Tucked inside the massive Cathedral of Valencia, you can find the Diocesan Cathedral Museum — a set of exhibition rooms filled with art and artifacts not used for worship.
The most difficult part of visiting the museum is finding it. Following the cryptic instructions of the information lady, I felt almost transported into The DaVinci Code. “The golden sun … can be found… through a door in the chapel of St. Frances Borgia … look for it under the Goya, but not that of the demons … and hurry, my love: They’re after you“.
Once you find the museum (and elude the murderous monk on your tail), the first thing you’ll see is a huge golden sun. This is the largest monstrance (vessel for the Eucharistic host) in the world. Impressive.
The rest of the museum is small but filled with interesting works, including the original sculptures from the Door of the Apostles, and paintings by Juan de Juanes. A curious exhibit features small sculptures from a scene depicting the circumcision of Christ.
However the highlight of visiting the museum is not literally found inside of it — the huge paintings by Goya occupying the lateral walls of the Chapel of St. Francis Borgia. Particularly of interest is the painting on the right-hand wall, showing St. Francis attempting to convert an unrepentant man on his death bed. This is the first appearance of demons in Goya’s work.
The museum can be visited in conjunction with the rest of the Cathedral — the entrance costs €4 and includes an audio guide (available in English). It’d be easy to visit the Cathedral and never know the museum exists, since it’s so hidden.
Diocesan Cathedral Museum – More Info from the Cathedral’s Official Website