The Cathedral of Teruel, a Mudejar gem

The cathedral of Santa María de Mediavilla is the main Catholic temple in Teruel. It is one of the most important Mudejar buildings in Spain.


The origins of Teruel Cathedral go back to the church of Santa María de Mediavilla, a 13th century Mudejar church. A series of reforms were carried out until the 14th century, during which the naves were raised. The Gothic buttressing system was used for these alterations.

In the mid-14th century, Santa María underwent another alteration to mark its appointment as a collegiate church. The chevet was enlarged, with the construction of a transept, and the apses were also replaced. The decoration was renewed with Mudejar language.

Dome from the outside.

In the 16th century, Botero designed the new Mudejar dome, which replaced the previous one. In the 17th century, the ambulatory of the chancel was built, and the apses on the sides disappeared. The original roof was replaced by vaults.

During the 18th century, the side chapels were built. In addition, new simple and star-shaped ribbed vaults were added. At the beginning of the 20th century, a neo-Mudéjar doorway was built by Pablo Monguió Segura. During the Civil War, the cathedral suffered a great deal of damage. The 20th and 21st centuries were marked by successive restorations.


The most characteristic feature of the exterior of Teruel Cathedral is undoubtedly the Mudejar tower. It is a square tower divided into three sections. The first has a vaulted passageway for transit. The rest of the structure is richly decorated with various arches, tiles and enamels.

Northern facade.

Construction of the structure began in 1257, but the lantern at the top dates from the 17th century.

The Teruel headquarters has two entrances: north and south. To the north is the Puerta del Obispo (Bishop’s Gate), in Classicist Baroque style, built at the end of the 17th century. The south doorway is the main entrance to the cathedral. It dates from the 19th century and is in the neo-Mudejar style. It was built by Pablo Monguió.

Detail of the neo-Mudéjar façade.

One of the most interesting elements of Teruel Cathedral is the coffered ceiling in the central nave. It consists of a pair and knuckle framework, dating from around the second half of the 13th century. It has Linear Gothic paintings with Mudejar language.

Coffered ceiling in the central nave.

Other highlights include the main altarpiece, the work of the Renaissance sculptor Gabriel Joly, dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin. There are also other Baroque altarpieces in the side chapels, with the Virgin Mary as the protagonist. A 16th-century panel depicting the Virgin and child stands out.

Detail of the main altarpiece.

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