Two years ago, we missed the clues secreted in the cup of the 12th angel over the 12th gate in the Cathedral in Cuenca.
But wait. Maybe Cuenca is not where the chalice was at Jesus’ place during his Last Supper was hidden away by the Knights Templar. Some claim it to be sitting right there in plain view in a chapel in Saint Mary’s Cathedral in Valencia where all can visit it.
An entrance fee replaced the mystery surrounding the Holy Grail hidden in Cuenca. We paid, but once again were as deprived in our quest as the knights of King Arthur. The chapel was closed temporarily.
Consecrated in 1238, the cathedral was built upon the remains of a Visigoth church that had been turned into a mosque. Although primarily Gothic in design, lengthy construction and additions led to portions spanning styles from Romanesque to Neoclassical.
While much of the interior is somewhat plain, the church does include two paintings by Francisco de Goya (1746-1828), including the pictured one of an exorcism in progress.
Oh, and then there is an arm. The arm purportedly was attached at one time to Saint Vincent, Martyr, the patron saint of Valencia. Imprisoned in Valencia, the archdeacon of Saragossa faced his test of faith in 304. After stretching him on a rack, Vincent’s tormenters were frustrated by his calm and even joyful countenance despite the pain they inflicted. His flesh was torn by hooks, and he was tied to a red-hot iron grate. As if that was not enough, they rubbed salt in his wounds before he succumbed to the multitude of his injuries. His mangled body was thrown in the sea but washed ashore where his relics were guarded by a raven until retrieved by the faithful.
Two-hundred and seven stairs ascend the interior of the tower of the cathedral. Two family members elected to climb, while one volunteered to stay at the base in case they needed her for scale in photos.
So, maybe are destined to never find a trail to the Holy Grail. That is, unless we travel to Leon in northern Spain and pay the entrance fee to the museum in the Basilica of San Isidoro, where another “real” grail is housed.
2 thoughts on “Postcard from Valencia, Spain: Failed again to spy the Holy Grail”
Well I have never been so utterly disappointed since I learned the truth about Santa Claus! I recently even saw a big production about this very chalice on the Civilization Chanel. After a life long passionate interest in this chalice I suppose this was my last chance at even a foto as no one else I know ever plans to go. Oh, and does any one really believe that story about that raven guarding the remaining pieces of that saint? Did you ask for your money back?
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Claudio – Definitely pondered asking for a partial refund. There are photos many places on the internet, but here’s one for you: http://www.bestourism.com/img/items/big/6765/Cathedral-of-Valencia_Holy-Grail_7165.jpg. And, did you click to follow the Cuenca link in the first sentence? Of course, the raven must have done an excellent job because the arm is still with us and who else’s arm could it be?