The cloisters are on the north side of the cathedral, upon the site of the old Jewish Commercial District. As I mentioned in the previous blog, the doors of the cathedral used to stand open during the day, and townspeople used the aisles between the doors as a thoroughfare to access the town beyond.

Apparently this mixing of commerce and devotion was not without its detractors. During the protracted negotiations between the merchants, shopkeepers and the then-Archbishop Pedro Tenorio over the acquisition of the land for the building of the cloisters, a “fortuitous” fire broke out and destroyed the entire market. Coincidence?? Many thought not…

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Warmth and sunshine greeted us as we stepped out of the somewhat chilly interior of the cathedral into the cloisters. 

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The centre of the cloisters was an oasis of calm, an apparent contradiction to the earlier strife and aggravation in its construction.

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Wrought iron fences surround the cloisters on all four sides.

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Teddy, Gustus and Penny paused for a photo op.

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A wagon used in the construction of the Cathedral graces one of the sides of the cloisters.

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Stone steps leading into the central area.

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The Chapel of St. Blaise beckons in one corner of the cloisters, with black and white steps leading up to his tomb. 

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Some of the carvings high in the walls of the cloisters.

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A view through the chapel back out into the cloisters.

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The interior of the Chapel of St. Blaise.

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Isn’t the detail work on the ceiling exquisite?

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One of the round windows high in the walls, allowing light into the chapel.

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Restorers are hard at work on the frescoes. 

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We then returned to the Cathedral to view the Monstrance and take a closer look at the Quire.

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The Monstrance is housed in the Chapel of the Treasure and stands over 10 feet tall.  It’s a masterful work of silver, gold and precious gems from the early 16th century.  It’s created as a gothic temple, depicting scenes from the life of Christ, and features over 260 statutes. Truly staggering in its detail.

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As the Monstrance is kept inside a glass case, it was difficult to get close-ups without a lot of glare, but you get the idea.

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From there we stepped into the Quire, with its two-tiered walnut wood choir stalls. The upper tier is white – that’s not just an effect of the light.

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We then reluctantly began to make our departure.  We took a final look round, trying to mentally capture every detail. It was impossible!  

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I love the proud, indulgent expression on the face of the Madonna, as the Christ child places a hand under her chin.

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Entrance to one of the chapels.

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Ceiling detail outside one of the chapels.

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Capitals of the columns.

I almost forgot to mention the stained glass!

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Rose window.

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Back through the main chapel, we paused to take in the carving.

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With a final wave to St. Christopher, patron saint of travellers, we resumed our journey southward.

I’m sharing this post with Between Naps on the Porch.