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Valencia Cathedral
click here to enlarge this image Reliquary with the doors closed
click here to enlarge this image Reliquary with the doors open
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Cathedral Reliquary

ReliquaryAt the back of the Chapter House, behind a neoclassical lintel, is the Reliquary Chapel, a round hall where are three big cupboards that contain the Cathedral relics.

The images of the handing over of the relic of Santa Espina by St. Louis of France, the Holy Chalice (which was kept in the central cupboard up to 1916) and more relics of the Aragon Kingdom by Alfonso the Magnanimous, are all painted on the doors of the cupboard by Miguel Parra.

The Church only venerates the “authentic” relics because they get us closer to the Saints' memories, whose bodies are destined to rise again gloriously. It also keeps other “historic” relics respectfully for the traditions they reflect, the memory of those people who venerated them and also for their artistic value...

Relic of the arm of St. George of Chipre Queen (detail)

The Valencia Cathedral had a real reliquary treasure, most of them are statues of saints or only the busts, most of which were melted in 1812, in Mallorca, where they were taken together with the silver altarpiece and the gothic processional monstrance, in order to protect them from the French army. Those relics became into coins to pay the troops that fought against Napoleon. Despite this great loss and the looting suffered by the Cathedral on 21 July 1936, a lot of relics of remarkable artistic and historical value were kept, currently conserved in safer reliquaries.

In the left cupboard, there are relics of St. John of Ribera and St. Louis BertranSt. George's arm reliquary(a hand that is the only part of his body that is entirely kept) There are also relics of other saints as well as other recently beatified Valencian people.

The central cupboard guards the most important sacred objects since they were in the chapels of the itinerant courts of the Aragon Monarchs, in Saragossa, Barcelona and finally in the Valencia Royal Palace from where were taken in 1437 by order of Alfonso the Magnanimous. Among these relics, there was one of Vera Cruz, of great size and placed in a patriarchal cross shaped, and another one inside a beautiful tower-shaped gothic reliquary. Only one silver bust has remained among the oldest ones, it is a 15th century bust of great beauty, with the image of the Virgin Mary .

In the right cupboard, among a variety of small reliquaries, there are some coffers called “agate chest” and “Embriachi chest” which were sent from Rome with relics of the Valencian Pope Callixtus III.

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