Tess Knighton – The road to Granada: royal ritual in and around the ‘Capilla Real’

Event Date: 29 & 30 April 2011
The Latimer Room
Clare College, Cambridge


Department of Spanish and Portuguese
Modern & Medieval Languages Present:

Norman MacColl Symposium Easter Term 2011

Sites of Power: The City of Granada as Cultural Icon

Dr Tess Knighton (Clare College, University of Cambridge): The road to Granada: royal ritual in and around the ‘Capilla Real’

Following the completion of the Reconquest of Granada in 1492 Ferdinand and Isabel determined to establish the royal mausoleum in that city. The building of the Capilla Real, which was to supercede the monastery of San Juan de los Reyes in Toledo as the monarchs’ resting-place, was still at the drawing-board stage at the time of Isabel’s death in 1504 and was far from complete by the time of Ferdinand’s in 1516, yet the bodies of both monarchs were borne in solemn funeral corteges across Spain to Granada where they were temporarily buried in the Franciscan monastery in the Alhambra. On completion of the building in 1521, their bodies were exhumed and taken in procession to the Capilla Real. This paper analyzes the ritual that surrounded royal exequies, burial and commemorations in the time of the Catholic Monarchs, especially the traslado of their bodies through the cities of Castile and Andalusia and along the streets of Granada, and considers their contribution to the founding and establishment of the Capilla Real and their legacy in terms of music and ceremonial.








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