THE CATHEDRAL OF SAINT MARY OF THE ASSUMPTION
The dioceses of Ceuta was created due to the Portugueseconquest by John I of Portugal on 21 August 1415 and this ancient mosque was converted into a church and Christian worship was introduced here. The cathedral building was in very poor condition in the second half of the 16th century and
was declared a ruin in 1665, and then its closure was ordered. The new foundations began to be built in 1686 and in 1694 during the siege of Muley Ismail and the temple already had a roof but was not consecrated, being used as barracks for the infantry until 1726 when it was finally consecrated.
It is a rectangular building with three naves beside which there is a semicircular headpiece with an ambulatory. The outside is in classical style and its front is composed of a central module flanked by twin towers and finished off with a triangular pediment. The influence of the style of the Cathedral of Cadiz can be seen. There is a presbytery in the central nave, surrounded by the choir stalls and we can see Saint Daniel’s chapel, patron saint of the city, in the central stretch of the ambulatory. To the left and right of both naves, there are different images of Saint Peter, Saint Teresa or Saint Francis Xavier, and modern sculptural structures represent the Wedding at Cana or the Last Supper. The tabernacle’s chapel in the right nave deserves a special mention, crowned by a baroque altarpiece made in Seville with images of Saint Luke, Saint Matthew and Saint John and, in the central niche, there is a beautiful sculpture of the Immaculate Conception. Beside the Cathedral is the Cathedral Museum of Sacred Art with many samples of pictorial works, sculptures and sumptuary art, above all from the baroque period, and a large collection of articles in precious metals and liturgical ornaments.
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