Retrochoir Virgen de la Mayor

igüenza Cathedral, its merit and importance making it so worthy of study and contemplation, cannot be visited without one lamenting the terrible effect of the retrochoir, added in the 17th century in the worst possible taste, abominable we might say in this case, with a mole of marble and gilded carvings which really destroy the effect of the admirable lines of the cathedral.

At the back of the choir is a heavy, Baroque composition in black jasper from Calatorao, whist from Fuentes de Jiloca and red from Cehejín, with capricious barley-sugar columns, excessively-decorated Baroque works.

These barley-sugar, or Solomonic, columns are the work of Juan de Lobera (1665) aided by Pedro de Miranda (1669).

The beautiful black marble «proto-Baroque» (without leaves) columns can be dated to prior to 1670, as their execution was commissioned by Bishop Andrés Bravo de Salamanca.

We refer to the sumptuous marble altarpiece containing the Altar of the Virgin de Santa María la Mayor, patron saint of the city.

The image, whose origins appear to go back to the early dates of the restoration of the cathedral, meaning that it dates to the 12th century, formerly presided over high altar, but was replaced by the Mystery of the Assumption.

This statue was a «campaign image» (socia belli), that is to say, that it was carried into battle.

It has a concave section with shutters at the back where relics and consecrated forms were kept. It is Eucharistic in type.