Royal Chapel of Granada

Church and Tomb in Granada

Tombs Of The Catholic Monarchs At The Royal Chapel Of Granada
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Javi Guerra Hernando

The Capilla Real de Granada or Royal Chapel of Granada is an Isabelline style building and originally integrated in the complex of the Granada Cathedral. It is the burial place of the Catholic Monarchs, Queen Isabella I and King Ferdinand.  The Building also contains  a gallery of artworks and other items associated with Queen Isabella.

The History of the Royal Chapel of Granada in Under a Minute

The Nasrid dynasty of Granada was the last Moorish dominion of Al-Andalus to fall in the Reconquista or Reconquest in 1492. This was during the reign of the Catholic Monarchs. On September 13, 1504, they declared that they wanted their remains to be taken to Granada, and to this effect a royal charter was issued at Medina del Campo, Castile-León, for the Royal Chapel to be built.

Designs for the Royal Chapel began in 1504 and it was built between 1505 and 1521 by Enrique Egas. As both Queen Isabel and King Fernando died before the Royal Chapel was finished, they were first buried in the Convento de San Francisco in the Alhambra, which is today the Parador Nacional de Turismo.

After the chapel had been completed Charles V ordered the bodies of his grandparents to be moved in 1521. Carlos V buried almost all the dead of the family in the Royal Chapel, including Ferdinand and Isabella, Philip the Handsome and Joanna the Mad, his wife Elizabeth, their children and Princess Maria of Portugal, wife of Prince Philip.

Although their original idea was for all future Spanish Kings and Queens to be buried here, this did not happen.  It was King Philip II (1527 – 1598) who moved most of the Royal Family buried in the chapel to his newly built Escorial. He left only the Catholic Monarchs and their children Philip and Juana, who currently lie with their parents.

The tombs were carved out of marble by the Tuscan sculptor Domenico Fancelli. This was the last Gothic church to be built in Spain as Isabel and Fernando did not like the new renaissance style of the time.

What can you see at the Royal Chapel of Granada?

Four buildings now stand on the site where the Main Mosque used to stand: the Royal Chapel, the Granada Cathedral of the Incarnation, the Merchants’ Exchange, and the Church of the Sagrario. The only thing left today of the Mosque is a well which is situated outside the chapel, and it was here that ablutions were performed before entering.

The Altarpiece of Royal Chapel of Granada

The altarpiece consists of four painted wooden panels showing the Conquest of Granada, one of which shows Moors being baptized. On either side of the altar there are the two praying statues of Isabel and Fernando. The chapel also houses Isabel’s art collection.

The Tomb of the Royal Chapel of Granada

Their beautiful tomb is made from alabaster and was designed by the Italian sculptor Domenico Fancelli. The tombs of their, successors Joanna of Castile and Philip I, are also in the Royal Chapel, as well as the Catholic Monarchs’ grandson, Miguel da Paz, the Prince of Portugal who died in infancy. Philip I of Castile “the Handsome”, King jure uxoris of Castile; his heart is buried in the Church of Our Lady in Bruges, Belgium.

Treasures inside the Sacristy-Museum

Before dying, Queen Isabella I expressed her desire to be buried alongside her husband and some of her most treasured belongings.

This royal legacy is on display in the museum located in the sacristy next to the chapel and contains historic treasures such as the Queen’s crown, sceptre, jewellery box and mirror, and King Ferdinand’s sword.

Highlights of the gallery of the Sacristy-Museum include paintings of the Flemish, Italian and Spanish schools. This includes paintings by artists such as Juan de Flandes and Hans Memling as well as a rare example by Sandro Botticelli and other 15th century painters like Rogier van der Weyden, Dirk Bouts, Perugino and Bartolomé Bermejo. Goldsmiths work on display includes the crown and the scepter of the Catholic Monarchs; tissues and books of the Queen.

Tours of the Royal Chapel of Granada

If you were wondering which tickets and tours are the best ones to explore the Royal Chapel of Granada?  Check out these popular options:

How to get to the Royal Chapel of Granada

The Royal Chapel is located between Granada Cathedral, the old Fish Market and the Church of Sagrario. It is located in a privileged area of the city, near the Alcaiceria, the Bib-Rambla square, the Madraza and Plaza Isabel la Catolica. You can get to Royal Chapel of Granada using Granada city buses, routes 4, 8, 11, 21, 33 (the bus stop is ‘Gran Via 1’ or Cathedral), routes C31, C32, C34 (the bus stop is ‘Plaza Isabel Catolica’).

The Royal Chapel of Granada appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Granada!

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Visiting Royal Chapel of Granada


10:15 – 18:30 (Monday – Saturday); 11:00 – 18:00 (Sunday & holidays)


5€ (adults), 3.50€ (students, disabled, children), 0€ (children under 12)

Address: Royal Chapel, Gran Via de Colon 5, 18001 Granada.
Duration: 20 minutes
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