Capilla del Obispo
Capilla del Obispo
4.5
What people are saying
Kevin  S
By Kevin S
This chapel contains one of Madrid’s greatest surviving Renaissance monuments!
5.0 of 5 bubblesOct 2021
Be sure to search out this small “Chapel of the Bishop” located in the quiet, sloping Plaza de la Paja! And, if it is closed for some reason when you come, it is worth the effort to try again. At center is a tall, elaborately carved, painted, and gilded wood altarpiece, flanked by two smaller stone sculptures embedded in the wall. Occupying the wall to the right is the huge and magnificent tomb of Gutierre de Vargas y Carvajal, who was Bishop of Plasencia, and after whom the chapel is commonly called today. Its proper name is the Chapel of Our Lady and Saint John Lateran. The Bishop is depicted kneeling at center in a deep, arched niche. The many other figures that make up the composition are masterfully carved and amazingly lifelike. Take the time to look at their faces, poses, and clothing. Given the destruction — through war, fire, age, and rebuilding — of adjacent structures over the centuries, the survival of these sculptures is nearly miraculous. Now, back to those two smaller sculptures on either side of the altar. These monuments are dedicated to the bishop’s father and mother. His mother, Inés de Carvajal, died in 1518, before Don Gutierre was elected bishop. His father, Francisco de Vargas y Medina, was a member of the powerful Vargas family, who owned this land in Madrid. Don Francisco was a renowned advisor to the monarchy and commissioned this chapel in 1520, two years after his wife’s death and four years before his own death in unusual circumstances in Burgos in 1524. This was the same year in which Pope Clement VII appointed his son to be Bishop of Plasencia, a position he held until his death in 1559. Unfortunately, given the importance of this rare surviving Renaissance work in Madrid, I have not been able to piece together details of who designed and created these sculptures (though such data does survive for the altarpiece) and whether or not they have undergone extensive renovation. They are said to be carved from alabaster, but — in any case — the great artistry of whoever was responsible is something that can still be appreciated five centuries later. . .

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The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Centro
Expansive plazas, local and foreign crowds, street performers, colorful lights, window shopping, restaurant signs promising the best paella, ham, and churros con chocolate- this is downtown Madrid, a collection of plazas interconnected by a network of side streets. Some of these side streets are wide pedestrian shopping routes, and some are hidden, so it's possible to duck in and out of the bustle as desired. The iconic Puerta del Sol is the giant crossroads of the city and a must-see attraction at any time of the day. The nearby Plaza Mayor, completely enclosed by historic red buildings, is an ideal place to grab a bite to eat outside, amidst scores of tables and people out for a stroll. Plaza Isabel II (also known as “Opera”) is smaller and a good meeting spot, and the stately Plaza del Oriente is the front yard of the Royal Palace. Centro can be touristy (pickpockets are unfortuately not unheard-of here), crowded, and sometimes gimmicky, but it is also the place to experience classic Madrid.
How to get there
  • La Latina • 4 min walk
  • Tirso de Molina • 8 min walk
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles55 reviews
Excellent
36
Very good
17
Average
2
Poor
0
Terrible
0

Malgorzata
12,091 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021
One of Madrid's many gems. It is the small chapel from the 16th century is part of the church complex of San Andres, although the entrance is separate and is at the rear of the church. The chapel is beautiful. The precious altar of the chapel are made of alabaster. To visit without a doubt. I recommend this visit.
Written 9 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kevin S
Boston, MA77 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021 • Couples
Be sure to search out this small “Chapel of the Bishop” located in the quiet, sloping Plaza de la Paja! And, if it is closed for some reason when you come, it is worth the effort to try again.

At center is a tall, elaborately carved, painted, and gilded wood altarpiece, flanked by two smaller stone sculptures embedded in the wall. Occupying the wall to the right is the huge and magnificent tomb of Gutierre de Vargas y Carvajal, who was Bishop of Plasencia, and after whom the chapel is commonly called today. Its proper name is the Chapel of Our Lady and Saint John Lateran.

The Bishop is depicted kneeling at center in a deep, arched niche. The many other figures that make up the composition are masterfully carved and amazingly lifelike. Take the time to look at their faces, poses, and clothing. Given the destruction — through war, fire, age, and rebuilding — of adjacent structures over the centuries, the survival of these sculptures is nearly miraculous.

Now, back to those two smaller sculptures on either side of the altar. These monuments are dedicated to the bishop’s father and mother. His mother, Inés de Carvajal, died in 1518, before Don Gutierre was elected bishop. His father, Francisco de Vargas y Medina, was a member of the powerful Vargas family, who owned this land in Madrid. Don Francisco was a renowned advisor to the monarchy and commissioned this chapel in 1520, two years after his wife’s death and four years before his own death in unusual circumstances in Burgos in 1524. This was the same year in which Pope Clement VII appointed his son to be Bishop of Plasencia, a position he held until his death in 1559.

Unfortunately, given the importance of this rare surviving Renaissance work in Madrid, I have not been able to piece together details of who designed and created these sculptures (though such data does survive for the altarpiece) and whether or not they have undergone extensive renovation. They are said to be carved from alabaster, but — in any case — the great artistry of whoever was responsible is something that can still be appreciated five centuries later. . .
Written 5 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MDOGP
Dallas, TX1,221 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2020 • Friends
This is a beautiful chapel in Plaza de la Paja, Madrid. The church was built in the 16th century. It has a really nice courtyard, and the altar is magnificent. I went to Sunday mass at 12.30 p.m. The nuns sang beautifully! It was like being in a sacred concert. I highly recommend this chapel.
Written 1 November 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Neil K
Liverpool, UK830,972 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2019 • Friends
Located up on hill in the pretty Plaza Paja is Capilla Del Obispo which is an absolutely stunning looking church, its certainly the centrepiece of this tranquil plaza.
Built in the Renaissance style of architecture that is so pleasing on the eye, that is so photogenic, makes for some great photographic opportunities and is most definitely well worth checking out if your in the area or planning a holiday to Madrid, easy to locate on Plaza Paja.
Written 23 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AlfKalulu
Geneva20 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2019 • Couples
Madrid is known as one of the world capitals of baroque. Maybe for this reason it is a nice surprise to find this relatively hidden site, which is one of the few examples of Renaissance art in Madrid. The scultures and relief motives of the tombs are supperb illustrations of Plateresco style.The altarpiece is also very fine. But less people pay attention to the wooden reliefs decorting the entrance door which are fantastic, too. Definitely worth the visit!
Written 26 April 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jordanellie41
Longridge, UK1,058 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2017 • Solo
Firstly, this is certainly not to be missed! Secondly, check the opening times as it's only open a few hours each day. There are only steps up to a door from the outside so you are not prepared in any way for what you are about to witness once you get inside. It's nothing short of breathtaking! The monument is high on the wall behind the alter and needs to be seen to be appreciated. The intricacy and workmanship that has gone into it is staggering.
Written 30 October 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Phil C
137 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2016 • Couples
Specifically visited this church in a small authentic plaza to hear the Sisters of the Poor nuns sing the Eucharist service at 12:30pm lunchtime.
Very moving and a lovely lovely building.
Take time out to visit if you can.
Written 4 July 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Carney B
London, UK44 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2015
A great church where one can relax in quite and reflect. Fantastic interior and exterior. Definitely worth seeing.
Written 19 January 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

skankis
1,491 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2013
i read alot about capilla del obispo and decided to see it for myself. i wasnt dissapointed . it is in the charming plaza de la paja. it took yeara of rwnovatipn before they reopenwd this place. it has become extremel popular amo.g the cities locals and will bwcone popular with foreign tourists in time
Written 21 December 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Capilla del Obispo, Madrid

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