As we enter, you’ll be struck by the magnificent Gothic cloister of the cathedral, constructed in the 15th century on the foundations of a previous one from the 14th century. Each of its four sides features three broad pointed arches supported by evocative capitals adorned with vegetal motifs, vases with lilies alluding to the Virgin, and figurative elements like the Mystic Lamb, human faces, lions, the keys of Saint Peter, and shields without coats of arms, including one of them adorned with a crown and others bearing episcopal mitres. Simple granite rib-vaulted ceilings cover the cloister’s corridors, and if you look closely at the keystones, you’ll notice shields that help date the construction.


You will also find other art pieces within the cloister, including several small gilded wooden altarpieces from the 18th century. These altarpieces display the images of Saint Louis the Bishop and Saint Sebastian next to the Baptismal Chapel, both images created by José Salvador Carmona, Saint Anthony the Great, and Our Lady of the Pillar, situated next to the tomb of the precentor Juan García de Narváez.

Between the baptismal chapel and the entrance to the museum, you can admire a collection of ten large Flemish oil on copper paintings dating from the 16th century – mostly copies or interpretations of Rubens – depicting scenes from the childhood and passion of Christ and the life of the Virgin Mary.

Retrochoir or Campo de la Virgen

As we stand at the entrance of this temple, in a space known as the “Campo de la Virgen” (Field of Our Lady) or retrochoir, we’re greeted by three Baroque altars, all from the 18th century. The first, dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, is elegantly supported by Solomonic columns and estipite pilasters, and it features not only a sculpture of Saint John but also those of Saint Raymond Nonnatus and Saint Blaise. Adjacent to this, we find two identical altars on the western wall, each containing paintings of Saint Anne with the Virgin and Child and the imposition of the chasuble on Saint Ildephonsus of Toledo.

Finally, let’s take a closer look at the choir enclosure’s walls, a design project led by Pedro de Ybarra in 1561. Notice the distinctive projecting cornice adorned with pinecones, gracefully supported by concave corbels and the entablature whose frieze is embellished with tondi and tau crosses enclosed within rectangles, adorning the walls on both sides.
The retrochoir is adorned with stone statues of Saint Peter, Saint Paul, Saint James the Great, and Saint Andrew, all mounted on elaborately detailed mannerist corbels.

The baldachins sheltering these statues contain the effigies of the four evangelists.
Every piece of sculpture work was executed by Francisco Pérez. The central portion of the retrochoir is adorned with an 18th-century altar that was originally dedicated to Saint Michael but now features a statue of the Our Lady of the Rosary.

Our journey now leads us to the Epistle side, corresponding to the right side of the cathedral, where we’ll stop by the chapel of Saint Peter of Alcántara.

The choir

The Cathedral’s choir is a reserved space for the sung prayer of the Cathedral Chapter, which, celebrates the Liturgy of the Hours on behalf of the entire diocesan community.

Take note of the splendid Gothic walnut choir seats, a true masterpiece carved in two phases, comprising a total of seventy-two individual seats. The central section, dating back to 1489, is the oldest. The other parts of this fabulous piece were crafted by the master Martín de Ayala. What makes these seats truly exceptional is the meticulous craftsmanship: the high-backed chairs are adorned with intricate late Gothic tracery, which cleverly imitates windows, pointed arches, and rosettes. This is a testament to remarkable artistic calligraphy and originality, as these decorative details are seldom repeated. The lower part of the canopy, positioned at the front of the choir seats, is no less impressive, displaying elaborate drawings of rib vaulting with tiercerons and liernes. The bishop’s throne features a remarkable relief depicting Christ, bestowing His blessings while holding the universe in His hand. Crowning the choir seats is an entablature-style cresting adorned with mannerist niches and medallions, each crowned with vases. Numerous other motifs grace this remarkable piece, including the crown of thorns, the lily jar, male and female busts, cherubs, skulls with bones, imaginative faces intertwined with vegetal forms, and angels. Adding to the rich iconography, you’ll find an additional forty-three statuettes representing saints, apostles, figures from the Old Testament, virtues, and angels, each bearing symbols of Christ’s passion.
We must also highlight the Baroque choir lectern from the 18th century, adorned with lush foliage, lilies, and delicate rocaille motifs.
The choir is enclosed by a magnificent Gothic grille, crowned with the polychrome shield of Bishop Fray Juan de Ortega Bravo Laguna being upheld by angels. The intricate cresting is filled with vegetal “S” forms, winged cherubs, representations of Hermes in nature and candelabra, culminating in the figure of the Crucifixion. This masterpiece was crafted by Hugón de Santa Úrsula, in 1514. It is flanked by statues of Moses and David, placed on corbels that once supported ancient pulpits.

The organs

Now, as you stand on the stations on the cross by the crossing, look up to behold the two grand organs of the cathedral. To the left is the “large organ,” reconstructed in 1802 by the master organ builder José de Verdalonga thanks to a project funded by Bishop Juan Álvarez de Castro. Notable for its splendid neoclassical case, which reaches up to the start of the crossing vault. To the right stands the “small organ,” built between 1818 and 1819 by Friar Antonio de Madrid, a Hieronymite monk. Its neoclassical style and decoration closely resemble those of the large organ.

Sepulchres and Grille of Bishop Pedro Ximénez de Préxamo

On the Gospel side of the chancel, you can observe the sepulchres and funerary sculptures of two bishops of Coria.

The first corresponds to Bishop Pedro Ximénez de Préxamo, and it was sculpted around 1495 by the artist Copín de Holanda. Made of alabaster, it depicts the elderly bishop in a praying posture, set against a flamboyant structure. The sculpture reflects the expressive naturalism of late Gothic art, with intricate embroidery details on his attire, bridging the Gothic and Renaissance styles. Below the canopy, you’ll find the bishop’s coat of arms, and above it, a small group depicting the Fifth Anguish.

Adjacent to it and closer to the main altar, you’ll encounter the sepulchre of Bishop García de Galarza, a work chiselled by the master Lucas Mitata. It is set within a beautiful mannerist architectural framework designed by Juan Bravo in 1595. The marble alabaster statue of Bishop Galarza, shown in a praying position at a rich lectern, exhibits the classical serenity of the late 16th-century Romanesque style. Completing this beautiful burial monument is a lengthy inscription that starts at the entablature and continues into the niche’s background, the bishop’s coat of arms in the centre of the pediment, and two medallions placed in the spandrels bearing the busts of Saint Peter and Saint Paul.

This magnificent ensemble is complemented by a magnificent grille. While only the first section remains of the original design, lacking the other three sections and the pinnacle, the Rococo cresting was added in 1773 by the Frenchman Pedro José Duperier. He restored the grille and pulpits using remnants from the old ones.