The city of Valencia is home to many great treasures but one of its most revered relics sits in a chapel within the city’s great cathedral. That relic is the Holy Grail – one of the most admired and famous symbols of the Catholic Church…
A Sacred Relic
Historians from across the world are in agreement that this artifact is the authentic cup that was used by Jesus in the Last Supper, and both the Roman Catholic Church and the Vatican recognise the chalice as the ‘true Grail.’ Every year, people from across the world come to Valencia to view this ancient treasure. Made from polished agate stone and covered in gold and precious gems, the Grail measures around nine centimetres across and sits behind a wall of protective glass in honour of its sacred status. It was presented to Valencia in the 15th century and has only left the cathedral twice since then, both times during the civil war in the 1930s when it was feared it might be stolen. Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have both held Mass in Valencia with the chalice, and the Holy See has officially named Valencia as the city of the Holy Grail.
The Long and Winding Road
In honour of this accolade, the city will celebrate a Holy Jubilee Year every five years with the first celebrations taking place in autumn 2015. In anticipation of this event, an exhibition entitled ‘The Paths of the Grail’ (Los Caminos del Grail) will be held next to the cathedral in the halls of the Almudín Building. This 14th-century Gothic style structure is itself one of Valencia’s most beautiful historic attractions.
The exhibition, which will be held until June, traces the long and epic pilgrimage of the Holy Grail before its arrival in Valencia in the 1400s. In a subject that has fascinated people for centuries, the showcase will take an in depth look at the journey of the Grail from the Last Supper to its travels through Barcelona, Huesca, the Pyrenees and more until its arrival in the Spanish city. The Jubilee celebrations will take place in October this year. The event will be commemorated with with a number of events throughout the city, with the cathedral as the main focus of activity.