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Capilla Real (Royal Chapel)

Capilla Real (Royal Chapel) Review

Catholic Monarchs Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragón are buried at this shrine. The couple originally planned to be buried in Toledo's San Juan de los Reyes, but Isabella changed her mind when the pair conquered Granada in 1492. When she died in 1504, her body was first laid to rest in the Convent of San Francisco (now a parador), on the Alhambra hill. The architect Enrique Egas began work on the Royal Chapel in 1506 and completed it 15 years later, creating a masterpiece of the ornate Gothic style now known in Spain as Isabelline. In 1521 Isabella's body was transferred to a simple lead coffin in the Royal Chapel crypt, where it was joined by that of her husband, Ferdinand, and later her unfortunate daughter, Juana la Loca (Joanna the Mad), and son-in-law, Felipe el Hermoso (Philip the Handsome). Felipe died young, and Juana had his casket borne about the peninsula with her for years, opening the lid each night to kiss her embalmed spouse good night. A small coffin to the right contains the remains of Prince Felipe of Asturias, a grandson of the Catholic Monarchs and nephew of Juana la Loca who died in his infancy. The crypt containing the five lead coffins is quite simple, but it's topped by elaborate marble tombs showing Ferdinand and Isabella lying side by side (commissioned by their grandson Carlos V and sculpted by Domenico Fancelli). The altarpiece, by Felipe Vigarini (1522), comprises 34 carved panels depicting religious and historical scenes; the bottom row shows Boabdil surrendering the keys of the city to its conquerors and the forced baptism of the defeated Moors. The sacristy holds Ferdinand's sword, Isabella's crown and scepter, and a fine collection of Flemish paintings once owned by Isabella.

    Contact Information

  • Address: C. Oficios, Centro, Granada, 18005 | Map It
  • Phone: 958/229239
  • Cost: €4
  • Hours: Apr.–Oct., Mon.–Sat. 10:15–1:30 and 4–7:30, Sun. 11–1.30 and 4–7:30; Nov.–Mar., Mon.–Sat. 10:30–1:30 and 3:30–6:30, Sun. 10:30–1:30 and 3:30–6:30
  • Website:
  • Location: Centro
Updated: 06-18-2013

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