A stained glass window in the Cathedral of Girona, the oldest in Catalonia


A stained glass window in the Cathedral of Girona, the oldest in Catalonia

It is truly one of the oldest works of art in Catalonia. This is the stained glass window in the Cathedral of Girona that had been hidden with an altarpiece since 1562, when the Cathedral was built. Experts say it was part of the Romanesque cathedral and is considered the oldest figurative stained glass in Catalonia.

The piece is made up of ten panels that symbolize the life of Christ. The panels also feature beautiful landscapes, vegetation, characters, animals and architectural details. The work is 3 meters high and 1.30 meters wide.

The discovery of the stained glass in the Girona Cathedral

The stained glass was found covered by an altarpiece in the chapel of San Francisco and San Martin, inside the Cathedral. The discovery was made by two restorers who were doing their work.

Those responsible for the temple were immediately notified and a commission of experts proceeded to analyze the work. From there they confirmed that it was the oldest stained glass window in Catalonia.

Apparently history indicates that in 1562 the master Antoni Coll signed the agreement to elaborate the wooden altarpiece that in the end ended up covering the stained glass window for almost 500 years.

Usually it is customary that before building the altarpiece, what was there was cleaned and emptied. However, in this case this was not done, which allowed the stained glass to remain hermetically sealed, since behind the glass there was also a wall. Experts even point out that those who assembled the altarpiece drilled holes in the stained glass in order to embed its supports.

For his part, the director of the Treasury of the Cathedral, Juan Piña, said that experts representing the Corpus Vitrearum, as well as professors from the University of Girona, UdG, have confirmed the quality of the work and the year of its creation.

Piña says it is an exceptional find because it has all the components of a great piece. It is very old, it is majestic and the most important thing is that it is very well preserved.

The stained glass in Girona Cathedral was made between the 13th and 14th centuries.

All the experts who analyzed the work agree that the panels of the upper and lower parts of the stained glass date from the first half of the 13th century. On the other hand, those in the center date from the end of the 14th century. They reaffirm that its quality is excellent.

Apparently it was initially in a Romanesque cathedral and then in a Gothic temple that was used to build the Cathedral.

The six highest panels of the stained glass show carved figures. For now, analysts are studying the discovery in depth and hope that once the restoration is completed, the stained glass can be exhibited in the Cathedral of Girona.