The city of Albarracín was established as the seat of a diocese in 1172, four years before it was conquered by the Christians. Only a few years later, work began on the cathedral, whose eighteenth-century Episcopal Palace houses the Diocesan Museum.
Pza. del Palacio, s/n
Opening times Monday to Friday: 10.30 to 14.00 and 16.30 to 18.30. Saturday: 10.30 to 14.00 and 16.30 to 19.30. Sunday: 10.30 to 14.00.
Telephone (+34) 978 71 00 93
Fax (+34) 978 70 04 23
The Cathedral of the Saviour
Work on the Cathedral of the Saviour began at the beginning of the thirteenth century, although its current appearance dates almost completely from extensive remodelling carried out in the sixteenth century which transformed the whole building. Now, it is a single-nave cathedral with star-shaped rib vaulting and Renaissance-style chapel niches housed between the buttresses. The tower, which was constructed at the end of the sixteenth century, has Roman inscriptions embedded at the bottom, along with a relief depicting a small boat and a ladle, remains from funerary monuments. The main chapel and its altar date from 1533, while the Great Altar, sculpted by Cosme Damián from 1566 and finally gilded in 1681, is one of the most important pieces of Renaissance iconography in Aragon.
The Episcopal Palace
The Diocesan Museum (or Cathedral Museum) of Albarracín is located in the Episcopal Palace, an annexe of the Cathedral of the Saviour. It is accessed from the main steps of the cathedral, through a Romanesque-style cloister. The most notable element of the building is the Baroque Chapel of the Bishop, along with its facade, which is also Baroque. Among the rooms of the palace, where the museum’s treasures are displayed, the most notable are the first Stewards’ Room, the antechamber and the Hall of the Throne, the oratory, the antechapel of the Bishop and the library-bedroom, as well as the dining room, washing room and kitchen. The restoration which was carried out on its outbuildings in the 1990s was awarded the Europa Nostra Prize in 1995.
The Diocesan Museum
The museum’s collection of sixteenth-century Flemish tapestries, which depict the biblical story of Gideon, is of particular interest. Formerly kept in the Chapter House, they are now on display in the Episcopal Palace. Other treasures of the museum include: a parish cross from the town of Noguera with enamelwork dating from the eleventh and twelfth centuries; a gold pax-brede with incrusted stones attributed to Benvenuto Cellini; precious objects including a remarkable sixteenth-century incense boat sculpted in rock crystal and shaped like a fish; a silver perfume bottle dating from the Visigothic period with golden niello inlay, which is considered a treasure of Hispano-Islamic art; and several chalices of great value and quality. It also contains collections of paintings, sculpture and gold and silver work.