Here they lie, Spain’s notorious Catholic Monarchs, entombed in a chapel adjoining Granada’s cathedral; far more peaceful in death than their tumultuous lives would have suggested. Isabella and Ferdinand commissioned the elaborate Isabelline-Gothic-style mausoleum that was to house them, but it was not completed until 1521, hence their temporary interment in the Alhambra’s Convento de San Francisco.
The monarchs lie in simple lead coffins in the crypt beneath their marble monuments in the chancel, enclosed by a stunning gilded wrought-iron screen created in 1520 by Bartolomé de Jaén. Also here are the coffins of Isabella and Ferdinand’s unfortunate daughter, Juana the Mad, and her husband, Philip of Flanders.
The sacristy contains a small but impressive museum, with Ferdinand’s sword and Isabella’s sceptre, silver crown and personal art collection, which is mainly Flemish but also includes Botticelli’s Prayer in the Garden of Olives. Felipe de Vigarni’s two fine early-16th-century statues of the Catholic Monarchs at prayer are also here.