Sunday, May 23, 2010

#279 Spain...Thanks Adolfo!

This FDC was issued on March 4,2010 devoted to the two Cathedrals of Plasencia with a stamp depicting an image of the old chapter house (Sala Capitular), nowadays a chapel, whose tower, known as the Melón tower is profusely decorated with tambours such as those found in the cathedrals of Zamora and the Gallo tower of the old cathedral of Salamanca. The main façade of the New Cathedral of Plateresque style, features in the Souvenir Sheet.

Plasencia is one of the main towns of the province of Cáceres. It is located on the bank of the Jerte river in the Ruta de la Plata (Silver Route) and very near the National Park of Montfragüe. Plasencia shares a common privilege with Salamanca: they both have two cathedrals: The old and the new.

The Old Cathedral of Plasencia, also known as Santa María, was made, as most Spanish cathedrals, throughout a long period of time and as a result, these constructions are of different architectural styles. The Old Cathedral, begun in the late 12th and early 13th century, is made in a transitional Romanesque to Gothic style of the 14th century. It has three naves, an old chapter house and the cloister which is next to the New Cathedral. The Old Cathedral now houses the Cathedral Museum where Works of Morales the Divino and Pompeo Leoni are kept.

The New Cathedral was begun in 1498 but the works were interrupted and did not begin again until the 18th century. It has two Plateresque style façades, one by Juan de Alava y Gil de Hontañón and the other attributed to Diego de Siloé. The main altarpiece holds wooden carvings by Gregorio Fernández and paintings by Francisco Ricci. There are also altarpieces by Churriguera and Luis Fernández.

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