Founded in the 13th century on the site of a mosque, the cathedral of Valencia features an unusual number of architectural styles and art and is a definite place to visit on your Costa Blanca Holidays as the Holy Grail. The city of Valencia is located on the east coast of Spain in a fertile region known for oranges and rice. Valencia Cathedral was built between 1252 and 1482 at the site of a mosque and, perhaps earlier, a Roman temple of Diana. It was dedicated to San Salvador, El Cid dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. King Jaime the Conqueror did likewise, leaving in the chapel an image of the Virgin that was with him, which now preserved in the sacristy.
In 1262, Bishop Andrew of Albalat laid the foundation stone of the gothic building. He had three ships, which only reached the edge of the existing building. Bishop Vidal de Blanes built the magnificent chapter hall and Jaime de Aragon added the famous tower, “the Miguelete", in 1418. During the 15th century the dome was added and the naves extended behind the choir, which connects the tower of the building with the main entrance. Archbishop Luis Alfonso de los Cameros began building the chapel in 1674, decorated with marbles and bronzes are ornate style of the time.
In the 18th century German Rudolphus Conrad added an opulent baroque facade to the main entrance. Restoration in the same century rounded the pointed arches, covered the gothic columns with Corinthian columns and decorated the walls. Unfortunately, in the War of 1808, a magnificent altarpiece of gold was taken away and broken into pieces to sell off and cover the cost of the campaign.
The most famous treasure of the Cathedral of Valencia is a limestone known as Santo Cáliz, said to be the famous Holy Grail. Whether the case is true it certainly is an interesting artefact. It is early dated and was stored in a monastery in northern Aragon throughout the Middle Ages, where it has inspired many legends of the Grail. It was rooted in the cathedral since 1437 and can be seen in a dark place, a simple stone chapel in a corner of the cathedral.
The Curator of the Holy Caliza assured the authenticity of a relic of a cup of which Christ used at the Last Supper, but the Vatican has not formally accepted this, although both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI used the chalice during Mass on respected visits to Valencia. Director of the Vatican department of early Christian art, Umberto Utro, has announced that it is not the cup of Christ; in the first place because it is too late and the poor do not have a tradition to save the relics of Judaism.
The Holy Grail is composed of two parts: an old stone cup attached to a medieval rod. Made of dark brown agate, the main cup is 6.5 inches tall and 3.5 inches wide. Experts have dated the first century Antioch with a rod from Alexandria. The medieval handles are gold; the alabaster base is decorated with pearls and precious stones. So while on your Costa Blanca Holidays make sure you take your time when visiting this magnificent cathedral with its Holy Grail.