Oratorio de la Santa Cueva

Oratorio de la Santa Cueva | Source: Texts and Photo: Ayuntamiento de Cádiz.

The Oratorio de la Santa Cueva (Oratory of the Holy Cave) is one of the treasures to discover in Cadiz. It belonged to the Congregation of Spiritual Retreat, founded in the city in the 18th century and which had among its members some of the most prominent figures of the Cadiz society at the time.

The facade is very simple and has a public altar with the painting of the Virgen del Refugio by Franz Riedmayer.

The interior is divided into two areas, one underground dedicated to the passion and death of Christ, and another upper floor dedicated to the celebration of the Eucharist. The lower chapel was designed by Torcuato Cayon as an austere room appropriate for penitential practices where the image of the Calvary is highlighted. The so called High or sacramental Chapel offers for its decorative richness, a deliberate contrast to the penitential area where stands out the temple work of Torcuato Benjumeda, Mannerist style.

On top of this space notable for its artistic importance are the midpoint canvases, of which three of them are the work of Francisco de Goya, representing the multiplication of the loaves of bread and fish, the parable of the wedding guest and the sacrament; in what is considered one of the most successful sets of religious themes of the Aragonese artist.

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