Besides being the 4th largest cathedral dome in the world by diameter, the Basilica San Francisco El Grande has a large history filled with unique art and a few secrets.
On your guided tour, you’ll learn all sorts of interesting tidbits; it’s the largest dome in Spain; there is a beautiful painting by Goya of San Bernardino in which he included a self-portrait; there is a painting of Joseph, not Mary, holding the baby Jesus; and there are fold-able seats in the choir for stiff legs to stand or sit without anyone noticing – the wooden planks are mischievously sculpted in a “burlesque and erotic” style, according to our guide.
Unfortunately many of the frescoes were oil painted on plaster and haven’t held up to the light and dampness over the years, but little by little the basilica is being restored. In the dark hallways housing the Franciscan convent that runs behind the altar, there are paintings by Zubarán, Velasquez and Velasquez’s professor and father-in-law, Francisco Pacheco, among others.
The hours fluctuate depending on the season and they are closed for most public holidays.
Basilica San Francisco El Grande | Art & culture | Entrance adults € 3.00
Plaza de San Francisco | +34913653800
Tue – Sat 11:00 – 12:30 & 16:00 – 18:00