Legend has it that the Holy Christ of Ourense was found back in the 14th century by sailors in Fisterra. Whether this is true or not, the fact is that the enormous realism of this Gothic statue, in which hair and beard are natural, has forged a lasting and popular devotion that eventually resulted in the construction of a luxurious chapel in the Cathedral. A spot not to be missed in your visit to Ourense’s Cathedral.
The resounding realism of the statue, whose beard and hair are natural, has fueled countless legends around the Holy Christ of Ourense, along with a still lively devotion.
The chapel of the Holy Christ has collected an important heritage from the donations that has received. It is accessed through a Renaissance grille by Celma, of ornate Baroque style. The canopy was designed by Domingo de Andrade, the same author of the one in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, and the altarpieces were the work of Castro Canseco. They include carvings of great interest as the White Virgin in alabaster or the St Maurus by Francisco de Moure. All this contrasts with the ornate elegance of the Renaissance choir stalls, work of Diego Solís and Juan de Angés (16th century), which were partially moved to this area after the reform of the temple in 1938.
On the upper level there are 18th-century paintings depicting scenes from the life of Christ and some other more recent, such as the Supper at Emmaus, which shows that donations of art to the chapel continue today.
Legend and Devotion of the Holy Christ
In addition to the legends linked to its marine origin, the realism of the statue has nurtured for years the popular belief that its hair grows, and that every week a barber goes to the Cathedral to cut it.
The important devotion that this Christ has always aroused can be seen in the gifts received, such as the lamps hanging from the ceiling, giving a Byzantine air to the chapel. Among the donations to the Christ there are also votive boat-shaped offerings from sailors. A lost tradition was hanging bird cages during the celebrations of the Novena to the Holy Christ.
Admission and Schedule:
Entry included in Cathedral’s tickets (with audioguide tour)