|Architect||Luis Franco, Mariano Peman|
|Lighting designer||Luis Franco, Mariano Peman|
|Project location||Zaragoza, Spanien|
Part Romanesque, part Gothic, showing strong Mudéjar character and having busied masters of the Renaissance, Baroque and Classicism periods, the Catedral de la Seo is one of the main attractions of Saragossa. The construction of the Catedral de la Sao - the Archbishop’s titular church - has a long history, its origins dating back to the year 1121.
After an extensive and extremely careful restoration, from 1992 to 1998, the interior of the church now shines with new splendour. Damaged parts were rebuilt, the dust of the centuries removed from the surfaces and the lighting system completely renewed.
As an 'incorporeal building material', daylight was always of special importance: in the course of history, the openings of windows were moved and altered, domes were opened up or lanterns added and closed off - depending on the desired lighting effect and prevailing tastes.
Originally a three-aisle design with an intermediate choir chancel, the cathedral now boasts five aisles, each separated by pillars, three apses and numerous side chapels.
The cathedral is extremely rich in art treasures, such as these 14th century carvings in Mudéjar style - a Christian Gothic art form with Moorish influence. The directed light underlines the liveliness of the Biblical scenes.
Light has always served as an architectonic metaphor of the religious messages of salvation, but the master-builders of the past could only dream of the design possibilities that today's lighting instruments offer for illuminating sacred rooms. The great variety of styles in the Catedral de la Seo calls for a dramatic distribution of light and shadow zones and of artificial and natural light.
With this in mind, in the five main aisles of the cathedral - excluding the dome vaulting - Oseris spotlights for 12 V / 50 W low-voltage halogen lamps have been mounted on the capitals of the columns at a height of about 14 m and softly illuminate the apex of the roof vaulting. Conversely, the 38m high dome vaulting is lit up by stronger spotlights from the Oseris series.
Both the cathedral’s architectural lighting for emphasising the actual rooms - mainly by way of indirect light - and the accent lighting of the artworks with directed light were integral parts of the lighting design. As was special lighting for the worship services (concentrating on the altar and pews), for everyday use and for cleaning and maintenance (usage by sectors).
The domed chapels were fitted out with Castor floodlights for 150 W halogen lamps. The accent lighting was mounted on the capitals of the columns. It is primarily the reliefs on the chapel’s of the choir chancel, the interior of some chapels with their pictures and the main altar in the chancel that are optically enhanced in this way. Oseris spotlights are again the main lighting tool here, and are fitted with 50W/12 V low-voltage halogen lamps and sculpture lenses for spreading the beam elliptically.
The entire lighting system is electronically controlled via a computer. This enables the room lighting to be adjusted to each particular situation.
Plaza de la Seo
Telephone +34 97 629 1231
Opening times, summer:
Tuesday to Friday 10 am - 2pm and 4 - 7pm
Saturday 10am - 1pm and 4 - 7pm
Sunday 10 - 12am and 4 - 7pm
Opening times, winter:
Tuesday to Friday 10am - 1pm and 4 - 6pm
Saturday 10am - 1pm and 4 - 7pm
Sunday 10 - 12am and 4 - 6pm
Mondays closed to visitors