sigüenza named Alfonso González, in 1503 were working in him, Petit Juan, Francisco Coca and Martin Vandoma, the chair of the bishop Believes that it was made by the teacher Rodrigo Alemán, who also worked in the low ashlar stalls.
Crowning the upper sillería and over the canopy, there are two grandstands, where the Churrigueresque organ is found, with a plateresque balustrade and shields of the cathedral chapter and the bishop of the Fadrique of Portugal.
The enclosure is closed with a wrought iron renaissance fence Of 1649, which presents three images in the upper part of Santo Domingo Guzmán, the Virgin of the Rosary and Santo Tomás de Aquino, made in sheet cut by the artist Domingo de Zialceta under the patronage of Bishop Pedro de Tapia (1645-1649).
At the time of the Renaissance, the cathedral shows that it had three organs between the years 1522 and 1538.
In the books of work of the temple there is news of the works that were carried out in the organs whether they were of carving or of painting, Pierre made the crowning of the small organ and Fernando de Carasa the doors of all the organs; Juan de Artega painted banisters and tribunes of the organs and choir, Villoldo painted the medians and his box, the doors and the crowning of the small one in the year 1526, Juan Soreda, also in the same year, states that he painted the large organs and Again at ten years Pedro Villanueva was commissioned to paint “the doors and box of the large organs”.
The bishops who were most concerned with the musical activity of the cathedral were Fadrique de Portugal (1512-1532), a learned person and who for his political actions came to occupy the position of Viceroy of Catalonia and also the bishop Pedro de la Gasca (1561 -1567) had great concern for music.
The cathedral’s music chapel had good teachers. During the tenure of Cardinal Mendoza, he held the position of organist Villagrán, succeeded in 1504 by Pierres of French origin, later in 1530, Cristobal de Morales was appointed as one of “The teachers who came to see the organs”.
Other known personages are recorded in the archive of the cathedral, Mateo Flecha el Viejo in 1539, Francisco de Salinas in 1559 who succeeded Hernando de Cabezón son of Antonio de Cabezón from 1563 to 1564.
On November 26, 2011, the new organ was inaugurated in the S.I.Catedral Basilica of Sigüenza, dedicated to San Pascual, having been built by El Taller de Organería Acitores, in Torquemada (Palencia).
The organ of San Pascual of the cathedral seguntina consists of two manual keyboards of 56 notes and pedalero keyboard of 30 notes, mechanical transmission of notes and registers, 3 couplings and a tremolo.
It has 1,390 tubes distributed in 30 registers. This new organ, with baroque sound aesthetic and facade that evokes the towers of our cathedral, comes to replace, and in its same place, in the high choir of the Cathedral, to the one constructed in 1750 by the Navarrese organero Joseph Loytegui, that was destroyed During the Civil War, in 1936.
Entering the main façade, the first thing that surprises us from the temple is the monumental baroque style of which the transept consists.
Until the seventeenth century, three altars were attached to its wall.
In 1666, at the request of Bishop Andres Bravo of Salamanca, he commissioned Juan de Lobera and Pedro Miranda to carry out the great baroque altarpiece to place the image of Saint Mary of Major, of whom the bishop was very devout.
The altar is made up of six large black marble salomonic columns brought from Calatorao, another four smaller columns are made of red marble from Cehegín and the white marble from Fuentes de Jiloca was also used.
In a niche placed in the central part of the altarpiece is located the image of Santa Maria, patroness of Siguenza.
The sculpture of Santa Maria, is a Romanesque image of the twelfth century, is believed to have been an offering of Bishop Bernardo de Agén, and was the image that accompanied him in his reconquest for the territories of the bishopric.
He is of polychrome cypress wood, he carries his son Jesus on his left knee and in his right hand he holds a fleur-de-lis.
To be very deteriorated in century XIV, was reformed giving a “gothic air” and covered with silver plate.
It was venerated in the primitive altarpiece of the greater altar of the cathedral, from where it comes to him the popular name of Santa Maria de la Mayor.
When the new altarpiece for the main chapel was built, the image was moved to the church of Santa María de los Huertos and in 1617 it returned to the cathedral to occupy a place in the altarpiece of the chapel of the Annunciation until 1673, in the one that definitively moved to the altar of the trascoro.
During the Spanish Civil War, the image suffered several damages that forced a new restoration in 1974, in which the silver plates that covered the polychrome wood were removed, leaving it as it seems that it had to be its original appearance.
Right ship or epistle
No chapel is found on this ship. The elevators from the main entrance are dedicated to Saint Bartholomew or Saint Cecilia, which is located next to the door up to the bell tower.
Altar with baroque altarpiece of 1718, dedicated to Santa Ana; The altar of San Pascual Bailón also baroque of the year 1691 is in the wall corresponding to the choir.
Next to the altar dedicated to Our Lady of the Snows of 1718, is the tomb of Pedro Garci’a of the Cornudilla of 1462, the figure of the reclining person measures seventy and eight centimeters, it lacks the head and is very deteriorated the rest of the monument.
The cloister is attached to the north wall in the central part of the cathedral building, has a quadrangular plan with a measurement of forty meters per side, these galleries each have seven large ogival windows with Gothic drafts; All these arcades are protected by bars of the same time.
The four galleries of the cloister are known by different names, the one of the north like “Panda of San Sebastián” or “of the cellar”; The one of west like “Panda of the Palace”; The one of the east like “Panda of the Knights” or “of the Cabildo” and the one of the south like “Panda of Santa Magdalena”.
They have two access doors to the patio where there is a garden and a central stone fountain. To the north side or “San Sebastián”, the relatives of the canonges and beneficiaries were inhumaba; The one of west or “of the Palace” buried to the mortal remains of distant relative of the capitulares; The one of noon or of “Santa Magdalena”, served as burial to the canongen racioneros and escuderos.
The new cloister of Gothic style, replacing the previous Romanesque, which had the wooden roof was in a ruinous state, began its rebuilding in 1505, at the initiative of the bishop and Cardinal Bernardino Lopez de Carvajal (1495-1511), and appointed cardinal and resident in Rome, with the help of Cardinal Cisneros, a former senior chaplain of the cathedral under Bishop Pedro Gonzalez de Mendoza.
It is of late gothic style, with Renaissance elements, the vaults of the galleries are of crucería sexpartita with the keys in polychrome representing the shields of the cathedral chapter and of the bishop Lopez de Carvajal.
In the eastern part, there is the summer chapel hall, the old chapel of Our Lady of Peace and a diocesan museum, decorated with a magnificent collection of Flemish tapestries, the chapel of Santiago Zabedeo and the bookstore with a cover with plateresque decoration From the 16th century.
The south gallery is also dedicated to burials and the Jasper Gate is connected to the cathedral.
In the north gallery there is the chapel of the Conception and the west part is medianera with the parish of San Pedro, old vestry.
Capilla de la Concepción
The construction of the chapel of the Conception was realized under the order of the bishop Diego Serrano in the year 1509 for burial to him and of his family and is the center of the chapel where had its sepulcher the bishop, who had to retire and lose in the 17th century.
There are shields of the bishop placed near the arch of the entrance with an inscription that says: “The protonotario D. Diego Serrano, Abbot of Santa Coloma, founder of this chapel, was struck fourteen days of the month of March of 1522 years. Laus deo.”
It is located in the north gallery of the cloister of the cathedral and is of gothic style with Renaissance ornamentation like grutescos and balustrades.
The vault is Gothic ribbed – Mudejar with ribs and the decoration of the keys is done with polychrome.
On the walls are remnants of old mural paintings, simulating large arcades with large windows through which landscapes of gardens and cities can be appreciated by the painter Francisco Peregrina.
Its façade opens, between two pilasters very decorated and ends in a frieze, decorated with an image of the Virgin Mary in stone, underneath which is a very decorated bow escorzano.
This door closes with a wrought iron fence of Master Uson dating from 1498 to 1519 with beautiful motifs like crowned sirens.
The museum is located in three spaces located in the cloister in the Panda de los Caballeros.
The first room is the Capitular Hall (12th to 16th centuries), which later became the Cabildo Bookstore (16th to 20th centuries),
“… that has the first vault of warheads of the cathedral, with arches starting from the ground, in a protogótico style, living with its Romanesque wall, with a Romanesque rosette and windows with a semicircular arch; This room is also called the Chapel of the Conception of Our Lady and has various objects, tapestries, busts of some bishop … etc.”
The second room is the Summer Capitular Room, former chapel of Our Lady of Peace and also has tapestries and the old ashlar of the room.
The third room is the one belonging to the old forge and can only be passed to it from a small door that communicates with the previous room or Chapter Room of summer. It also contains Flemish tapestries and is restored.
The bishop of the cathedral Andres Bravo of Salamanca (1662-1668), donated the sixteen tapestries that are part of the cathedral treasure, were entrusted to the workshops of Jean Le Clerc and those of Daniel Eggermans both of Brussels.
The tapestries were completed in 1668 and consist of two series: eight of them represent scenes on the History of Romulus and Remus and the other eight, the mythological virtues of the goddess Athena in Athena’s Allegory.
According to a note of the records of the Treasury of the cathedral of the year 1664, the donation is explained as: “A damask of Flanders tapestry consisting of 16 cloths, the 8 of the History of Romulus and Remus, and the other 8 of the Triumph of arms and letters with the heart of the nine muses, all the apricots have large figures and are Put in winter in the Great Chapel, gave to this Holy Church the Most Illustrious A. Brabo.”